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Hawai`i County Councilmember, District 5

Duties: The County Council is the legislative branch of the County. Council is responsible for passing the laws that govern the county, as enacted by ordinance and written in the Hawaii County Code.Areas Represented: Portion of Puna (Western)How Elected: The County Council consists of nine members elected from geographical districts. Members are elected on a non-partisan basis. A Councilmember must be a qualified resident and registered voter of the district from which the person is to be elected for at least 90 days immediately preceding the primary election.A candidate who receives the majority of votes cast (i.e., more than fifty percent excluding blank and overvotes) or is unopposed for the office in the first special election, held in conjunction with the primary election, is deemed elected. The contest will not appear in the second special election, held in conjunction with the general election.If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast for the office in the first special election, the two (2) candidates, receiving the most votes in the first special election, will appear on the second special election ballot. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes at the second special election is deemed elected (Hawaii County Charter, Article XIII, Section 13-27).Term: Two years, limited to a maximum of four consecutive full terms.Base Salary: Councilmember - $70,008; Chairperson - $77,016

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Biographical Information

Please provide a brief Candidate Statement, describing your qualifications and why you are running for this office.

What are your top two goals and how will you achieve them if elected?

What, if any, actions would you work towards in your first 100 days to address the threats facing Hawaii due to climate change?

Age 39
Education Hawai’i Community College - Associate Of Arts UH Hilo - Bachelors Degree(unfinished)
Campaign Phone (808) 430-7990
Campaign Email
Campaign Website
Matthew Kanealii-Kleinfelder is a hardworking statesman who currently serves as councilman for the District of Puna he and his family affectionately call home. He humbly seeks to find new ways of providing assistance to the community by working side by side with those who call Puna home.
The two priority goals for Matt are increasing infrastructure in Puna (roads, services, safety personnel, etc.) and uplifting community safety, security and well being.

To reach these goals, Matt will continue to work hand in hand with State and County partners while listening to the most important and brilliant members of society (people like yourself) to find funding to fulfill the differing needs of each sector of Puna.
The effects of warming oceans, rising sea levels and our secluded location in the Pacific Ocean put Hawai’i in the center of an unprecedented situation that requires immediate response. Matt spent ten years in the electrical field installing thousand of photovoltaic systems. With that said, he truly believes that Hawai’i needs to take stark steps to increase our sustainability in the energy, food, and economic sectors. He will continue to stand up the Sustainability Action Committee, push the current administration to mobilize a hydrogen powered multi-modal transportation fleet and invest in alternative energy and building efficiency measures to pave the way for future generations.

Age 32
Education Kamehameha Schools Kapalama / University of Hawaii at Manoa
Campaign Phone (808) 203-7450
My experiences in the community as a father, coach, and engineer have given me a unique perspective on the issues we face in Puna. I am running for County Council to provide strong leadership that develops sound plans with precise actions. I intend to work for and with the community to raise Puna to its potential.
My top two priorities will be our economic recovery and public infrastructure. COVID-19 has clearly demonstrated Hawaiʻi cannot rely on tourism to carry our economy. In order to bounce back, we need to diversify our local economies, specifically by supporting our farmers and agricultural industry. Additionally, upgrading our transportation and mass transit system will go a long way toward connecting Puna to the rest of the island as well as growing local businesses. My goals to improve our community’s infrastructure extend beyond just transportation. Expanding utility access, whether it be water, electricity, or high-speed internet, is another safeguard to keep our communities stable in times of uncertainty, and progress into the future.
Climate change presents a significant challenge to Hawaiʻi. And unless actions are taken at every level of government, the problems will only get worse for future generations. If elected to the County Council, I will provide avenues for the production of alternative and renewable energy sources for our county.