2018 Primary Election Candidates

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TENGAN, Michael
Name on ballot:

TENGAN, Michael

Running for:

State Senate

District (if applicable):


Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:




Previous job history:

Lead Consultant, Keolamau INC: 2012 ~ Present
- Strategic long-term planning for grow and management of company
- Design and implementation of highly individualized programs focusing upon personal wellness and leadership development
- Creation of educati

Previous elected office, if any:


What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

I am qualified to represent the people of Hawai'i because I am strongly connected to my community, the land, and the struggles of the everyday person. Growing up in a single parent home, I experienced to the challenges that afflict our local, working families today. From laboring on the family farm in Waimanalo to tending to the chores of everyday life in Waiehu, this knowingness of the struggles of everyday life have inspired me to be part of creating solutions for Hawai'i.
Now in adulthood - with a strong background in both business and non-profit sectors - I am able to apply fiscal responsibility to the realization of long-term societal and community-based changes. Through my experiences as both CEO (business) and executive director (non-profit) I am able to apply a unique professional perspective to creating sustainable solutions with the longevity of the prosperity our people in mind.

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

The top three challenges facing the voters I seek to represent in East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka'i, Lāna'i and Kaho'olawe are the lack of direct communication with state leadership, advocacy for community needs, and proper representation within a Honolulu-centric legislature. In speaking with community members throughout my district, there is a level of disconnect experienced with our current leadership and our people. Due to the lack of direct contact, our communities feel as if their voices are neither heard nor valued.

I believe the solution to this is a strong presence within our communities and state legislature. Only by being present within our rural towns can we connect to the challenges of our working-class families, monitor the happenings of current legislative action in everyday life, thereby better responding and advocating for the true needs of our communities within the State Legislature.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

We are amidst a housing crisis that is directly affecting our everyday, working families and people. With the steady rising cost of living and the stagnation of our affordable housing market, the very face of our communities could change within a single generation.
If elected I will prioritize creating short and long-term housing solutions. Short-term, I will address loopholes concerning language within state statues, localize housing designations yielding more accurate median house income figures for our local families, and work upon stronger enforcement for short-term rentals.
Long-term, I would like to see more attention directed to our agricultural industry through cannabis, hemp, and food production for our schools to create more financial capital for our local housing market.

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

Behind the concerns of affordable housing, living wages, conservation, etc is a desire to maintain a certain quality of life within rural Maui County. This means preserving our open spaces while creating quality-paying jobs and career opportunities now and generations to come.

With a strong focus on revitalizing our agricultural industry, I believe that I can support in improving the lives of my constituents by providing real solutions to maintaining our country areas while creating opportunities for the market to expand upon economic development. Two options I foresee are with the cannabis and food industries.

As an industry, cannabis has provided states such as Colorado with nearly 1.5 billion dollars of added revenue per year, 118 million of which goes directly to the state through taxation. These funds have been utilized for everything from education to human services, and can add an entirely new line of revenue for Hawai'i.

Additionally, there is a tremendous opportunity for the state to develop and fortify our local food system here in Hawai'i by focusing upon shifting to the localization of our school lunches. With just over 250 schools statewide, servicing 185,000 student for 180 days of school per year it is estimated that Hawai'i schools will provide approximately 30 million meals within a single academic year. In this way, we can revitalize our agriculture industry while providing truly nourishing food for our keiki.

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

I am a father, a husband, a son of Maui dedicated to doing what is right for our people and this place we call home. Generations from now will ask what we did today to create a brighter future for their tomorrow. Join me in securing our keiki's future and the true prosperity of Hawai'i now.

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