My birthday, a shameless ask, and 8 totally awesome Hawaiʻi candidates

Today is my 68th birthday and I’m shamelessly and unabashedly asking you to help me celebrate by supporting the Pono Hawaiʻi Initiative (PHI) with an online contribution.

Yes, lunch, coffee, or another suitable libation would be fun too and perhaps in the not too distant future, when the craziness of this moment passes – we can carve out some quality time for that as well 😉

As you likely already know, I’m the Executive Director of PHI. Because we are aggressively involved in both legislative advocacy and electoral politics – contributions are not tax-deductible but they make a deep impact on the local political landscape. Whether $6.80, $68 or $680 (or anything really) any help you can offer today with an online contribution will be put to good use.

There. I did it. Made the hard ask for help, and now I can move on.

At 68, I am not quite older than dirt and prefer to think I’m just entering my prime. My health is good, I love my work, and I’m surrounded and supported by family and friends.

I’m fired up and ready to go! Gotta lose a few pounds and exercise more (or at least some), but overall, I’m good, getting better, and headed for awesome.

My primary goal, for the coming year is to help create systemic change at all levels of government – State, County, and yes, Federal.

The upcoming August 13th primary election creates just such an opportunity.

Kim Coco Iwamoto’s election to the State House of Representatives would by itself, shake the very foundations of the big square building on Beretania Street.

Electing new candidates Corey Rosenlee, Shannon Matson, Elle Cochran, Vickie Kam, and Gary Gill to join with Kim Coco Iwamoto and the strong progressive incumbents already serving in the House would result in an unequivocal people and the planet first policy agenda.

Re-electing Big Island Senator Laura Acasio and another strong progressive for the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Brian Taniguchi – would ensure that the voices of working families and environmental protection are well represented in the Senate.

Ikaika Hussey’s election to the Honolulu City Council would tilt the dynamics of that body decidedly in favor of progressive, forward-thinking, community-based policymaking.

Electing Carol Lee Kamekona to the Maui County Council would seal the deal on their already awesome progressive majority.

On Kauai, there are at least 2 yet to be named mana wahine who are considering throwing their hats in the ring, and should they ultimately decide to run – would be game-changers.

The Hawaiʻi County Council also has great potential to move further toward a more progressive majority.

With continued growing grassroots support, Sergio Alcubilla can beat Ed Case. Because of the very slim majority Democrats hold now in Congress, Sergio’s election would alter the very basic internal dynamics of the U.S. House. Sergio is the real deal and we all must step up and volunteer to help him. Read my short blog piece – Why Choose Sergio Alcubilla Over Ed Case.

I list above by name only those candidates who I know personally are strong in their core values, and who are unafraid of speaking truth to power. Each on their own is a force to be reckoned with, and each has the strength of character sufficient to withstand the urge to “go along to get along”.

Please help if you can. We can win big on August 13th, but to do so, we must give it everything we’ve got.

Gary Hooser
Pono Hawaiʻi Initiative (PHI)
*follow me on Twitter @garyhooser

Fundraising: Please accept my apologies if you’ve given recently or if you are not in a position to give. But, I have to ask. The cost of Mail Chimp’s email service alone is $900 per month. My hope today is to raise the funds needed for our basic first quarter budget (about $10,000), PLUS an additional $10,000 for a targeted campaign (social media and direct mail) encouraging specific legislators to support living wage, food self-sufficiency, and environmental protection legislation. I know the goal is ambitious, but I gotta ask.

PHI Endorsements: PHI will soon be formally reviewing and endorsing candidates in all races. The above-listed candidates represent a snapshot of some of my personal favorite “new candidates” however they have not been formally endorsed, and it’s not all-inclusive. ALL CANDIDATES INTERESTED IN BEING ENDORSED should send an email by March 1st to describing in 600 words or less your qualifications and values, and discussing briefly why you are running for election.

** Please consider “opting-in” to my email list – Hawaii Policy & Politics at – It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s secure. And I promise not to deluge you with meaningless pap. I will however send you occasional messages on political and policy stuff. Trust me, I will only send you items that will add value to your understanding of policy and politics and/or will make you smile and think a bit.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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4 Responses to My birthday, a shameless ask, and 8 totally awesome Hawaiʻi candidates


    Thanks for the extraordinary work your doing.. Happy Birthday! I wish I could send more bucks…☺️


  2. Elle Cochran says:

    Happy Birthday young fellow !!!
    Mahalo for all you do!!!
    Wē need more people like you!!!

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