Letters to the Editor: April 5, 2021

Rental discrimination

I am confused. Friday morning, I read in West Hawaii Today that the Association of Hawaii Realtors “has launched the 2021 Keiki Art Contest to help children learn about fair housing.” Yet the Hawaii Association of Realtors has gone on record opposing Senate Bill 36, which prohibits rental discrimination by source of income including in advertisements for available real property, based on participation in a housing assistance program. There are no fair housing opportunities when landlords can advertise that those with section 8 vouchers need not apply.

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The nonprofit housing navigators who work with families who may need the extra support to get back on their feet after a divorce, loss of a spouse, or who are recovering from a domestic violence situation are hitting roadblocks due to increasing number “no section 8” statements in rental ads. The Association of Hawaii Realtors state in its written testimony on SB36 that landlords may open themselves up to subjective claims of source of income discrimination under SB36. “No section 8” on rental ads seems pretty clear to me.

SB36 passed the House and is currently sitting in the Senate waiting for action.

Our Hawaii Island District 1 Rep. Mark M. Nakashima, who chairs the Senate Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee, did not set a hearing but he could still wave the bill off and pass it on to the next committee before it is too late. Realtors, if you want children to learn about fair housing, set a good example by asking Nakashima to wave SB36 off. Then testify to the fact that you are open to finding good tenants who can pay their rent no matter what race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or source of income.

Shirley David

Kailua-Kona

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The aloha spirit survives

Got my second Pfizer COVID-19 shot on April 1.

Once again, I’m reminded of the aloha spirit that survives in Kona. From the volunteers (seven or eight that I came in contact with) to the National Guardsmen (four or five), all were smiling behind those masks and extremely solicitous. Mahalo plenty. Bravo. Well done.

C F Steffen

Captain Cook

It’s in the name

Doesn’t anyone see significance in the name of the former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin? The term chauvinism means superiority of one’s group or race. It is derived from Nicolas Chauvin’s fanatical belief in the goals of Napoleon.

Burt Masters

Kailua-Kona

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West Hawaii Today

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