Public School Teacher
July 2008 - July 2013: Civic Education Trainer, Center for Civic Education
July 2008 - July 2013: Kumu/Academy Director, PUEO Program, Punahou School
May 2001 - Present: Certified Social Studies Teacher, Hawaii DOE
I am a teacher leader, union leader, active parent and activist citizen, and I have become deeply engaged in and knowledgeable about the problems confronting my community. I have been engaged in policy debates and development at the state level for at least a decade, and have helped to connect community members to statewide policy discussions and empower ordinary citizens, including my students, to be engaged in the policy making process.
The most important issues facing my community are homelessness, impoverishment of working class families, and public education.
My highest legislative priority is public education, because I think our failure to support young people and to create opportunities for them is a root cause of our other social ills.
I can fight hard for more investment in what I call 'public infrastructure' in our community - we need more wraparound services and full funding for our public schools (all Title I), more robust provision of mental health and drug addition rehabilitation services, and more state investment into sustainable agriculture (as part of a Green New Deal) in our community.
As a veteran civics educator, I am deeply concerned with democratization of our political processes. I want to engage community members in the policy development process. I am worried about the feedback that I have gotten in my canvassing - too many people are cynical and feel hopeless about the government's willingness to act on their behalf. I want to change that, to create hope through people power.