Hoʻohui ʻia… we are in this together… and Hoʻomaikaʻi and mahalo, Kurt Klein, Esq.


Leina‘ala Ahu Isa, Ph.D., Trustee, At-Large

Life after Coronavirus…

We’ve been in lockdown since March, and many of us are feeling restless for change. And the world is changing so rapidly that this time last week feels like years in the past. Over the last few weeks alone, we have seen unprecedented changes to every part of our lives. But how could these changes impact us in the long term? Could temporary laws lead to bigger cultural shifts further down the road? And are any of our new habits here to stay?

I’ll mention briefly workplace culture and the economy in order to better understand the possible long-term implications of this coronavirus pandemic.

Life after coronavirus: workplace culture

For most people in professional jobs, social distancing has meant a total shift to working from home – something many employees would have liked the opportunity to do pre-coronavirus, but hadn’t been allowed to. Businesses may then shift to having smaller, flexible office spaces, or sections of co-working spaces. The implications of office workers no longer needing to flood into the center of cities like New York and Los Angeles every day could be huge. Adam Steel, a senior strategic foresight writer at The Future Laboratory, says that it could even be an opportunity to “reboot suburbia, rural villages and the countryside.”

“Big city offices would be used less, and could become more like flagship stores or flagship offices, which employees might visit a few times a year for whole-company events,” he says.

Life after coronavirus: the economy

What will the effect of widespread business closures and lay-offs be? What happens when more people than ever are forced to claim benefits? Are we heading for another recession like the 2008 financial crisis? Coronavirus: this is the reality of being forced to self-isolate in Hawaiʻi.

The coronavirus tips us further into a recession, so we will definitely have a recession or an economic downturn of some form, most economic experts believe. “The question is whether it’s just a dip and then you come out of it quite rapidly, or whether it’s something much longer.” This depends on how long it is before things go “slightly more back to normal,” adds Dave Innes, head of economics at the Rowntree Foundation. He says that if businesses choose to take up the government’s salary retention plan (Paycheck Protection Program), this could be a massive factor in helping to maintain stability for workers. “There’s a role for businesses to make sure they actually keep people in work and help people out, instead of laying more people off and increasing their economic insecurity.”

Hoʻomaikaʻi and MAHALO, Kurt Klein, Esq.!

Photo: Kurt Klein
On May 5, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States rejected the “Makekau” Plaintiffs’ Petition for Certiorari thereby putting an end to this case… and thereby SAVING OUR BENEFICIARIES over $350,000 in fees. Congratulations, Kurt! You saved a ton of beneficiary trust funds by successfully defending this. This is from the Court Order calendar and is all that the US Supreme Court ever says on a particular case where cert is denied.

As you may recall, after losing their (Akina/Makekau) case to halt the Native Hawaiian elections in the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaiʻi, the Plaintiffs were able to freeze the process by obtaining an “All Writs” Order from the Supreme Court.

A hui hou,

Trustee Leinaʻala Ahu Isa

Previous articleEconomic Engines
Next articleHānai Kaiāulu: Feeding our Community
Leinaʻala Ahu Isa, Ph.D. was elected an “at-large” trustee in 2014 and currently serves as Board of Trustees vice chair. She has held elected offices in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives and the State Board of Education. She served on OHA’s first Native Hawaiian Revolving Loan Fund Board. Retired as the Executive Director of Small Business Management at UH Mānoa, she also brings a wealth of business knowledge as Hawaiʻi Pacific University’s Chair of MBA Programs, and Professor of Business Management and Entrepreneurship courses. She is passionate to serve, with a strong ethically-driven fiduciary duty. To contact, call (808) 594-1877 or email: TrusteeAhuIsa@oha.org.