The Green Party of Hawai'i (GPH) held its state convention Saturday, May 28, in Hawaiian Paradise Park on Hawai'i Island. Former two-term Hawai'i County Council member Julie Jacobson was chosen co-chair, along with Mark Van Doren. Also chosen as an officer of the GPH was three-term former Hawai'i County Council member Bob Jacobson.
The GPH also endorsed two candidates for the Hawai'i State House of Representatives. Kealoha Pisciotta will seek the District 3 legislative seat on the island of Hawai'i and Nick Nikhilananda, who seeks Maui County's District 13 seat.
Pisciotta came away from the convention greatly impressed by a kupuna defining the GPH as: “defenders of democracy, protectors of the planet, patriots for peace and activists for shared prosperity." She views the 2016 election as"an exciting opportunity for people to vote for change and raise the standard of aloha for Hawai'i and the world."
Pisciotta has long championed Native Hawaiian rights, including the right to self determination, while serving with numerous organizations and on various boards, including a stint as a commissioner on the Hawai'i Island Burial Council. She was also a past president of KAHEA, the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance. However she is perhaps best known as one of the primary litigants on issues related to the construction of the TMT that were recently brought before the Hawai'i Supreme Court and which resulted in a 5-0 decision in the litigants' favor.
Nick Nikhilananda, long time Maui County community activist, was also endorsed for his run for the Hawai'i State House, which includes the North Shore and East Maui, Molokai and Lanai. He holds both a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois and a Master's degree in Public Law/Urban Affairs from The American University in Washington, D.C.
"The 13th District, a mostly rural region of Maui County, deserves to have a highly educated, passionate and involved representative in the Hawai'i legislature." He further said: "Accountability, Sustainability and Transparency will be my guiding principles as I undertake the quest to represent the people and residents of three of the most remote communities, on three different islands, of the State of Hawai'i: the North shore and East Maui, Molokai and Lanai. I am active, educated and informed and we should not expect less in a representative.
Nikhilananda served on the Mayor's Task Force on Higher Education and the Maui County Board of Variances and Appeals for five years. He was on the board of directors of Akaku: Maui Community Television and is a past president of the Ha'iku Community Association. For over nine years, he was the producer and host of "Maui Talks-TV", an award-winning, live public affairs call-in talk show on Akaku. For many years, he was an educator with the DOE and the Maui campus of Hawai'i Job Corps. He is also a trained family and conflict resolution mediator, and is a past Co-Chair of both the Maui County Green Party and the Green Party of Hawai'i.
"There is an endless array of issues impacting the 13th District, especially the taking of water from the streams of East Maui, the need for rural medical facilities and to provide sufficient affordable housing” Nikhilananda said. He went on to state there are other important issues, including the expansion of educational and employment opportunities, and not only maintaining but improving all of the other government services expected, required and demanded by the resident.” We must preserve, promote and protect what we have and support a sustainable environment for our future generations.”