2018 Primary Election Candidates

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BURKE, Jackie Kahookele
Name on ballot:

BURKE, Jackie Kahookele

Running for:

OHA trustee

District (if applicable):


Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:




Previous job history:

Entrepreneur - Breakfast in Bed Company, Ola Productions, Publisher - Oiwi Files Newspaper, Musician and Planner , Artist, Designer, TAP Pool League Hawaii Operator
Community Economic Development consultant
Dept of Transportation - Harbors Division - En

Previous elected office, if any:


What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

My leadership skills extends over 30 years of community service starting as a girl scout and officer in the Civil Air Patrol which instilled in me empathy and compassion for others. My community board service includes Housing, Film and Video, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce, PEW Foundation Civic Entrepreneurship Fellow, OHA NH Revolving Loan Fund Board as well as the Organist for the Waikiki Elks, and more.

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools, I worked 10 years in travel and have seen the growth statewide over the past 40 years. The next 10 years I worked in media: radio , print, TV and produced the first National Arthritis Telethon. Finally , while raising my 2 young daughters as a single mom, I went back to school and after 10 years finished with my Masters in Public Health and Masters in Urban & Regional Planning. I was also Student Body President and Senator while in college.

As an independent publisher of the Oiwi Files (2003 to 2007), a statewide Hawaiian newspaper, I received high praises for my ability to produce and work with other journalist contributions to put out a well rounded newspaper. During this time I traveled to Germany (per the Academy of Arts) to bring back for a special exhibit the Pacific collections of Capt. Cook's last voyages to Tonga, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii and the tip of the Americas.

I currently am a recognized artist, especially for my "Power of Unity" of Lono and KU painting, seeking 100,000 of us to engage in the rotating of this painting at the change of seasons, thus creating a unified effort and taking it into future generations.

I am a skilled community builder, having helped the Ohina Short Film Showcase in acquiring their first grant. Having also helped other community organizations in domestic violence, I organized and secured funds from several non-profits to take the star, Rena Owen from "Once Were Warriors" on a statewide speaking and meeting with community tour.

As a seasoned business owner, I created and started the Breakfast in Bed Company, teaching myself along the way through guerrilla marking and attending workshops on how to run a business. I also started Ola Productions , Burke and Daughters Global Traders and currently Kahookele Art. Having a passion for billiards, I also acquired the Hawaii operations for the TAP Pool League (national pool league).

I bring a diverse set of skills in a wide range of areas from commerce and business to the arts and community engagement. My visionary projects are completed events or existing entities, with a few more in development. I am focused and committed to all things I believe in and can work through the mundane details to the glorious and fun stuff. I believe I have the ability to mingle with all dimensions of community, communicate and engage to create good outcomes in healthcare, housing, education, business and culture.
I have a diverse set of skills to maintain a steady course, as my family name "Kahookele", the navigator means, I am capable of finding and managing to way to final destinations.

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

1) Stop with the rush to Tribal recognition or Federal Recognition.
"Federally recognized tribes should brace for possible termination policy under Trump Whether we like it or not, Trump and Republicans control Congress. Federally recognized Alaska Native and American Indian tribes should brace for the worst, including the possibility that Congress may move to terminate federally recognized tribes.

The termination era of 1953 to 1968 involved Congress stripping tribes of their lands and criminal jurisdiction. The policy was thinly disguised as an attempt to lift American Indians and Alaska Natives out of poverty by assimilating them into mainstream society. However the real goal was to privatize and ransack American Indian and Alaska Native lands.

From 1953-1964 109 tribes were terminated and federal responsibility and jurisdiction was turned over to state governments. Approximately 2,500,000 acres of trust land was removed from protected status and 12,000 Native Americans lost tribal affiliation. The lands were sold to non-Indians the tribes lost official recognition by the U.S. government….Public Law 280 which was passed in 1953 turned power over to state governments to enforce most of the regular criminal laws on reservations as they were doing in other parts of the state." Indian Country 2018

WE should be taking to the State Department on a Nation to Nation basis and not the Dept of Interior known for years of abuse and stolen American Indian money, especially the land with oil , gas and minerals.

My opponent who worked for the DOI should also explain why, after the door was officially closed and strong vocal opposition against Federal involvement was stated and noted, 5000 signatures from supporters were allowed in, with out asking the opposition the same opportunity, how did that happen on her watch?

2) Housing should be key by providing for rentable spaces and using zero-property line development, using Bernie Sanders successful model of having a Land Trust model own the land, while the homes are owned by individuals or put into a rentable pool. This model I have seen work with the Hawaii Community Development Board, that I sit on in the Makana O Nanakuli housing project. Since the land is part of Hawaiian Homes, it fuctiions like a Land Trust, providing incredible land costs savings and then building the partnerships with private, state and federal funding and investments. In this particular case, the tax credits were sold for millions, a rent subsidy attached to the units and at the end several homeless families were qualified for units as well as a grandmother with 3 of her grandkids could move in based on her low-income.

3) Dental healthcare - a policy for all Hawaiians. We have medicaid for children under 18 but after that there are no programs for this much needed and urgent problem. Recently medicare has included basic care but dental care is so important and needs to be part of total holistic well-being.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

The ceded land revenue that is not being released by the legislature. They have not released several years of revenue funding and this has got to be addressed and the funds released. Its also time to recalculate an amount set over 15 years ago that hasn't been adjusted for growth of revenue or even has a percentage included to grow inch year. With a very busy tourist market, the amount of airport fees must have gone up, so why hasn't our revenue reflected that increase of revenue.

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

For OHA, its to improve the transparency and accountability, which lies in the powers of the CEO and Board of Trustees. Procurement powers need to be revised and hiring practices to find qualified staff through a selection process that should be done with a voluntary board. I have known the earlier years of OHA that had community boards for input and some oversight. This has to be started up immediately, so that a board consisting of community and experts can review, input and recommend on decisions made by the trustees, not the CEO's board, but the elected trustees. This also extends to the non-profts that OHA has help set -up, as the keys positions are held by long time OHA managers who shifted to another key position with the organizations. The public would feel more trusting and assured transparency to include these spin-off OHA non-profits and perhaps using a community board to work with the OHA Non-profits can also keep the accountability in place there as well.

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

There is a movement to address our Kingdom of Hawaii status by declaring ourselves citizens of the Nation, being a National. It should not take away from anything but rather add and acknowledge that the "illegal" and existing framework of American dominance is here, nonetheless, we never relinquished our claim as a nation, and we should be recognized as such. From this base we can also move away from the American definition of "race-based", a label created for American Indians to be exempt them and help keep their reservation lifestyle. The Nation of Hawaii, lead their citizen base of Hawaiian nationals, that is a discussion I am supporting we start to incorporate into our political
standing and look internationally for help in establishing our nationality citizen base again.

In the Cayetano vs Rice decision that opened up voting for everyone, Mr. Rice considered himself a citizen of the Nation of Hawaii, since his ancestors were and therefore his citizenship base should be acknowledged and he should be allowed to vote. But it was also a wake up call to OHA, that money in elections are meant to benefit every American citizen, so it wasn't all just money but also the historical roots of non-blood Hawaiian citizens seeking our their rights to vote.

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