District 36 (Mililani Mauka, Mililani, Waipio Acres)
Educator - Substitute Teacher; Domestic Engineer
Certified Special Education Teacher w/Hawaii DOE; Staff Accountant
Growing up in Hawaii, on the Island of Kauai, I was raised to be humble yet driven, competitive yet respectful, a leader but also a team player, to have compassion but also courage, and above all else, to have integrity. In walking door to door in our district, I have learned that these characteristics are things that those in my community are looking for in an elected public official. Aside from these traits, I also have gained experiences through my education, my careers, and also through my service in the community.
Having earned a BA in Accounting, with a minor in Business Management, I have an understanding of the "numbers" when it comes to each tax payer's hard earned money, and how these funds are being used. This will allow me to provide better transparency and accountability with government spending.
For ten years I worked as a certified special education teacher, in the State of Hawaii's Department of Education. I understand what it means to be in the trenches of education while working with students, fellow educators, administrators, parents, counselors, therapists, social workers, etc. I feel that my experiences qualify me to advocate for students, educators, and parents (as I too am a parent of two children who are currently enrolled in the public education system in our district), when it comes to education. Working in the classroom today, also continues to keep me informed of what the current issues are within our pubic education system.
Within the community, I have been able to serve in various capacities. As a
Director of the Mililani Town Association (MTA) for almost the past 4 years, I have gained executive management experience and been afforded opportunities to serve and hear from the community. Within the community, I also have experience through my volunteer efforts on sports teams, at public schools, and through church. While serving as the President of the local Women’s Christian Organization, I oversaw the administration and assessment of welfare needs for over 300 families. Being responsible for records, reports, budget, finances, etc., were key aspects of my position. Along with service on the MTA and through church, I also serve our community in several other capacities - - as a member of the Student Community Council (SCC) at Mililani ‘Ike, as parent volunteer at Mililani ‘Ike, as a parent volunteer with Mililani AYSO, and as a Director and Treasurer of the Hoaloha Ike Association. My experiences with these community organizations have been invaluable in teaching me how to work and serve with others of varying backgrounds. They have also allowed me to work in the heart of our community, with the people!
While meeting constituents going door to door, here is what I have heard their top concerns are:
1) Cost of Living/Quality of Life - Hawaii has one of, if not the, highest costs of living in the Nation. Families are living paycheck to paycheck. Educated adult children are required to live with their parents, unable to afford their own homes. We lose Hawaii residents to the mainland, where the cost of living is more feasible than here. Seniors are on fixed incomes, and are affected by raised taxes. Small business owners struggle to remain in business. While some may say that this “comes with the territory of living in ‘Paradise’”, we should not have to settle for the status quo.
2) Traffic - Poorly planned transportation infrastructure, has contributed to our statewide traffic woes. For many, the commute to town and back is often grueling and unbearable, especially when necessary on a daily basis. Another concern for Mililani Mauka residents is the fact that we have only “one way in and one way out” of our area. This leads to the traffic congestions, and is also a safety concern should there be a need to evacuate during an emergency.
3) Distrust of Government - The people of Mililani in general are looking for representation they can trust and rely on, someone who will listen to and represent their voices. For many in our community, they feel that this has not been the case with previously elected officials. There is a feeling of lack of trust with government in general. Due to the “One-Party Rule” System here, transparency and accountability have also been lacking, exacerbating the concerns with trusting government. The lopsidedness of the Legislature has indeed led to a stifling of ideas, transparency, and accountability. One-party control has meant that the majority has been able to preclude meaningful discussion and dialogue of opposing viewpoints, many of which are more reflective of the views and values held by the majority of Hawaii’s residents.
Being a member of the minority party, if elected I would help to increase the visibility of the minority party’s positions and ideas, and be a new voice in advocating for matters important to my constituents. In addition to being a staunch advocate, I would also pursue items further addressing transparency, accountability, and an open exchange of ideas. One of the main reasons I am running for office is to hold government accountable. As a minority member, the focus will not be on mandating more regulations, but on enforcement of the current laws. My role would be to critically view the package put out by the majority and make sure it offers a balanced approach to all the people in Hawaii, not just the special interest groups. Democracy requires checks and balances in order to make it stronger. Minority members of the Legislature carry the invaluable role of the loyal opposition. It is the Minority Party’s responsibility to offer that balance by challenging the Majority when needed, and holding officials accountable for their decisions. If elected, I plan to be the representation that my community can rely on and trust.
In order to address the top three concerns of those in my community, mentioned above, I would do the following things:
1) Cost of Living/Quality of Life: If elected, I will continue to look for, and support ways, to reduce the cost of living here, as well as support bills that will assist small businesses. I will also revisit some of the government mandates that are forcing our small businesses to close their doors. I would not advocate for unnecessary increased taxes. Our taxpayers are burdened enough.
2) Traffic: As a member of the Legislature, I would continue to look for options to address the traffic concern. Some options include pilot programs in which we could revisit the use of the Zipper Lane. Another area would be looking into options of a possible alternate route in and out of Mililani Mauka. The residents of Mililani see the need for, and deserve, a more feasible commute that will also enhance the quality of their lives.
3) Distrust in Government: If elected, one of my main goals will be to continue to listen to the voices of my constituents and address the concerns they may have living in Mililani. Too often we have public officials whose main focus is pushing their own agenda and/or advancing their own careers. This is not the type of person I am, nor the type of elected official I plan to be. If elected, I plan to be the representation that my community can rely on and trust.
Coming from “local girl” roots, there truly is no other place I call home. My upbringing on Kauai, my education, my career paths, and my service in the community, have all attributed to the person I am today. I have a strong desire to ensure that Hawaii is a safe and promising place for future generations. The people of Hawaii deserve representation that will hear their voices and act with their best interests in mind. The one term I have repeatedly heard while walking door to door is the need to have "Fresh Blood" in our government. The people in our communities are waking up and realizing that the status quo is not working for them, nor is it benefiting our state as a whole. We all need government officials who will lead with accountability and integrity. If fortunate enough to be elected, that is what I plan to do. I humbly ask for your vote to make this a reality.