Schools are a part of every community. Good schools produce better citizens and that is exactly what we want. Public education is a right and the amount or quality of that education shouldn't change based on zip code. I spent the first 5-1/2 years of my teaching career at James Campbell High School and I am now at Nānākuli High and Intermediate. I am committed to providing opportunities for all of our kids to earn the credentials to fill high demand and good paying local jobs so no one has to leave the state. These opportunities start from pre-k to high school and beyond. We want our kids to go to college or train to become skilled laborers.
I moved to ʻEwa in 2006, when I bought the home of my college classmate and friend who was in the Navy. He was leaving to go to his next duty station. Like many kids growing up in Hawai'i, my husband and I never considered becoming homeowners. Property just seemed to be too expensive. At 29, I was lucky to buy a house, not at the lowest point, but not the highest either, due to the VA Home Loan. Without that we would still be renters in town paying exorbitant prices for places that are 650 square feet. I am lucky that my husband decided to join the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard at 17 straight out of Pearl City High School because without that we could have been renting or living with family like so many others. I am committed to helping people stay in Hawaiʻi and not have to leave due to housing issues. What that looks like in each community may be different, but we need to start somewhere and continue to make progress before we keep losing more residents to the mainland.
Building a stronger and more fair economy would give opportunities for individuals and businesses to thrive, but not at the expense of the environment. We need to look at reducing taxes for working people and families to make our island more affordable. Additionally, worker rights need to be strengthened and should not be considered adverse to businesses. Government must increase accountability and transparency to ensure we spend tax dollars wisely.