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Hawaii State Senator, Dist 1

Duties: The Hawaii State Senate is the upper chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The Hawaii State Senate is a part-time body.Areas Represented: Portion of Pepeekeo, Papaikou, Keaukaha, KaumanaHow Elected: The senate consists of 25 members elected from an equal number of constituent districts across the islands. A Senator must be a Hawaii resident for not less than three years, is at least 18 years old, and is a qualified voter of the senatorial 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: Four years, not subject to term limits.Base Salary (FY2022): $62,604 plus $225/day if living outside Oahu, $10/day for members living on Oahu; Senate President - $70,104

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  • Candidate picture

    Helen TUPAI
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Laura ACASIO
    (Dem)

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    Lorraine Inouye
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Wil OKABE
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

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

If elected, how would you stop political corruption or the appearance of corruption?

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

What legislative steps will you take to reform the criminal legal system, from pre-trial procedures, sentencing, incarceration and re-entry?

Education Nationally Certified Career Development Facilitator, Ph.D. Higher Education Administration, Masters of Education, Washington State University, (Pullman, Washington); Bachelors in Business, Bethany University (Scotts Valley, CA)
Military/Community Service Overcoming Faith Center: Minister; Media Department (Social Media Manager; Live-streaming (set up, operation, edits and break down), One of Corporate Prayer Intercessors; Assistant Editor for Discipleship Program Materials; Serves in Worship Ministry Team.
Campaign Phone (808) 745-7427
Aloha, the family and the next generation are two of the main reasons why I am running. In fact, "Where Family and Policy meet is my vision." As a Nationally Certified Career Development Facilitator for a non-profit for seven years, an ordained minister for six years, and a lifelong disciple at my home church, I have served the community for 15 years. As a future legislator, I will not compromise my faith in God and put the people, the families, parents and children whom I serve above private interest and profit and remain accountable to the people and community of Hilo and Hawaii. I will honor and defend the constitution through the policies that I will advocate for and vote on.
Accountability: Advocate and legislate for prosecution for and stricter laws against state legislators who take private monies for individual benefit and impose unlawful policies against the constitutional rights and freedoms of our families in Hilo and Hawai'i Transparency: Submit and Be accountable to the people of Hilo; hold regular community townhalls and assemblies in the summer and fall months to implement the people's input into policy making. Revise policies per the will of the people. All policy meetings held publicly and communicated in advance so that the community has time to respond. Advocate for constitutional lawyers to evaluate all policies and adjust per the people.
I will need to research this topic more and get back to you.
First, ensure that appointed and elected officials in state positions are held accountable e.g. office of elections, board of education, hospital administrators, police officers and all those in positions of delegated authority are transparent to the people before continuing on in their responsibilities. Advocate for consitutional sheriffs to take on responsibilities that protect and uphold the constitution and the people's freedoms that discourage crime and repeated offenses. I would also advocate for best practices that discourage re-entry through the best education, surround them with healthy community, spiritual mentorship and accountability, coaches and therapists.
Education Bachelor of Arts in Geography - University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa - 2000; Department of Education, Substitute Teacher Certification; Ma’iola: Indigenous Health Program Curriculum Teacher Training; Labor Support Professional, DONA Certification; Certified Lactation Counselor, Healthy Children Project Center for Breastfeeding; American Red Cross Certification in CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Lifeguarding/First Aid
Military/Community Service Hawaii Democratic Party Service: 2016- 2022 Senatorial District 1, State Central Committee Representative; 2018 - 2020 Hawaii Democratic Party, District 2 Chair; 2018 State Democratic Convention, Registration Committee; 2016 - present Democratic Conventions, Hawaii County & State Delegate; 2016 - present Hawaii Democratic Party, Community Organizer and Member; Hawaii Farmers Union United, member; 2014 - 2021 Ka ʻUmeke Kaʻeo Public Charter School, Governing Board member; 2016 - 2019 Surfrider Foundation Hilo Chapter, Executive Board Member; Pohāhā I Ka Lani Volunteer; 2010 - 2012 East Hawaii Local Area Consortium on Perinatal Health, Community Member; 2007 - 2011 Hilo Boys and Girls Club, Kaiao Community Garden Co-Founder; 2004 - 2005 Hālau Wānana Hawaiian Center of Higher Learning, Assistant Writer; 2003 Ke Kula ʻO Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻi, kākoʻo me ka māla a me pūlama kai; 2001 - 2004 Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana, Restoration Steward; 2003 Hilo’s Women’s Prison, Assistant Wellness Program Educator; 2002 - 2003 Department of Land and Natural Resources, Restoration Volunteer Coordinator; 2002 The Nature Conservancy, Service Learning Volunteer; 2002 First Universalist Church, Teen Mentor and Program Facilitator; 2000-2002; U.S. Army Garrison Natural Resources, Native Species Monitor and Surveyor
Campaign Address PO Box 10985
Hilo, HI 96720
Campaign Phone (808)464-4149
Campaign Twitter Handle @n/a
As District 1 Senator for the past two years, I look forward to further serving Greater Hilo with the integrity and truth-telling that have become my hallmarks. I possess the personal stamina required to read and comprehend hundreds of bills and be attentive throughout hearings during decision-making. My professionalism, approachability and willingness to learn have earned the respect of my colleagues. I am running because I know government functions are vastly improved when stake and right holders are meaningfully engaged in the process, and because I see how the status quo leadership prevents this. I enjoy this work and feel I am making a profound contribution to the community I love.
I would unite behind a grassroots movement determined to 1) ban active-status attorneys from serving as committee chairs due to issues of attorney-client privilege, 2) direct the Ethics Commission to investigate past declarations of no-conflict made by chairs and leadership, 3) ban the solicitation/acceptance of campaign funds during session, 4) require the legislature to comply with the Sunshine Law (like all other agencies), 5) require publicly-recorded votes on decisions to hear, kill, or pass a bill, and 6) implement term limits for legislators. I also support publicly financed elections and will work to pass campaign spending and ethics laws that end dark money campaign contributions.
I will pick up where I left off, working with climate action groups to 1)pass bills that divert organics from the landfill and increase our capacity to fix carbon in soils, 2) amend the state constitution to guarantee the right to a healthy environment and stable climate, and 3) reduce wastefulness. Few legislators understand the nexus between climate and waste; I have provided leadership on this issue by sponsoring a statewide Zero Waste summit and promoting an extended producer responsibility program to create model reuse projects. I will work with others to plan for a managed retreat from shorelines and restore these precious environments. I am honored to have the Sierra Club endorsement.
Bonding practices unfairly impact those already disenfranchised by social inequalities, while mandatory sentencing minimums prohibit judges from prescribing alternatives like restorative justice programs proven to reduce costs and benefit both victims and offenders. I will continue to introduce legislation aimed at reducing overcrowding and producing better outcomes, like the bill to fund re-entry circles and residential rehab programs for mothers and their children that I introduced and the legislature passed this session. The Waste-to-Wealth initiative my office promotes is specifically designed to prevent recidivism by creating opportunities for those exiting the criminal justice system.
Education Hilo High School - 1958; Certificate, Dale Carnegie; Certificate, Management & Supervision, Hawaii Employers Counci; Certificate, University of Idaho, Legislative Energy Horizon Institute e, University of Idaho, Legislative Energy H
Military/Community Service Member-Hawaii Farm Bureau; member- Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce; member Japanese Chamber of Commerce Hilo (under my business-Aloha Blooms, Inc); member- Paniolo Paniolo Preservations Society, member-Waimea Outdoor Circle ; Lifetime member- The Girl Scouts of Americaea Outdoor Circle
Campaign Phone 8084304230
Campaign Email ljrinouye@gmail.com
Campaign Twitter Handle @@HawaiiLorraine
For the last eight years, I have worked to deliver improvements and projects for Hawai'i Island as Senator for District 4. Now, I'd like to continue that service, but as your Senator for District 1. Although State reapportionment has placed me in a new district, I am familiar with District 1 and the needs of its residents. Prior to the 2012 reapportionment, I represented District 1 in the Senate for 10 years. I am excited and honored to serving you once again.
I take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all dealings and relationships we operate. Laws and policies must be introduced and I will work to introduce and or support legislation to counter bribery and corruption.
As chair of the Water and Land Committee this past session,I helped pass HB1436, RELATING TO DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS. This bill expands the authority of the Counties to transfer development rights to address areas at risk of sea level rise, coastal erosion, storm surge, or flooding associated with climate change. This falls in my purview as chair and my priorities include climate change policies going forward if re-elected.
An effective criminal justice system is one that properly balances the rights of the accused and the rights of the victims. I support legislation that expedites the prosecution of cases while not compromising the rights of any party. Pre-trial detention issues should be based on the severity of the crime, and the dangerousness of the offender. Offender re-entry and sublimation back into our community is absolutely crucial. I have always supported efforts that safely provide for this re-entry that do not compromise public safety.
Education Masters in Educatioin
Military/Community Service Coach, served Chair of Police and Fire Commission, State Aquatic and wildlife Commission,Dream Come True Board Member, East Hawaii Coalition for the Homeless,
Campaign Phone 808-959-6234
Campaign Email Wilokabe@hotmail.com
I am retired,licensed teacher with a Masters Degree, former HSTA State President , served on many Boards and Commissions , served as the Governor’s Liaison for East Hawaii and Hawaii County Managing Director . I want to continue to help people in our community and represent their voice in the State. As a retiree I find that it is our Kuleana to care for our Ohana. The culture in government needs to change and we need to elect leaders for “what they know not who they know.” All of us make choices and sacrifices in life and caring for people is the right thing to do. The actions and inactions of leadership needs to represent the peoples voice. “It’s Time!”
If elected I would support more transparency and would advocate for the community to have more access to information, more open government which includes open meetings and public communication.

I would require the legislature to follow the State Constitution Article III Section 12.

“Every meeting of a committee in either house or of a committee comprised of a member or members of both houses held for the purpose of making a decision on matters referred to the committee shall be open to the public”

I would support banning the solicitation and acceptance of campaign funds during the legislative session and support term limits like the County of Hawaii Island.
I would first like to meet and communicate with the experts on climate change to have the opportunity to discuss ideas and solutions to this problem. I would like to look at different kinds of alternative energy. I would Support Green initiatives and look at more self sustainable agriculture programs. I would have our State Government agency start to purchase only electric vehicles and Support legislation for more EV charging stations state wide.
I will need to meet with the Judiciary chair in the Senate and other Legal advisors to discuss steps and review any reform recommendations to the criminal legal system. I am concerned about criminal behaviors due to corruption and violence against women and children. I am concerned about the disproportionate impact of minority communities who are incarcerated. I do believe that job training ,education , and Mental Health Services ,given the opportunity through job training, education,Mental Health Services may help the incarcerated to be released a more successful re-entry into society.