The 2015-2016 Charter Commission operated from a philosophy that this was the "People's
Charter," meaning that it was this document that lays out the expectations, responsibilities, and
structure of the government of the City & County of Honolulu and its relationship to the people.
The Commission was mindful of Honolulu's tradition of being a progressive, forward-looking
city. The Commission's aim was to develop a set of recommendations that the Commission
believed would enable Honolulu to meet the many challenges it will face in the coming decades
in light of population growth, climate change, aging infrastructure, and uncertain fiscal
The impact of City actions is felt at several different levels. Conflicts can and do occur between island-wide, district, and neighborhood levels. The Charter Commission, while cognizant of the differences, is obligated to take a countywide perspective.
Reform of the Charter can help the City and County of Honolulu deal with many problems, both those currently faced and those in the future. The governing structure alone will not solve every problem. Problems such as homelessness, high cost of housing, and fiscal constraint are not caused directly by governance structure. There is no substitute for political consensus and many hard substantive choices by elected and appointed officials.
The Charter Commission relied on various individuals, groups, and organizations who provided their expertise, insights and time. The Commission appreciates the dedication and commitment of all these individuals in helping to design a Charter and governance structure that will make the City and County of Honolulu a stronger community for many years to come.
David W. Rae, Chair
2015-2016 Charter Commission City and County of Honolulu
530 South King Street | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813