What community group are you working with to distribute the donation?
Maʻi Movement Hawaiʻi.
Their mission is to provide and distribute free menstrual products to menstruators in need and advocate for systemic change in the government, schools, and community to end period poverty in Hawaiʻi.
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Why is it important to address this issue in your community?
The constant financial burden that disproportionately affects students, low-income and homeless women and girls, transgender and nonbinary individuals, and incarcerated people with no relief or aid easily accessible creates a threat to the livelihood of menstruators, many of which have still not recovered from the economic strain caused by the pandemic. Period products also place a disproportionate financial burden for an average of 40 years on menstruators, thereby setting a menstruator back regardless of economic status compared to someone with the same economic standing. As a result, this basic necessity, akin to toilet paper and tissues, is becoming out of economic reach for a growing number of girls, women, and gender-diverse people who menstruate.
What are you doing as an elected official to support policy measures that impact period product access?
In the 2023 legislative session, I introduced the landmark and first-of-its kind bill advocating for the Department of Accounting and General Services to provide menstrual products at no cost in specific restrooms of public buildings maintained by that department. Although the bill died during session, I introduced a single chamber and concurrent resolution requesting the same to keep the conversation going. The bill and resolution are the first steps towards addressing period poverty and menstrual equity from a whole of government approach.
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