The memories we created in our first go at an island political campaign in 2016 carried us through to today. It is 2018 and we are once again hitting the ground running for the Kaua`i County Council race with the goal of 15,000 votes. But first, what happened between then and now?
Shortly after the General Elections 2016, I ran as a nominee and unsuccessfully for the KIUC Board of Directors. The lessons I learned from this experience is how I need to build my credibility to show others that I am capable of leading others. I believe that when others look at leaders, they admire integrity, consistency, and wisdom. All of these qualities I intend to build over time with the support of family and friends.
Consequently, just as the campaign began to end in 2016, I entered a graduate program at the University of Hawaii Manoa. I was one of the recipients of the Saltchuck Companies - Young Brothers Scholarship and thus became a candidate in the Distance Learning Executive Masters in Business Administration-- immediately declaring my focus on the Health Care Management certificate track. Joining my esteemed colleagues, we graduated this May 16, 2018.
As fate would draw me to something I am passionate about, I started a wonderful career that I love. I get to help others every day and share with others how to love what I do. My work with BAYADA Home Care as an Associate Director allows me to practice my health care management skills first hand. I lead a team of about 8 managers and about 120 field staff. I administer policies and oversee everything from operational efficiencies, balancing millions of dollars in budget, to human resources management. This July will mark my exciting one-year anniversary!
On the peripheries, I worked hard to earn the Board of Director of the Year award from the Kaua`i Filipino Chamber of Commerce. Volunteering my time with the Aloha Committee and in my new found role as Treasurer.
With all of that said, I hear that others are concerned about me balancing my time between work, volunteer, and council. How will I balance my time when indeed I am in the Kaua`i County Council? The question is legitimate and my answer is that because I do not have children, my time is dedicated to serving the servants. I am at the peak of my young adulthood and my 30's can be spent expelling energy to better my home, my community. I know I have the time to accomplish multiple endeavors at once. The perfect example would be my successful track record with balancing my volunteerism, school, and full-time work. It is a matter of prioritizing, planning, and implementing efficiencies in my daily rituals. All of which I am already practicing daily.
In 2016, we garnished a strong following of 7,899 votes. This year our goal is 15,000 votes. Will you help us get there? A pivotal part of campaigning, as the new candidates will find out, is the fundraising aspect. I come from a grassroots movement without major endorsement from any politically charged organization. This means that my voice is coming from a clear intent to work for the people of Kaua`i and certainly not a voice with a divisive motive.
Our team knows that it takes money to run successful campaigns. This year we aimed to raise $20,000 in the primary elections, and then $20,000 for the general elections. We also intend to seek public funding for our campaign, and this requires that we raise at least $3,000 to ask for matching funds. Won't you please help us get to our goals?
A note from the team:
There are many ways to get fired up with us.
1. Register to vote - easy, click on the register to vote link on our website
2. Volunteer at our fundraisers and sign waving events
3. Sell fundraising tickets for our events
4. Host a meal with your friends and invite Juno for a talk-story
5. Invite Juno to your large events as a guest speaker
6. Sponsor an advertisement for Juno in the Newspaper, Magazines, or the Radio
7. Tell your friends and family about Juno and point them to her website for more information
8. Donate through our website
9. Invite Juno to your organization or business and introduce her to your colleagues
10. Publically endorse Juno on your social media websites
11. Hang a banner on your property and walls
12. Give us your physical address and we will put a yard sign for you on your yard
Contact Us page for more details as to how to get a hold of us!
Today Congress will vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to make massive changes to our nation’s health care laws:
· The American Health Care Act will deny millions of pregnant women and their families the affordable coverage and quality services they need.
· It will cause significant coverage losses, particularly among low-income women of childbearing age.
· Certain consumer protections in the individual market protections will be eliminated.
Call your Member of Congress to vote against this legislation. Calling your Representative is fast and easy! Every Congressional office will receive hundreds of calls today from constituents. To find your Representative and their phone number, visit http://www.house.gov/representatives/ and enter your zip code in the top right corner. Call the DC office and use the following script as your guide:
· Hello my name is _________ and I’m a constituent of the Representative’s. (You will have to give your address as well to verify that you are a constituent.)
· I’m deeply concerned about the impact of the American Health Care Act on maternal and child health.
· This bill will result in the loss of maternity coverage, or all insurance coverage, for millions of women.
· If women can’t get good prenatal care, they are more likely to have sick babies. Families, communities, and our whole nation will suffer as a result.
· Preterm birth alone already costs our nation over $26 billion each year. If more women are uninsured, those numbers are going way up.
· (If desired, share own story of self or someone you care about needing pregnancy care, having a preemie, or similar story.)
· I urge the Representative to vote No on the American Health Care Act. It goes in the wrong direction for women, infants and families.
Kaua`i representative: Tulsi Gabbard
Washington, DC Office
1433 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4906
Fax: (202) 225-4987
Hawaiʻi District Office
300 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 5-104
Honolulu, HI 96850
Phone: (808) 541-1986
Fax: (808) 538-0233
Let me tell you a personal story about how I chose to live a meaningful life.
Just last year, while I sat in my cubicle working for a commercial bank, I thought about what my life meant. I wanted to live a life that meant much more than the moments I sat alone in my cubicle. Back then, I heard about issues I cared about-- sustainability, climate change, affordable housing, road repairs, quality education, and more. However, the island world was noisy with talks about issues, yet no talk about solutions. I wondered what was the problem, why couldn't we get to a solution together? It also NOT a one issue scenario. The blue prints of our island is not just one issue. So running on an issue for my campaign was not the goal. The goal is to get everyone, hands on deck, paddling together, in the same direction. I wondered, how do we do that?
I realized that when we spoke about issues, we got stuck speaking only about the issues. There was a cycle, a washing machine of issues, and the conversations went around in circles rather than to solutions. It is a nasty habit we learned growing up, gossip. We learned how to solve problems in school, yet somehow, we still get into the same old habit of gossiping.
So I go back to the days when I sat in a cubicle trying to find solutions for families with financial issues. Going through a process with families helped me to trust "the process" more so than I ever did before. Skepticism led me to a nasty washing-machine cycle of doubts and stagnation. The process is simple -- so simple that is easy to overlook sometimes. Here are the basic rules of engagement I learned:
1) Keep the conversations fact and evidence based
2) Keep it about the issue and not about personalities
3) Look at the options at hand and seek alternatives when needed
4) Work with a team because the burden of a load is lighter with others working, too
5) Trust the process
6) Do it with love
7) Acknowledge the hard work already put in to the task
8) Meet adversity with gratitude and thanks for the learning opportunity
9) Allow different perspectives to add to the tasks
10) Do not be afraid to be wrong
11) Seek other opinions when necessary
12) Ask for feedback-- that's the kind of feedback you want (because sometimes people are too quick to give you feedback you didn't ask for)
Here is something very important to your future and your children's future: The County of Kaua`i General Plan Update: http://plankauai.com/
Please read it and make the comments you would like on the issues and the topics you care deeply about, like affordable housing, sustainability, road repairs, climate change, and more. This is when the process of discussing issues is pivotal. This is the opportunity to make a hard impact on how you shape your future. I cannot stress that enough. The opportunity to speak up is NOW. YOU are the boss of this large organization, The County of Kaua`i, if you don't speak up, how can it work for you?
I'm sure you heard the complaints, "The outsiders come in and takeaway our land, they take away our jobs, and they take away our homes. Pretty soon, they going take away my social security."
Yes, this is a very extreme way of saying that people are afraid of change. Maybe because people care so much about Kaua`i County and wants the best for everyone. They want to make sure that the decisions made are the best for Kaua`i County. I am here to share that change is NOT scary. In fact, change is the only thing that is constant and that you can trust will always happen.
Take a look at the table above. The table is the Annual Estimates of the Components of Population Change between July 1, 2014 to July 1, 2015. In simple terms, the table shows you the change in population relative to Kaua`i and Niihau residents. See that the chart also gives you data on Vital Events (deaths and births) and Net Migration.
Then let us look at the pie charts below:
Sometimes charts can be confusing, so I thought about simplifying the information.
You ever hear that saying, "All the haoles are taking over our jobs, our houses, and making our lives harder. We are over crowded here."
That may be wrong, and let's walk through this thought:
1. Notice that the date extracted from the US Census showed in the table is between July 1, 2014 and July 1, 2015 = 1 year's worth of data belonging only to the County of Kaua`i, CDP
2. Look at the birth rate versus the death rate, and what do you notice? Correct. 288 more births than deaths.
3. Look at the immigration data, what do you notice? Correct. 221 more immigrants from other countries than from other states.
4. Now look at the three graphs. Notice that in just ONE YEAR the birth rate outpaced the death rate. Also, notice that the birth rate also outpaced the immigration rate.
Bingo! Our problems stem from within our own community and does not belong outside of our very own community. We must start here, and we must move forward now.
The question we should be asking is, how do we serve our community to provide a safe environment for our Keiki and for our Kupunas? It starts with each one of us working together to make the small difference multiply into a BIG difference. The issue facing us today is how do we accommodate the internal growth of our community? Numbers show us that our biggest concern should be providing a safe and healthy future for our children's children, AND a safe environment for our retirees to spend their retirement in comfort and in honor.
What is fair?
A supporter's question:
Maryna K. "Congratulations darling for following your heart and your passion. Not fully sure what you running/stand for (politics is not my forte), but i'd vote to you."
Thank you, Maryna K.! It is a great question and it could be really confusing at times. I had a hard time getting over the initial public perception and distrust in our political system because I, too, bought into the fear of political corruption. My platform: I intend to bridge the gap between inequities in public input and leadership in our government. I wish to accomplish this by seeking more public input on issues concerning the County of Kaua`i, such as affordable housing, education, transportation, infrastructure, and so on. I'm seeking one of just seven council seats and intend to represent each of my constituents equitably.
I joined a hopeful group of people in the Council chamber alongside my partner, Dr. Addison Bulosan, to testify in favor of budget set to fund the Lihue town core projects. Here is my public testimony:
Aloha Council Members, Chair Mel Rapozo, Vice Chair Ross Kagawa, Council Members Mason Chock, Gary Hooser, JoAnn Yukimura, KipuKai Kuali`i, and Committee Chair Arryl Kaneshiro.
I'm Juno Ann Apalla, a graduate of Pacific University of Oregon, and an alumni to Kauai High School, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, and Wilcox Elementary School. After four years of undergraduate study, I traveled across the nation to New York and to Europe under a scholarship for Media Arts and Spanish Literature, only to find that my heart is in Kaua`i, and I want to be welcomed home because I am the most happy and healthy here.
In fact, with your encouragement, I am inclined to participate in the conversations about my future and the healthy growth of our island without fear of expression and innovation. I thank you for enabling me to do so by sincerely listening to my testimony asking you to approve the budget allocation of the TIGER Grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) towards the revitalization of the heart of Kaua`i, “the urban core of our county seat, Lihu`e” (1). This place needs to be a safe and dynamic place to live, work, visit— and like most of my peers, a place welcoming us home. I testify before you to give echo to an under-represented group here in this chamber, and I speak because I want to serve the very community who raised me alongside my loving parents, Dr. Antolin G. Apalla, Jr. and Mrs. Nancy Apalla.
I admire the culture I learned on Kaua`i. Our ability to live lovingly and coexist with each other in what most people in the world call “paradise” is a very important characteristic I sorely missed while I was gone, and this cultural aspect is what we have to share with our MOST valuable asset, our future generations. Our culture is Ohana, and it is a unique value to us, including the values of community service and community building, which is aligned with the purpose of the TIGER grant program: a recovery and reinvestment effort back into our community. I can only hope for a more affordable lifestyle at home, close to my loved ones, yet I prefer to do more than just hope for relief from a stifled lifestyle on Kaua`i, and rather, send you this testimony.
I am 27 years old and in my brief lifetime, I learned to be frugal with my finances because of the hardships I endured and because of the financial crisis in 2007-2008, which is the very years I graduated High School and entered College. The crisis is comparable to the magnitude of what my grandparents called The Great Depression. People were totally displaced and they took to the streets in poverty. Today, social services and non-profit organizations act as safety-nets, masking the actual state of our individual financial turmoil. I did not see the crisis on our streets like our grandparents, however the symptoms were felt within our Ohana, and I am unafraid to disclose that ever since entering college, I have yet to live a lifestyle worth more than poverty. I am hopeful that the burden of poverty is not a permanent one, but a solvable one through creative means.
The proposal in front of you is earmarked for revitalizing the Lihue town core, which gives me hope for a more affordable housing situation as an independent working adult. It enables me to cut down on personal vehicular expenses via shared-use paths and bike lanes on highways, and stimulates my interest in a more connected community. We need to change perspectives and notice that there is a different lifestyle choice that majority of us want to make, and we need your help to enable us to make these choices by approving the proposed budget allocation towards the revitalization of the Lihue town core projects.
On this note, I end my testimony, with deep and cordial respect.
Sources: http://plankauai.com/participation/, http://www.kauai.gov/Government/Office-of-the-Mayor/TIGER-Grant
Watch the testimony by clicking HERE.
(1) From an E-mail addressed to members of the Lihue Business Association