ASSOCIATION OF HAWAIIAN CIVIC CLUBS
NO. 2020 – 25
RECOGNIZING AND CONGRATULATING THE HONORABLE KAIALIʻI (KAI) KAHELE, THE NEWLY ELECTED U.S. REPRESENTATIVE AS THE SEVENTH NATIVE HAWAIIAN TO BE ELECTED TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
WHEREAS, Senator Kaialiʻi (Kai) Kahele is a Native Hawaiian who descends from a family raised in the fishing village of Miloliʻi, where Hawaiian values are the core of their worldviews and a deep connection to the land and the ocean are evident in the maintenance of their village traditions; and
WHEREAS, continuous service to the Miloliʻi community and regular family visits, strengthen his connection and grounding to Hawaiian worldviews; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele graduated from Hilo High School in 1992 and from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele serves as a commissioned officer in the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 201st Air Mobility Operations Squadron, is a decorated combat veteran who served multiple tours of deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq, is a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (for Afghanistan combat missions flown), the Commendation Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Hawaiʻi State Active Duty Medal, the Combat Readiness Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal, and has also been honored as the Hawaiʻi Air National Guard Officer of the Year and the Pacific Air Forces Guard Officer of the Year; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele and his wife Maria have chosen Hawaiian medium education as the educational foundation for their keiki; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele exhibits his aloha for our Hawaiian language and culture by maintaining a household where ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian language education, and Hawaiian cultural values are prioritized; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele is a member in good standing of the ʻAhahui Siwila ʻo Ke Aloha ʻĀina; and
WHEREAS, since becoming a member of the ʻAhahui Siwila ʻo Ke Aloha ʻĀina, Senator Kai Kahele has been a valued contributor and active participant of the Hawaiian Civic Club movement at club, island council, and association levels; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele was appointed to the 1st Senatorial District of the Hawaiʻi Senate on February 16, 2016, following the passing of his father, the late Senator Gil Kahele, to fill the remainder of his father’s term; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele won the August 2016 Democratic Primary, the general election in November 2016, and continued to hold the support of his constituency as evidenced by his winning of the 2018 general election by a wide margin; and
WHEREAS, in the state Senate, Senator Kai Kahele served as the Majority Floor Leader, Chairman of the Senate committee on Water and Land and the Higher Education committee, and as a member of the Hawaiian Affairs committee and the Ways and Means committee, and was elected as the class President of the Council of State Governments West during the 19th Annual Western Academy; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele decided to elevate his service to the Native Hawaiian community and the larger community of Hawaiʻi by seeking to serve in the United States Congress; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele highlighted Native Hawaiian and Indigenous rights, Education, Medicare for All, pandemic recovery, climate change, and criminal justice reform as key issues in his campaign; and
WHEREAS, on November 3, 2020, Senator Kai Kahele won the seat of U.S. Representative to Congress in the General Election by securing a commanding 64% of the votes; and
WHEREAS, Senator Kai Kahele is only the second Native Hawaiian to hold [this] seat in Congress since Hawaiʻi became a state in 1959; and
WHEREAS, Kaialiʻi Kahele is the seventh Native Hawaiian to be elected to the United States Congress that follows Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox, Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole, Victor Stewart Kaleoaloha Houston, William Paul Jarrett, Samuel Wilder King, and Daniel Kahikina Akaka; and
WHEREAS, between the primary and general elections, Senator Kai Kahele chose to concentrate his efforts on COVID-19 response through his kuleana with the Hawaiʻi National Guard, thus exemplifying true servant leadership.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs at its 61st Annual Convention held online, in the malama of Makali‘i and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu, this 22nd day of November 2020, recognizing and congratulating the honorable Senator Kaialiʻi (Kai) Kahele, the newly elected U.S. Representative, as the seventh Native Hawaiian to be elected to the United States Congress; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this resolution be transmitted to ʻAhahui Siwila ʻo Ke Aloha ʻĀina, Senator Kai Kahele, as well as the Governor of the State of Hawai‘i, President of the State Senate, Speaker of the State House of Representatives, Chair of the State Senate subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the State House subject matter committee on Hawaiian Affairs, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and all County Mayors.
The undersigned herby certifies that the foregoing Resolution was duly adopted in the malama of Makaliʻi and the rising of ʻOlekūkolu on the 22nd day of November 2020, at the 61st Annual Convention of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs held online.
Hailama V.K.K. Farden, President