Kawakami To Run For Mayor

Bringing unity to government, community

LIHUE, HAWAII, Oct. 5, 2017 – Councilmember Derek S.K. Kawakami announced that he will run for County of Kauai Mayor in the 2018 election to a crowd of supporters today on Rice Street.

“I am humbled and blessed to have served the residents of Kaua`i and Ni`ihau for many years as a KIUC Director, District 14 Representative in the State Legislature, and Councilmember for several terms,” said Kawakami. “Through these roles, I have worked diligently to benefit our island, such as being the Chair of the KIUC Strategic Planning Committee in 2006 that set the goal to generate 50% of our electricity with renewable energy by 2020 and securing more than $141 million in Capital Improvement Funding for Kauai with our legislative team in 2016. I am running for Mayor because I want to make an even greater difference in the lives of our families, from keiki to kupuna.”

Affordable housing, traffic, and creating more resources for all including new and growing businesses are priorities in which Kawakami will focus on should he be elected as Mayor.

“We need to take action on these issues now to alleviate hardships that our residents face daily,” he said.

“For me, it’s simple; I’m a dad and I want my children and all of our keiki to have the opportunity to live, work and thrive right here on Kauai when they become adults,” he continued. “To do so, we need to work together to improve the present and set the foundation for the next generation.”

In addition to his government roles, Kawakami has worked in various capacities for his family’s businesses, which have included Big Save, Menehune Food Mart, Happy Kauaian, Kauai Kookie, Kauai Kitchen, Kukui Nut Tree Inn, Subway Restaurants, and Kapaa and Kilauea Shell Gas Stations.

Kawakami adds, “My experiences in the public and private sectors have equipped me for the administrative role of Mayor. From financial management to human resource matters, investments, contingency planning, public safety issues, and more, I am eager to delve into the daily operations of our County.”

Kawakami describes himself as a collaborator and leader who is able to bring people, groups, and businesses of all backgrounds and interests, as well as governments agencies of all levels to the table, to “talk story,” and produce innovative solutions for the island.

“My hope is to bring unity into our government and community so that we are able to take action faster and with more harmony,” he noted.

A graduate of Kauai High School and Chaminade University, Kawakami is a 3rd-generation Kauai resident of Japanese and Native Hawaiian descent whose leadership style prioritizes honoring the island’s past as he moves toward the future.

“Our ancestors, in ancient Hawaii to those of the plantation days, taught us wonderful lessons about managing our natural resources; working hard; and peacefully melding a community of different cultures,” stated Kawakami. “Our responsibility is to build on their best practices and elevate ourselves using smart, creative strategies.”

Kawakami supports preserving our environment and culture, creating more jobs, increasing opportunities in education, as well as stimulating a diverse economy that maintains the island’s strength in tourism and renewable energy and makes greater strides in health and wellness, high technology, agriculture, and culture and the arts.

“When you see me out and about, please feel free to come talk with me about your dreams and concerns are for our island,” he said. “Working together is the key to our success, and I want to hear from you.”

Kawakami resides in Lihue with his wife Monica, a teacher at Kapaa Middle School and their children. For more information, visit www.DerekKawakami.com.

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