By Angela Keen
(KHNL) - At 27 years of age Hanalei Aipoalani has already logged 15 years of public service. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiian homestead land in Nanakuli, Aipoalani worked 9 years in the private sector specializing in bio- technologies. The father of twin girls, Aipoalani supports the federal recognition of native Hawaiians. He also supports the expansion of biotechnology and other industries in an effort to diversify Hawaii's economy.
If elected, he would work with the House and Senate to increase grants that would allow more college prospects in the islands a chance to seek higher education.
"I decided to return home to Hawaii after 8 years of being in California to persue the seat only because I believe it is my calling. Hanalei Aipoalani has been exposed to politics since he was a youngster growing up in Nanakuli.
"It's a passion I've always had. It's a culmination of my experiences my twenty years of community service, my ten years of business experience, the time that I spent with Patsy Mink in her office" says Aipoalani.
When he was a teen, he was staff assistant for the late US Congresswoman Patsy Mink in Washington DC. He says he learned so much from her and now he wants to give back.
"So I've always been a person of giving and sharing and helping because that is the way I was taught. That's the way I was brought up. So me, I am Hanalei the person who wants to give back. I am always about helping people.
As a native Hawaiian, he supports the Akaka Bill. I am a proponent and I support the efforts of the Akaka Bill and the reason why is because native Hawaiians need to be recognized for the purpose of being able to protect all of it's alii trust."
And as a parent of twin toddlers "KD" and "KC", he says the No Child Left Behind Act needs more work and more time.
"So until such time that the No Child Left Behind Act is fully funded, each of the mandates, I do believe that we need to push forward with amending different areas like the teacher certification. Allow the states to have more of a role in defining what the criteria should be, not the federal government."