Let’s invest in Hawaii’s Future.

IMGP4847.JPGAs a former public school teacher, I know that education happens both in the classroom and in the home.  Our local families sacrifice to allow their children to succeed in school and we owe it to them to make sure our keiki succeed.  It is crucial that we work hard to support educators in the classroom by creating smaller class sizes, strengthening teacher training programs, giving teachers incentives to remain in the classroom, and preparing students with early childhood education programs.  We need to educate beyond standardized tests, giving students skills they need to succeed in the working world.  In addition to a traditional curriculum, school should be able to offer students practical, hands-on training for future industry jobs by partnering with those industries and unions.  We must also support extracurricular activities that allow children to find and explore their passions - that give them a reason to run to school instead of running home.

clean_pond.jpgStrengthening agriculture is an important step to diversifying our economy. We need to grow our agricultural industry to promote food independence and instill in students a love for the land as a cherished resource. While we will never grow more wheat than Kansas, we can focus on crops and animals that Hawaii has a competitive advantage in growing due to our isolation, like SPF shrimp and certain kinds of seed crops.  These industries will also help us achieve food security for times of crisis.

Our local families are often willing to take in young families and kupuna who cannot afford to live on their own, which can put strain on even the strongest family ties.  My own family lived with my grandparents until I was three.  We need more affordable housing units in Honolulu's urban core for working families, which will drive down housing prices across the island so that everyone can have a place to call their own. 

IMG_7332_(sharpened).jpg Many of our seniors can continue to live independently with assistance from family, avoiding years at costly care homes.  We need better training for those supporting seniors through this challenging time, and affordable home services and subsidies to help families already sacrificing to care for their loved ones.  Allowing seniors to remain independent affords them more freedom and is the most cost-effective solution for supporting our aging population.