Hawaii's COPE Program
The entire political process through which the people of Hawai'i elect their public officials is at
the very heart of the democratic system. It affects the life of everyone in the State, the laws that
govern us, the taxes we pay, the services our government provides.
The Hawai'i State AFL-CIO believes that all citizens have the right and the responsibility to take
part in the political affairs of their community, their state and their nation. For that reason, the
Committee on Political Education (COPE) was established.
COPE has encouraged thousands of union members to take part in public life through programs
of political education and political action whose goals are better law makers, better laws, better
government, and a better life for all the people of Hawai'i.
Since a Democracy can only work when the people are informed and vote, COPE's primary
functions are to provide year-round programs of political education for union members and to
conduct statewide non-partisan registration and
get-out-the-vote campaigns. Indeed, at each election we help thousands of previously
non-voting union members and their families to register, then to exercise their franchise to vote.
The COPE staff prepares leaflets, posters and research materials for elections including voting
records on key issues of all state legislators and the state Congressional Delegation.
Hawaii's COPE cooperates with the national COPE and conforms to its policies but is not a
branch or subsidiary of national COPE. The Hawai'i State COPE makes its own endorsements of
candidates for Governor, U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Hawai'i State Senators and
Representatives and other state and county officers.
The sole endorsement at the national level comes in presidential contests and is made by the
General Board of the AFL-CIO, then implemented by national COPE in cooperation with state
and central labor council COPEs.