- Age | 51
- Occupation | OHA Trustee At-Large
- Where did you grow up | Kalihi, Oʻahu
- Schooling | La Sierra University, Honolulu Community College
- Current residence | Kakaʻako, Honolulu
- 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?
- Since 2000 I have been a trustee with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, holding one of the At-Large seats. I currently chair OHA’s standing Committee on Resource Management, which recommends policies for the oversight of the agency’s investment portfolio and other fiscal and budgetary matters. It also develops policies and guidelines for OHA’s land acquisitions, dispositions, and development.
- I initiated a partnership with the Center of Hawaiian Studies at UH Mānoa to create a PhD program and four new classes, one of which inventoried the ceded lands. I also initiated the first grant given to Kanu O Ka ʻĀina Charter School Alliance by OHA. I further initiated OHA’s job training and placement program Ka Liʻu ʻOihana, which was a collaboration between OHA and multiple organizations.
- I was involved in the negotiations on the state level with the Abercrombie administration that resulted in the transfer of 25 acres of land on and near the waterfront in Kakaʻako to OHA, valued at $200 million at the time. I was also involved in negotiations on the federal level with the Obama administration that resulted in the creation of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act of 2011, which acknowledged Native Hawaiians as the Indigenous people of Hawaiʻi with whom the United States has had a political relationship.
- Last year OHA gave out $15 million in grants to multiple nonprofit organizations to advance policies, programs and practices that strengthen economic stability and cultivate economic development in and for Hawaiian communities. OHA needs to continue to provide this type of grant support, while also helping Hawaiian students through our UH-OHA Hoʻonaʻauao Higher Education Scholarship Program and encouraging the creation of Hawaiian businesses and entrepreneurs through our OHA Loans Program.
- As a state agency with a common beneficiary base, OHA should obviously partner with the Department of Hawaiian Homelands. We have already successfully done so, approving as much as $90 million in grants to help the department finance infrastructure such as sewers, water systems and roads for housing development, by paying their debt service on revenue bonds. We should also look forward to partnering on condominium projects where OHA could pay for those of our beneficiaries with less than a 50% blood quantum using money from both agencies as well and federal grants and other funds. I feel that this is the future of large-scale housing programs for Hawaiians.