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Hawaii State House, District 30

Duties: The Hawaii State House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The Hawaii House of Representatives is a part-time body.Areas Represented: Kalihi Kai, Sand Island, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Halawa Valley EstateHow Elected: The house consists of 51 members elected from an equal number of respective representative districts. A Representative must be a Hawaii resident not less than three years, is at least 18 years old, and is a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected. Candidates for state legislative offices who are nominated in the primary election and are unopposed in the general election will be deemed elected to the office sought after the primary election regardless of the number of votes received by that candidate (Hawaii State Constitution, Article III, Section 4).Term: Two years, not subject to term limits. Base Salary (2020): $62,604 plus $225/day if living outside Oahu, $10/day for members living on Oahu; Senate President - $70,104

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    Ernesto M. (Sonny) GANADEN
    (Dem)

  • Tess Abalos QUILINGKING
    (Rep)

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 do you think about the state of women in Hawaii's elected and appointed public offices? What have you done to support women in government? What will you do?

How would you address concerns about a lack of transparency at all levels of government?

Do you support automatically registering people to vote when they apply for a driver’s license or state identification card, provided they can voluntarily opt out of registering. (Senate Bill 2005 passed the senate and is currently in the Hawaii House Judiciary.)

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

Do you believe the response to the COVID-19 crisis could have been improved, and if so, how?

I have dedicated my career to public service in Hawai’i for working people. Public office is an extension of that service. I am currently a manager of a youth mentorship program at a non-profit in Kalihi, a lawyer, and a candidate for public office. I have been an Instructor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a staff attorney at the Domestic Violence Action Center, and a journalist. I am a second generation Filipino-American from a family of veterans, nurses, teachers, bakers, and business owners.

As a candidate for public office, I have dedicated my work to empathy and direct conversations with the diverse people of the district.
1. No governmental austerity measures. 2. Reopening the local economy in a way that puts public health and safety first PRIOR to tourism restarting. As tourism is likely not to return to levels anywhere near the state’s economy in 2019, we must do all we can to work with Federal CARES Act funding, including borrowing at low interest rates, to ensure that people maintain their homes (through rent and mortgage stabilization), healthcare (through an expansion of the state healthcare system’s processing and payment), unemployment benefits (through a continued and fully-staffed department that can handle applicants, and food (through the continuation of SNAP benefits).
We have far to go in dismantling patriarchy in appointed and non-appointed positions of power. As a cis-gendered male, I understand that it is my role to step up and step to the side when there are women who are capable of speaking their own truth about policy or the role of government. As a coordinator of a youth program, I teach a form of popular education, which validates and supports young peoples' lived experience, and promotes equality in story telling and advocacy.
I am concerned about the lack of transparency at the state level regarding the distribution of CARES Act funding. The state should not be "cherry picking" projects based on political and economic connections for funding when working people, and women in particular who are most often the primary caregivers of children and the elderly, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis. We must preserve the legal right of advocates, non-profits, and service providers’ ability to be at the bargaining table, even in crisis. We must pass laws that allow for teleconference testimony and advocacy. Now more than ever, the the state of Hawaii must maintain its duty to seek transparency.
Yes. The low voter turnout in working class Hawaii can partially be attributed to our state's failure to automatically register voters, and to continually educate them on their necessary participation in democracy.
Climate change resiliency is housing security. As if it could not get worse, in addition to the economic and COVID-19 crisis, we are entering hurricane season. I would support a rent and mortgage moratorium, using CARES Act funding, relationships with local banks, changes to the landlord tenant code, offer mortgage holders automated deferrals, ensure housing is maintained and communication is made between landlords and tenants, and offer additional support and funding to IHS and other programs that ensure people are capable of sheltering in place for as long as COVID-19 lasts. For the variety of trails and beaches which need physical labor to be repaired, I support a state jobs program for those who were laid off due to COVID-19.
District 30 includes lower Kalihi, Sand Island, portions of Pearl Harbor, and Halawa. Individuals in District 30 have been disproportionately burdened by the COVID 19 crisis, and have experienced higher rates of unemployment and a lack of health insurance as a result. I have had the opportunity to meet with hundrends of individuals, listening to their stories and realizing the necessity for bold action at the state legislature. It is not the time for blame. The state must be prepared for an influx of Med-QUEST applicants, maintain staffing for essential state agencies, support unemployment insurance assistance to the highest possible extent, and begin "shovel ready" projects which would float local businesses.
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