Policy and Advocacy Director, Hawai‘i Public
Policy Analyst, Office of the Governor; Community Engagement Specialist, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum; Investigative Journalist, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation
I have dedicated my entire career to public service and advocacy. For the last 10 years, I have been fighting for policy change in health care, public health, immigration, and racial justice. I have a master's degree in public administration. I previously served under Governor David Ige, as part of the Healthcare Innovation Office, where I was given the opportunity to work collaboratively with state leaders on a plan to improve healthcare access and lower costs. Currently, I serve as the Policy and Advocacy Director for the Hawai‘i Public Health Institute where I oversee all state and county legislative priorities for the organization. I work directly with lawmakers and advocates to draft legislation and champion initiatives that will improve the health of our communities. These combined experiences, along with the relationships I have built over the years have prepared me well for this role. Navigating the legislature can be a complex process, but if elected, I will be able to hit the ground running.
1. Traffic - Everyone knows that the commute to and from central Oahu can be very stressful. There is a lot of time spent in traffic than at home. Motorists are often speeding or on their phones and this compromises the safety of bicyclists, pedestrians, and keiki playing in the streets. I would prioritize capital improvement and multi-modal transportation projects, with enough input and preparation provided to residents.
2. Public safety - Increased crime activity and traffic accidents leave many residents feeling vulnerable and unprotected. Our police are often short-staffed in patrolling the districts that make up Central Oahu. I would support reviving community programs to engage our neighbors and help one another. Visibility and outdoor activity in the streets reduce criminal activity. I would advocate for funding to address staffing shortages, public safety priorities, and increased enforcement.
3. Declining neighborhood quality - Mililani has a rapidly aging community with various access and needs. The younger generation are choosing a more affordable life in the mainland. Illegal short-term rentals threaten to destroy the character of our neighborhoods. I would prioritize policies to allow our seniors to age comfortably in place, reduce the debt burden and provide competitive wages for our graduates, and to establish stricter controls on short-term rentals. More importantly, with the help of Mililani residents, I want to put into action a plan to identify improvements across the district working collaboratively with the county, engage residents in disaster preparedness, and assist our neighbors with various activities, including carpooling into town. What I have learned as I go door-to-door is that residents – especially those with children – are eager to step forward. Our residents value the cultural character of this community and are committed to making Mililani a long-term home.
My top priority is to change the outcome for my son’s generation to experience a better quality of life. Our children deserve a better future, not to be the first generation to end worse off than their parents. A better future however encompasses having safe, caring, and engaged communities; healthy, sustainable surroundings; quality job opportunities; access to quality education, housing and health care; adequate, well-maintained infrastructure and governmental services; access to recreational facilities and leisure activities; and positive interaction and respect among the public and our elected officials. I would work on all of these issues.
In addition to addressing the top three challenges mentioned above, it will be my priority to make my constituents feel that their voice matters. I plan to be a visible leader, and provide opportunities for the public to be included in important policy decisions. Mililani is a large district with different issues that are unique to each neighborhood. I will work with the community to identify ways we can convene more frequently, to talk story, and identify priorities that are important to them. Over the years, I have seen how often elected officials and those in power ignore what everyday people have to say. I will work very hard to make sure that nobody ever feels powerless or that they do not have a voice.
My immigrant experience, humble upbringing, and legislative experience have given me the strength and courage to stand up and fight for a future that works for everyone. My entire career has always been about fighting for what is right, and elevating the voices of those who often feel ignored and unheard. I have been very successful in bringing people of diverse backgrounds together to pursue a common goal. I have also been able to resolve conflict and land on workable solutions, even during the times when I have disagreed with other legislators. My campaign is truly powered by everyday people - 85% of my campaign donations are under $100. Not one dime comes from a corporate PAC. We're energizing a lot of supporters, but I cannot do this alone. Please consider supporting my campaign and joining the team by visiting trishlachica.com