William D. Hoshijo, Executive Director
State of Hawaii
Hawaii Civil Rights Commission
830 Punchbowl St., Room 411
Honolulu, HI 96813
David Ige, Governor State of Hawai’i
Josh Green, MD, Lt. Governor
Rosalyn “Roz” Baker, State Senator
Mike Gabbard, State Senator
RE: Petitioner v. Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.
HCRC No. 20793; EEOC No. 37B-2019-00269
January 15, 2021
Aloha e Mr. Hoshijo,
Today is the honored birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. Our nation observes his service to America Monday. He reminded us, “The time is always right to do what is right.” I’m asking you to start now by doing a small act to treat people with dignity, courtesy and respect. Local leaders call for Aloha now from officials and citizens.
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I petitioned your office regarding concerns of bias and favoritism October 2019. Pointed out your staff was engaging in unprofessional behavior to the advantage of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), which prejudices our family’s complaint. One of the Commission’s five appointed commissioners was a current employee of HEI. You promised me this would end. It has not.
Liann Ebesugawa, Commissioner, (term 2017-2020)
Ms. Ebesugawa is Assistant General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. Previously she served as an Associate General Counsel for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. where she provided legal support to personnel and management and advice in obtaining regulatory approvals for various projects.
For standing up and speaking out in defense of our guaranteed rights, the Commission under the direction of Mr. Stephen K. Chang, Investigator Supervisor, has obstructed and prevented our complaint from moving forward. I initially filed my charge March 2019. Your team has denied our civil rights and due process for some 22 months.
What is most telling about your staff’s behavior is this obstruction demonstrates the validity of our claim. If our grievance was without merit, the Commission would have dismissed the matter long ago. Hawaiian Electric under the direction of CEO & President Constance Hee Lau engaged in incompetent, negligent management action and illegal discriminatory behavior. Their attorney in this matter, Joseph A. Ernst, warned companies to update their policies long before my termination. You protect feckless friends in violation of the state Constitution and our laws.
This is why our nation burns today. Government cheats ordinary people in America. On Sunday, we observe the 128th anniversary of the overthrow of the Hawai’i Kingdom. We witnessed in horror as extremists assaulted and occupied our national Capitol January 6th. Today, Americans are frightened, confused and painfully divided.
Three of Hawaiian Electric’s five executives, President William W. Hall, Treasurer Jonathan Austin and Thomas May, successfully stormed, assaulted and occupied the ‘Iolani Palace and pushed gentle Queen Lili’uokalani off her rightful throne. They led the Committee of Safety that committed the atrocity.
America burns today in part due to our original sin of slavery. Hawai’i burns due to the theft of a nation, and more recently, due to the occupation of Mauna Kea and birth of Kapu Aloha — non-violent direct action to resist. White Supremacists criminalized cannabis to oppress People of Color. This is not disputed today. Millions of Black folk, primarily men, have been arrested and incarcerated due to these discriminatory “Jim Crow” policies.
For example, the nation required a constitutional amendment — the 18th — to prohibit alcohol between 1920 and 1933. The 21st Amendment ended this disastrous policy. Yet cannabis was prohibited by the deceptive action of a handful of racist White men. I have fought this injustice over the course of my thirty-year professional career.
The People of Hawai’i legalized medical cannabis in 2000. Discrimination of this plant-based medicine, while promoting dangerous, addictive opioids, is an extension of White Supremacy and racial injustice.
Government failed the Kanaka Maoli. Government failed Antifa, BLM and MAGA. The People are angry in America. Your action continues the failure of government to provide just and fair treatment of all human beings in our state and nation.
If you do not have the courage of Martin Luther King, Jr. or the just conviction of legendary civil rights activist, John Lewis, to help evolve America and continue the process to make our union more perfect, then explain to me how and when I can receive the case files in this matter. I’ll make preparations to move this complaint into an appropriate court.
Let me be clear … I consider those who occupied the Capitol to be traitors to this nation. I view your action no differently. Many of those who participated on January 6th are poorly-informed pawns who were fooled by conspiracy theories and misguided leaders. You are a career professional with extensive education. You’re not deceived. Your action is intentional, premeditated, calculated and directed with malice.
I copy this letter to your bosses, as well as representatives of the legislature and media. Our nation is on fire and it’s time to hold accountable those who lit the fuse — as well as continue to add fuel to the fire. Do the right thing now or join the ranks of traitors to our nation.
I’ve been professional with you. I ask that you now uphold the laws of our state and nation, as your privileged position requires. If you cannot do this, please step down. Your behavior is a cowardly, corrupt and grave injustice to Americans in a difficult time.
Thank you for your anticipated cooperation for the sake of residents of Hawai’i and citizens across the great nation of America and for which she stands. Mahalo Ke Akua
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