Candidate Name: Leina’ala Ahu Isa
Office sought: USHouse District 1
Current: Trustee at large, OHA
I would like to summarize the 3 questions instead of dividing answers up individually.
A product of the ‘60s, I’m as progressive as you can get: Bernie vs. Hillary.
My theme song when I first ran over 20 years ago: “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”
Grew up poor in Kalihi, product of public school, raised 2 children without child support, yet finished Bacheors, masters and doctorate while working at UH… and selling real estate to survive.
Defininte champion of unions as they helped women/minorities for equal pay in the workplace.
What qualifies me?
As a State Representative (Rep. Takai was my colleague), introduced Medical Marijuana Bill(helped my Dad who grew his own at the time), advocate of Hemp(w/Rep Thielen), and strong advocate of public education: Mmeber of the State Board of Eductiaon for 8 years where I “walked the trenches” of the DOE schools, listening/talking w parents, teachers, students, attending over 20+ graduations on every island. As a Native Hawaiian, as an OHA Trustee, I experience first hand the plights that my grand parents suffered..and they still exist today, if not worse!
#LoveHawaii #AlohaAina #ProtectOurIslands# KeepOurCulturalIdentity
At this rate of “politics of personal profit”, what will be left of Hawaii for our grandchildren, great grandchildren? They can no longer afford to live here… It’s for them that I threw my hat into this ring.
I run by request of my beneficiaries(Hawaiians)… parents, grandparents, homesteaders. Being 72 years old with a great job/jobs, why would I do this? A member of the League of Women Voters emailed me to ‘congratulate you on having the courage/fortitude to place your name on the ballot’. I do this humbly as I have done with all my races…to be a ‘servant leader’. It really is a privilege and honor to be elected by your constituents to represent them. I am always humbled by the votes I receive on election night.
Federal level is where it’s at:
Working with Senator Schatz on Papahanaumokuakea ..#1)Preserving Hawaii’s environment, keeping our cultural identity for future generations of Hawaii’ children are of utmost importance.
Other priorities/issues:#2) Returning to the FDR-style of progressive, regulated capitalism that propelled the middle class to great quality of life. The decline in the fortunes of Hawaii’s families stands in stark contrast to the quarter century after WW II, a period when the federal govt balanced interests of working Americans and corporate America (I was born in 1944), and the labor movement was larger and stronger than it is today. As our workforce became more productive and more efficient, living standards rose evenly across the board. Sure, today’s low unemployment rate would logically think wages would be good! However, the gap between productivity and pay has been especially pronounced in recent years; although productivity has grown at a historically rapid pace with technology, the wages and compensation of our typical worker has not improved. ..And it’s getting worse!
We do not want to continue with the nation/sovereignty at this time as expressed in a OHA survey conducted by a Research company..Priority for OHA should be helping/assisting our people in need! If we do NOT help our people, there will be NO ONE left to enter into our Kingdom!
Also#3) Opposing government corruption by a) first supporting campaign finance reform (I’m not having fundraisers, nor accepting any donations, but instead giving whatever campaign dollars to charter schools)…and b)supporting a ‘living wage’ not just at minimum wage….the U.S. economy has grown at an annual average rate of slightly over 3% a year, but the benefits of this growth have gone overwhelmingly to the richest 10% and, among these, to the upper 1%! Inequality has risen to heights not seen since the Great Depression. An America that once grew “together” is now growing “apart”.
#4)Supporting military as critical economic component for Hawaii. .. Thankful we received a grant to enable us to identify prime contractors, suppliers to our military here in Hawaii as well as a Community-impact assessment from the federal govt.
As to the debate on RAIL as to how much of the project should be built, the FTA at this point in time, say that it won’t determine how much of the $1.5 billion in federal funding it will disburse to the HART until it evaluates a recovery plan to be submitted by Aug. 7, 2016, outlining how much of the 20-mile rail route it can expect to complete with its current amount of funding. Looking at previous requests from other states, it seems that the FTA told them to find their own funds to complete their projects. I would NOT/Could NOT TAX our people anymore for this RAIL to nowhere. As to alternatives, let the City decide.. ENUF already!
With the BREXIT, the U.S. dollar has strengthened, making U.S. goods/services more expensive. At this point in time, I would not suggest we press this issue. The TPP more than quadruples the number of people outside the U.S. that are covered by enforceable labor provisions. The U.S. will not bring TPP into force if these reforms are not made within the countries involved. Right now, American companies are seeing the U.S. dollar so strong as to affect their bottom line within Britain as well as the other EU countries.
I’d rather look at the ‘war on Hawaii’s people’ and how we are to survive with no affordable housing/rentals.. and to somehow stop the exit of our millennials to the 9thisland…just to experience a little better quality of life. BREXIT is the ‘cost of ignoring the economic reality’ of what was happening in their own country!
Mahalo for letting me share my views per your questions.
Dr Leina’ala Ahu Isa