|Established||February 12, 2001|
|Legal status||501(c)(3) nonprofit organization|
|Services||Multifaceted efforts to shed light on government operations and spending; public education regarding the movement to create a sovereign Hawaiian nation and/or other governmental entity; research into the effect of the 1920 Jones Act on the state of Hawaii.|
|W. Keli'i Akina|
|Richard O. Rowland|
(FYE December 2015)
The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a public policy think tank based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The organization's goals includes a free market economy, limited, accountable government, and the defense of the Bill of Rights. The current Chief Executive Officer is Dr. Keli'i Akina. The Institute was formed on February 12, 2001 by Richard Rowland, who continues to serve as the chair of its board of directors. The organization is a member of the State Policy Network, a network of state-based think tanks. The Grassroot Institute's stated mission is "to promote the principles of individual liberty, free markets, and limited and accountable government throughout the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim."
The Grassroot Institute conducts research and analysis of various issues from a free market perspective. Academic works are inspired by the writings of scholars such as Frederic Bastiat, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman, F.A. Hayek, and Adam Smith. Generally, the institute opposes tax increases, such as Hawaii's General Excise Tax.
The Grassroot Institute joined with other groups to file suite against the State of Hawaii's efforts to form and gain federal recognition of a race-based, sovereign nation. The lawsuit, filed in 2015, seeks to block race-based elections in Hawaii.
The Grassroot Institute supports school choice. The Institute has pointed out that despite the state Department of Education's expanding budget of $2.4 billion per year (an increase from $972 million eight years previously), public school students continue to perform at the bottom of the nation on NAEP assessments and enrollment in the system has decreased.
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