Maui News

Mayor Richard Bissen proclaims May as Community Action Month

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Mahina Martin, Maui County Director of Public Affairs, presented a proclamation by Mayor Richard Bissen, declaring May as Community Action Month in Maui County, to Maui Economic Opportunity Board Vice President Bard Peterson. Martin made the presentation at the MEO board meeting on Thursday, May 23, at MEO in Wailuku.

Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen praised the work of Maui Economic Opportunity, citing the efforts that “make a difference in the lives so many” in proclaiming May as Community Action Month in Maui County.

The nonprofit MEO is Maui County’s Community Action Agency, one of more than a thousand agencies formed in communities across the nation to battle poverty as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. 

Mahina Martin, Director of Public Affairs, read the proclamation on behalf of Mayor Bissen, who was traveling off island, Thursday, May 23, at the MEO Board of Directors meeting at the agency’s Wailuku office. She presented the proclamation to Board Vice President Bard Peterson, who was chairing the meeting.


“We are proclaiming May… as Community Action month, but I know that it is every day and in every way and in every year,” said Martin in remarks before reading the proclamation. “So I find it sometimes interesting,… you end up doing it all the time, but we declare one month for you.”

“MEO has been a lifeline” for the community, she said, which dovetails with the Bissen administration’s strong commitment to community. “This partnering with MEO is not just a contract… It’s a true arm-and-arm partnership, and we saw that even more so at the time of the fires.”  

The proclamation noted that after the wildfires MEO “swiftly provided aid, while fostering hope and demonstrating dedication to rebuilding lives.” Current programs include housing, utility, vehicle, clothing and school supply assistance, as well as employment opportunities and grants for small businesses.


MEO was chartered in 1965 and operates almost 40 programs in five departments with a presence on Maui, Moloka‘i and Lānaʻi, the proclamation says. MEO programs are designed to promote self-sufficiency while helping low income individuals, persons with disabilities, youth, kupuna and other marginalized communities.

“Now, therefore, I, Richard T. Bissen Jr., Mayor of the County of Maui, proclaim the month of May as Community Action Month throughout the County of Maui so that we can honor the efforts of Maui Economic Opportunity and similar community action agencies that make a difference in the lives of so many. Together, they bring hope, uplift communities and strive to make our community, Maui County, a better place to call home.”


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