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President's Message

Aloha Empower Oahu members, supporters, and partners,

Empower Oahu continues to grow in its efforts to strengthen and unify our member communities.  We are especially pleased to see the Waianae and Waimanalo communities reorganize during the year, and activity participate in Empower Oahu and the Community Strengthening Program.  The Waianae and Waimanalo communities have made great strides, over the past 12 months, establishing impressive community based planning committees, and actively seeking input and ideas from the community at large.

Wahiawa, a new member to Empower Oahu, has also become actively involved in community based planning and we are sure it will not be long before we see some positive results come from their efforts.

We completed the last of our Community Investment Fund Programs, CIF IV, in December 2005. The CIF Program provided our communities with grant funding for micro-enterprise development and special economic development projects.  As you will see from this report, Empower Oahu achieved favorable results from this program.

During FY2006 the Empower Oahu focus shifted from the CIF Program to the Community Strengthening Program (CSP).  The shift was mainly due to the need by our communities to review, update, or develop new community strategic plans and to build the capacity to better design and implement programs that address community identified issues and solutions.  The CSP will also help our communities to develop strategies and apply for the HUD designated Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area (NRSA).

We hope we will be able to continue with the community based planning and capacity building activities, and are in the process of securing additional funding for this purpose.  We have however, obtained City CDBG, and State Grants-in Aid funding to design and implement an island-wide micro-enterprise development program.  We believe this program will help our communities to work in concert to solve an Oahu issue and will help to develop a model for addressing other common issues. 

Empower Oahu also will undertake a strategy review exercise this year to ensure we can meet the changing needs of our communities.

Finally, I would like to recognize the tremendous contributions of two Empower Oahu Board members who passed away during the year, Andy Anderson and Susie Lua.  Andy was a Board member at the time of his passing and was looked up to for his dedication to community service.  He could always be counted on to help out.  Susie was one of the original EO Board members who helped establish Empower Oahu and remained connected until she passed away in April.  Both will be dearly missed.


President's Signature

President of Empower Oahu