2018 Primary Election Candidates

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THIELEN, Cynthia
Name on ballot:

THIELEN, Cynthia

Running for:

State House

District (if applicable):


Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Legislator; Attorney (retired)



Previous job history:

Environmental and Land Use Attorney

Previous elected office, if any:

Kailua Neighborhood Board

What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

I offer decades of experience as an environmental attorney and community advocate and have held various leadership roles including Vice Chair of House Energy & Environmental Protection Committee (2012-14); current Ranking Member of Judiciary; Water & Land; Agriculture; Public Safety; and Ocean Marine Hawaiian. I am Hawaii's Delegate on the National Conference of State Legislatures' Natural Resources & Infrastructure and was a former Board Member of the National Conference of Environmental Legislators. I am one of the early founding members of the Legislative Women's Caucus and held the title of Co-Convener. This group is dedicated to preventing domestic violence, improving the lives of women and their families and promoting equality in the workforce. I was awarded the John Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award by Surfrider Foundation and Hawaii's Thousand Friends' Unsung Hero award, and received ConservAmerica's Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Leadership Award. I was founding member of the National Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now (CLEAN), the group that briefed the White House in the former Administration. I was former Board Chair of the Children's Discovery Center during its founding years and part of the leadership team that established Oahu's second bikeway to enable students to travel safely to school.

What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

Unpermitted short term "whole house" rentals; homeless; environmental challenges.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

Two priorities: housing for locals and adequate mental services for the homeless. One out of every 24 homes statewide operates as an unpermitted "whole house" rental, with the vast majority of these houses owned by out-of-state or out-of- country investors, many of whom do not pay the required GET and TAT taxes. This must stop. While upgrades to Kaneohe State Hospital are underway, statutes need to be amended to enable providers to deliver direct mental services to the homeless together with Housing First options.

If elected, what can you do to improve the lives of your constituents?

Continue working hard to preserve Kailua as a residential community for our families and retirees. With my legal environmental experience, I work with DLNR and the City to improve Kailua Bay water quality and have more government assistance in removing debris. And I will continue to champion removing General Excise Tax from food, as government should stop taxing such basic necessities.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I was the lead Legislative proponent to authorize industrial hemp to be grown on Hawaii's agricultural lands. This crop, with over 25,000 uses/products, none of which will get you "high", is an entrepreneurs' dream. While many other states now grow hemp, Hawaii is the only one to grow three crops a year. Used as building material (hempcrete), in cosmetics, food products, and CBD oil, etc., this versatile crop will keep agricultural land productive.

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