This election year we have great manawahine (strong women) stepping up to take leadership roles in the State of Hawai’i legislature. Tina Wildberger is one of them, running for State House, District 11 (South Maui – Kihei, Wailea, Makena). This seat is currently held by the young, Hawaiian, progressive democrat candidate Kaniela Ing, who is stepping down to run for Congress and handing the progressive torch to Tina.
With all the flyers and signs up around Maui this political season, when I see Tina Wildberger’s it gives me hope. Tina is a great candidate who has been a strong environmental advocate and Mauimama ally, working on a variety of successful clean air and clean water initiatives while on the board of Maui Tomorrow Foundation and volunteering with Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. She is known for being smart, hard working and for those that know her a quick sense of humor.
Tina has lived in Kihei for over 20 years and is the successful small business owner of Kihei Ice, which she runs with her husband. They are proud to pay their staff a $15.00 minimum wage, while also strongly advocating for paid family leave.
Tina Wildberger the candidate is an integral part of the progressive blue wave that is hurtling towards Maui, ushering in the change we desperately need to help all that call Maui home. Her message: The era of puritanical plantation patriarchy is over. It’s time to do our government business a new way!
In 2016, Tina applied for HAPA’s Kuleana Academy, an innovative program that supports progressive community leaders by showing them the path to candidacy. She did not run in 2016, but used her talents and drive to manage Kelly King’s campaign to unseat the sitting South Maui pro-development Councilmember incumbent. When it became evident that same person was going to run unopposed for State House, this year, Tina decided to Stand Up for South Maui and run for the position herself.
The old way of doing politics as usual on Maui has hit a wall. It does not work for the many, only the few. If we re-elect the old guard our problems are likely to stay the same or even get worse. We are very lucky to have someone of Tina’s caliber who wants to use her skills to stand up for her community and work hard to make the changes we need for us to all to thrive, including our natural resources.
July 30th is the first day of walk-in voting at the Wailuku Community Center (Velma McWayne Santos Community Center) located at 395 Waena Street, 8am-4pm. Just bring ID. And don’t worry if you haven’t registered yet, you can register to vote and vote the same day thanks to a bill introduced by the current State House District 11 representative. The last day of walk-in voting is the 9th. The day of the Primary elections is August 11, where you need to vote at your precinct of residence.
Only South Maui residents can vote for Tina Wildberger, just like only Upcountry residents can vote for another manawahine Tiare Lawrence, but you can all vote for the 4 County Council seats that have a primary race (races with 3 or more candidates running, with the top 2 proceeding to the General).
The Primary results for Tina’s seat is of utmost importance as the primary State House and Senate races represent, on many levels, the final decision in the General Election, as Hawaii is predominantly a Blue State. If Tina Wildberger wins this election we will have a smart, hardworking, creative and conscious leader that will work diligently to improve our lives, while respecting this place we call home.
To find out more about Tina Wildberger’s platform go to www.tinawildberger.com