Aloha! I’ve been a hotel worker and UNITE HERE Local 5 member for 24 years. I’m NOT a politician and I never dreamed of running for office, but I did it!
When I was first asked to run for a seat on the Honolulu City Council, my first thought was, “That’s crazy!” I’m not a politician! I don’t look or talk like them. I get my hair done at Supercuts and drive an old Ford. I’m not “connected,” I don’t have a fancy degree, and I definitely don’t have money.
But I thought about it. Why not me? I’m definitely more of a LEADER than they are.
While our politicians bend over backwards for developers who come to “invest” in our islands, I’ve been organizing and fighting for good jobs at my hotel, the Ilikai, and in the community. Honolulu has become a town run by corporations and developers who have no aloha for the local community.
So I ran. We got nearly 20% of the voters in my district. Not enough to win outright, but enough to demonstrate that a worker like me can run a viable campaign and force the politicians and the media to take notice.
We knocked on over 30,000 doors, and 5,000 voters joined us in less than 40 days! We’re on to something big. We are beginning to build a real worker movement. Hawai’i Can!