HAWAII — State and city officials, as well as community advocates, have gathered at Kapalama Elementary School to talk about the recent shootings and criminal activity that has been happening in the area in the last few weeks.
The school is in the heart of Kalihi – a neighborhood in the center of urban Honolulu, and an area that has been rattled with shootings, many gang-related, in the last few weeks.
A town hall meeting has brought together over 70 people on a Monday night to discuss action plans on how to address the issue. Among those present in the crowd were state and city lawmakers, the Honolulu police department, nonprofit representatives and educators.
“If there’s problems, we identify it, we deal with it, but really, the gang problem is outside of schools.”
Hawaii state house representative John Mizuno says that there have been three shootings recently. This has prompted him to organize the town hall gathering.
“At the end of the day, I think it was a good collaboration. I was glad we got together. And it wasn’t really ugly, it didn’t get out of hand. We were very focused. We wanted to see if we could craft and develop a plan of action and I think we did tonight.”
“It’s really about coming together, and knowing that everything has its important role. Not just one agency will fix everything. It’s a whole community,” said Janiefer Delacruz.
Kalihi has historically been known to be home to a large Filipino population.