- Age | 66
- Occupation | Retired Hawaiʻi State Senator, Businessman
- Where did you grow up | Honolulu, Oʻahu
- Schooling | Kamehameha Schools/Pacific University/Harvard School of Government
- Current residence | Honolulu, Oʻahu
- Website | n/a
Question 1Question 2Question 3Question 4Question 5
How are you currently serving (or have served) the lāhui? Please list the Native Hawaiian-serving organizations you are (or have been) affiliated with, the duration of your involvement, and your role/activities within those organizations.
Please provide an example of your community work to implement a project, initiative, grant or program. Please include your specific role and the outcomes for the community.
Please provide an example of your experience working collaboratively with other professionals to establish policies.
How and with whom can OHA collaborate to address and strengthen the economic stability of our lāhui?
How and with whom can OHA collaborate to address the related issues of affordable housing and houselessness in the Native Hawaiian community?
- As a Hawaiʻi State senator from 2008 through 2018, I’ve served alongside other dedicated public servants, all trained to analyze and understand issues, evaluate different ideas and positions, and produce solutions that work for the greater good. I will bring to OHA the knowledge of governance, the subtleties of how government works, and the give-and-take required when crafting public policy. In addition, I’ve proudly served on the boards of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts, Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival, Polynesian Voyaging Society, Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame, Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program, Hawaiʻi Special Olympics, Hawaiʻi Association of Retarded Citizens, and Life Foundation (HIV/AIDS Organization). I presently serve as a Kawaiahaʻo Church trustee and member of the Oʻahu Island Burial Council.
- KŪPUNA POWER. During my first term as state senator, I created a platform with multiple tracks to educate and empower Hawaiʻi’s elderly. Kūpuna Power serves as a gateway to Hawaiʻi’s aging network – connecting older adults to vital community services. Tracks include Kūpuna Power TV – a 30 min. talk and info show aired on HNN/KHNL/K5, WeAreKupuna.com, Kūpuna Power Facebook, Kūpuna Power YouTube, Kūpuna Power Instagram and The Kūpuna Power (KP) Network of Partners.
- I was known as a lawmaker and Senate leader (majority and caucus leader) you could rely on to be fair, responsible, productive, prudent, always conducting oneself in a businesslike manner and social when appropriate. Creating policy is a complex visionary process. Fiscally, as a former member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, I have been actively involved in crafting the state’s annual multi-billion-dollar budget. My experience in public service demonstrates social and political understanding.
- Collaboration is essential between the following groups in the Kānaka Maoli community. Firstly, align the Native Hawaiian Chambers of Commerce association with two longstanding and well-respected Native Hawaiian organizations: The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (AHCC) and the Royal Benevolent Societies i.e., The Royal Order of Kamehameha, ʻAhahui Kaʻahumanu, Hale o Nā Aliʻi, etc. Add the aliʻi (royal) trusts: The Kamehameha Schools, Liliʻuokalani Trust, Queen’s Health Care Systems, and Lunalilo Trust to the alliance. This continues to cast a wider unified net for civic engagement further strengthening Native Hawaiian economic stability. The Department of Hawaiian Homelands and the nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement advocate for Native Hawaiians on both the state and federal levels, are considered powerful voices for Native economic stability and will be added to the hui. The final group is the Native Hawaiian faith-based organizations beginning with the Association of Hawaiian Evangelical Churches (AHEC), a part of the nationwide United Church of Christ…the first collective group to offer a formal apology to the Hawaiian people for the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom by the United States in 1893. The sheer number of Hawaiians civically engaged through this alliance will impact and strengthen the economic stability of Native Hawaiians and all people of Hawaiʻi.
- Houselessness, by definition, is quite clear. No house, no home. Affordable housing is a moving target. The primary housing needs recognized by housing providers are emergency, transitional, long-term or permanent housing and access to affordable housing options. Recognizing the complexities, recommendations for OHA collaborations include, but obviously not limited to the Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority, Hawaiʻi Housing Finance & Development Corporation, Hawaiʻi Housing Alliance, Homeless Services Agencies/Programs of the Hawaiʻi State Department of Human Services. Include civic clubs and other cultural organizations to expand the range of services or work in conjunction with existing Native Hawaiian organizations. These are but a few suggestions. Mahalo for the opportunity to share my manaʻo. I ask for your vote. Aloha and Mālama for now.