Sonny Ganaden for State House of Representatives – – Kalihi Kai, Halawa Estates, Sand Island, Airport

Through my work in the community, I realized that the people of Hawai‘i need new voices for change.

Sonny Ganaden

Aloha! My name is Sonny Ganaden.

I hope to represent you in the State House of Representatives for Kalihi Kai, Halawa Estates, Sand Island, Airport. Hawaii’s economy relies on the people who live and work in Kalihi, and the Kalihi community deserve leaders who advocate for the value of their work and the dignity of their homes.

Kalihi Kai is facing many changes and challenges in the 21st century: rail, climate change, affordable housing, threats to healthcare, and continuing luxury development. There is work to enforce government responsibility for your hard-earned tax dollars. It would be an honor to represent you, using my experience as a lawyer, journalist, and teacher.

I look forward to hearing stories and ideas from you and your family – for the future.

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About Sonny
Lawyer / Journalist / Teacher / Artist

I have dedicated my career to public service in Hawai‘i. After graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles with degrees in Political Science and Public Policy, I knew that becoming a lawyer and writer would provide me with the opportunity to help others. As a second generation Filipino-American from a family of veterans, nurses, teachers, bakers, and business owners, I made my home in Hawaiʻi to attend the William S. Richardson School of Law. 

As an attorney, I represent small local businesses, indigent defendants, juveniles, and victims of domestic violence. As a journalist, I focus on the dignity and creativity of ordinary people who build community. I am a contributor to major publications in Hawai‘i, where my writing has received accolades. I am an advocate for the arts whenever I find the opportunity.

Through my work in the community, I realized that the people of Hawai‘i need new voices for change. Between legal work and journalism, I am an Instructor in the Ethnic Studies Department of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, teaching ethics, writing skills, and the history of local justice movements. The stories of Kalihi and its residents gives me inspiration and humility. It would be an honor and privilege to represent Kalihi in the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives. 

Challenges & Issues

Candidate Interview on 'Olelo (aired 7/8/18)

It would be the honor of my life to serve the diverse people of District 30. Voter turnout in the district is among the lowest in the state, a statistic I believe to be unfair. Remember: this is the first year we have same-day registration, so citizens can simply show up with a form of state identification. I look forward to seeing the community at the polls on August 11 for the primary, and the opportunities for a bright future to come.
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Supporting Our Schools

A well-rounded, safe, and nurturing school experience benefits the entire community. Ensuring that every child is afforded a safe and excellent education is an investment in our collective future. This requires paying teachers a living wage and providing adequate funding for arts, sports, programs, and facilities.


Supporting Health Care as a Human Right

No person or family should become destitute because of age or illness. I will ensure that services are maintained, and the State does its part to ensure healthcare is affordable, accessible, and of the highest quality. 


Holding Government Accountable
Rail: As the Honolulu Rail System is built, new leadership must ensure that money is spent prudently, and with no adverse impact on our way of life. 
Correctional System: The criminalization of poverty and the state’s contracting with private prisons must end. The state has tentative plans to replace the jail with a $500 Million grant to a private prison corporation in Halawa, despite the Department of Public Safety and ACLU noting that approximately half the inmates at OCCC are safe to the community, but simply cannot afford their bail. Any replacement of the 16 acre OCCC site must include community input and a dedication to the dignity of those who work in facilities, the incarcerated, and community safety advocates; and state contracts must be held to a heightened standard of accountability and review.
Roads and Infrastructure: Throughout the district, roads are in disrepair and flood often. Children are in danger going to and from school. Kalihi Stream has flooded in recent years, and Halawa Stream is in danger of flooding. Improvements are long overdue. Infrastructure must meet the standards of the 21st century and public safety. 


Finding Solutions to Housing Issues
Affordable Housing: As Hawaii’s cost of living rises with no end in sight, families are forced to make increasingly difficult decisions. Home ownership is out of reach for most working youth as alternatives lead them out of the neighborhoods. Our community needs bold solutions and new ideas in housing to ensure Kalihi and Hawai’i thrive. 
Development: Many residents did not agree with the rail project. However, as development progresses, the state must ensure that residents are provided opportunities for dignified housing, and that development favors residents over corporations. 
Homelessness: We must provide and fund better and more consistent intervention for our houseless neighbors. We now know that sweeps and endless criminal hearings don’t work and don’t make our neighborhoods any safer. 


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