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My name is Zuri Aki and I humbly ask you for your support in my service to our community: Mililani, Mililani Mauka, and Waipi’o Acres. Talking about myself is difficult – I was raised with the understanding that actions speak louder than words. I would much rather show you how I’ll work hard to vastly improve our quality of life. Our community deserves the best representation. Please allow me to share with you, who I am, my experience, and my plans for our better future together. Thank you.
I have a Juris Doctor from William S. Richardson School of Law. I have focused a significant amount of my legal experience on international law, international environmental law, human rights, and energy justice. This experience has provided me with the necessary skill set to address one of the most pressing issues of our time: Climate Change. Because of this, I have focused a significant component of my platform on the need for the State to improve our infrastructure for climate change resilience. I’m the only candidate for State House District 36 talking about this.
Public Policy Expertise
I work as a Public Policy Advocate for the State of Hawai’i with subject matter expertise in land use, housing, economic self-sufficiency, and agriculture to name a few. My job has me at the forefront of advocating for the betterment of conditions for residents of Hawai’i – I constantly interface with legislators, county council members, and other government officials with the intent to make Hawai’i a better home for us all. I am the only candidate for State House District 36 with such a wide range of public policy expertise.
I have formal training in legislative drafting and have drafted legislation for the State of Hawai’i. I have seen my measures go before the House and Senate and I have advocated, quite extensively, on their behalf. In 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the Native Hawaiian Constitutional Convention where I served as Chief Drafter of the Native Hawaiian Constitution.
Tech Sector Experience
I once worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, which is Disney’s division of creative engineers. My tech experience in digital media and video game design played a major role in me landing the job. I strongly believe Hawai’i is a prime location for a major tech hub and the state should be investing in a viable tech sector. This is the solution we need to end the brain drain and meaningfully stimulate the economy – I am the only candidate for State House District 36 with the experience and knowledge to see this happen.
I am the third generation in my family to call Mililani home, but my ancestors have resided in this area since time immemorial. My grandfather, David Ka’apana, was a laborer that actually laid the infrastructure for Mililani and Waipi’o Acres. My grandmother, Reiko Ishiwata, established the first Japanese School in Mililani. My dad and uncles built many of the early homes in our district. I am the only candidate for State House District 36 who can say this and no other candidate’s roots run this deep.
Home Field Advantage
I have been in this community since birth and I’m the only candidate for State House District 36 who can say that. This gives me a unique perspective in seeing where this community has been, what it has achieved, and where we can go from here. This is my one and only hometown. I grew up here, went to school here, played sports here, and now I have a little family of my own that will say the same.
Strength In Diversity
I am Hawaiian, Japanese, Scottish, Irish, English, Welsh, Chinese, German, and Danish. The State of Hawai’i prides itself on its multi-cultural diversity. For me, my ethnic diversity has helped me to see things through many lenses, which ensures that I approach issues with a wide-open mind and the cultural sensitivity most-crucial for a place like Hawai’i, where many people have come to call it home. I am the only candidate for State House District 36 with such a diverse cultural background.
My greatest strength is my family – they keep me grounded and constantly push me to be at my best and strive for greatness. My wife works as a program director for one of the highest performing public schools (which is also a charter school) in the State. She also serves as a member, like myself, of the Mililani-Waipio-Melemanu Neighborhood Board. And we have two very cool children; the sweetest four-year old daughter named Po and a radical 14-month old boy we nicknamed “Buzzy.”