State Chairperson Candidate
Kevan Jun Wah Kamakana Wong
I hope you are doing well and staying safe during these difficult times. My name is Kevan Jun Wah Kamakana Wong, and I am humbly asking for your vote for State Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.
As a lifelong Democrat, it is my pleasure to serve as the Region 1 Chair and as the State Central Committee Representative for Senate District 9 (Kapahulu to Makapuu). As we move forward, I would like to continue my service as the State Chair.
"Mr. Wong’s quiet, humble nature belies his strong commitment to his community and to Hawaii... his expansive community service experience is an indicator of his kindness and concern for others."
Hawaii Health Systems Corporation
I was born and raised in the Kaimuki/Kapahulu/Diamond Head area of Honolulu. However, perhaps due to the hard times suffered when my father suddenly died, it was not until I completed my undergraduate degree in business and returned home that I realized just how very special this community and state really is.
There are many things here that we take for granted. The closeness of family and friends, our ohana, go far beyond that of any other place in the world. Our sense of community and everyone working together for the betterment of the entire state is invaluable.
"Kevan is an intelligent, hardworking, responsible, compassionate person. From an early age he championed the cause of others. He is a problem-solver, both on his own and working with others."
Unfortunately, it seems that the Democratic Party of Hawaii has been veering away from this tradition over the past few years and this has only been amplified by the recent pandemic. Difficulties in accessing party resources and in voicing our opinions have been increasing.
The voices of our people have been muffled over the past few years by divisions within the Party and various special interest groups, resulting in only a select few being able to really have their voices heard.
The Oahu County Democrats took an important step forward this year. We held a number of Region meetings where members of the community were able to voice their opinions, and engage in frank discussions with the elected officials for the respective Regions. As a result, a special Majority package was introduced this year at the Legislature, focusing on the main concerns voiced by the Oahu County Democrats. This package included bills to help address the community's concerns regarding education, the minimum wage, housing, and healthcare.
After returning from school on the Mainland, I immersed myself in the legislative process, the law, and the community. I spent my time, working in the House of Representatives from 2012 until the end of the 2019 Legislative Session, learning as much as I could from the Chairs and Vice Chairs of the House Committees on Higher Education, Finance, and the Judiciary, while completing my Juris Doctorate at the William S. Richardson School of Law.
After passing the Hawaii Bar Exam, I accepted an offer to work at the Office of the Managing Director for the City and County of Honolulu, working for the Mayor as his legislative liaison, coordinating the legislative testimony of each of the City departments and agencies, and assisting them in contacting elected officials to provide input regarding proposed legislation.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Mr. Wong’s hard work ethic and integrity will be great assets ... he will bring a fresh perspective in developing sound and thoughtful policy decisions."
I believe that I can use the skills that I have gained over the years to help expand the effort started by the Oahu County Democrats, greatly improving the lines of communication between our elected officials, the Party, and our residents. As we face the challenges which lie ahead, we will all need to pull together to rebuild our Hawaii.
"The varied policy roles Kevan has served in give him a unique perspective when approaching issues or finding balanced solutions that speak to addressing the complexity of interests in the work we do. I have always admired his tenacity and the steadfast diligence he takes to any task, which will be applied to this new endeavor. He doesn’t do this for accolades or recognition of successes, but because a job worth doing is worth doing well."
One of my main concerns for the state is healthcare. As one of the many people in this state who helps to care for their kupuna, I understand the need to ensure that concerns for long term healthcare are addressed. As a result of my experience and work at the legislature regarding policy and various health care access issues, I was named as the Gubernatorial Nominee to be the Oahu Representative on the Hawaii Health Systems Board. Now that I have been confirmed, I have been given the honor and privilege of helping to ensure that affordable long term healthcare is available to the people who need it most.
A couple of the responsibilities of the State Chair is to raise funds and to spend funds received wisely. I have already received a commitment from a former Chief Financial Officer of large health care systems to serve as our DPH Finance Committee Chair, if I am elected. I also think that a redeployment of resources may be considered given the new realities we find ourselves in due to the pandemic.
I am committed to bringing all the experience and dedication I have, to work for you as State Chair. I have progressed in my career by administering fairly, being a voice of reason, helping to negotiate and take steps toward policy that can benefit everyone. My hope is to level the playing field, to ensure that all are included, welcome and treated fairly, and to support our Democratic candidates to ensure successful outcomes. The only, very special, interest I am beholden to is the people of Hawaii.
Kevan Jun Wah Kamakana Wong