06/09/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2023 03:15
"Some of the most important issues can and should be tackled by those closest to home, and I've dedicated myself to helping my neighbors ever since. Serving the Legislature is one of the most direct and impactful ways I can serve my neighbors."
I've wanted to work in public service and government since I was 10 years old. After watching a news story about puppy mills, I was determined to put an end to the practice. I wrote a letter to then-President Bill Clinton asking him to protect our puppies, and after many months, I received a letter from the White House that effectively said, "We appreciate your passion and engagement, but this is really a local issue." I learned then that some of the most important issues can and should be tackled by those closest to home, and I've dedicated myself to helping my neighbors ever since. Serving the Legislature is one of the most direct and impactful ways I can serve my neighbors.
I'm a good listener. Nothing brings me more joy than to have genuine human connection when someone allows me the opportunity to hear their story and perspective.
I try to remain open to inspiration, which allows it to come in any form, from nature to art to random acts of kindness. Generally speaking, I am inspired by the stories and hearts of other people. The more impactful inspirations in my life are my late mother Lori's unconditional love, patience and ability to treat strangers like family, and my husband Stacy's infinite well of creativity and ability to see from a truly unique perspective.
I wish I had an answer more captivating than a cliché, but I don't, so here we go … What I love most about Hawai'i is aloha. In many contexts, aloha as a word and a concept has been commodified and lost its essence. While the true meaning of aloha is complex and difficult to properly translate into English, state law has, in part, defined the aloha spirit as, "The coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force." If you know aloha, then you know that there is nothing more powerful than aloha.
I am currently reading "The Mothers," by Brit Bennett. I am currently listening to "Ivory," by Omar Apollo. I am currently watching "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars."
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Use the email icon above to suggest a staffer for the "Staff Snapshots" series.