Upcountry resident and community organizer Tiare Lawrence announced her candidacy for Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives District 12. Upon her filing, she was accompanied by colleagues, friends, family and supporters.
In 2016, Lawrence ran against incumbent Kyle Yamashita and as a first time candidate, received 2,411 votes out of 5,174 total votes cast, or 46.6% of the vote. She is running as a Democrat again in 2018.
Lawrence outlined her top priorities which include: addressing Hawai’i’s severe affordable housing crisis, infrastructure upgrades, natural resource protection, increase of the Transient Accommodations Tax to counties, sustainable agriculture, investment in public education and kupuna care. “Hawaiʻi deserves a voice at the State level that will champion the sustainable ideas and innovations that will take Hawaiʻi generally, and Upcountry Maui particularly, to the next level,” said Lawrence in an announcement.
“Upcountry Maui is positioned to become the answer to our food security issues, while providing fresher and more nutritious foods that enhance the overall health of our families. We can design policies that promote the recruitment of new farmers by providing access to appropriate lands that can be farmed in environmentally friendly ways. In the face of big development and large agribusiness interests, Maui needs stronger advocacy for agricultural viability and land stewardship. I will be that advocate,” said Lawrence.
Lawrence was born in Kula and raised in Lahaina. She graduated from Lahainaluna High School in 2000 and attended Kapiolani Community College. She currently works as a full-time community organizer for the Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action.
Lawrence is a 2016 graduate of HAPA’s inaugural Kuleana Academy, whose mission it is to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change. In 2015, Lawrence was selected by the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau when it launched its “Maui Mavericks” public relations campaign, which identified 16 next-generation leaders. In 2010, she graduated from the Ka Ipu Kukui leadership program which develops future leaders to address planning for Maui Nui’s future.