League of Women Voter Online Candidate Survey

League of Women Voter Online Candidate Survey

The League of Women Voters recently posted their Hawaii Election 2016 Online Candidate Survey. 

Candidates from around the state submitted answers to the League of Women Voters’ 2016 candidate questionnaire. Here are the responses from Hawaii County Council candidate Jen Ruggles:

online candidate survey for the League of Women Voters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the text from the survey:

I was born in Hilo and raised in my district, in Mountain View. Beginning from a young age I’ve always been passionately engaged in the social justice issues facing our community, nation, and world.

My commitment to making a positive impact in Hawai’i has influenced every major decision in my life. Upon graduating Kea’au high school I discovered a way to focus my passion for justice by serving the community. I volunteered as the main organizer for a club at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where I worked on a variety of issues ranging from food and energy sovereignty to improving Hawaii’s campaign finance law. I was a volunteer with Peaceful Sky Alliance supporting Ballot Initiative #1, making law enforcement of cannabis lowest priority. I led a successful campaign to preserve beach access to Papaikou Mills beach, (a beach I had never been to) by request of the community. I helped implement Hawaiʻi’s first Clean Elections law which reformed Hawaii’s campaign finance system and helped get big money out of government. In 2013 I was hired by a non-profit to organize a campaign to pass a bill protecting children who were being sent to hospital from agri-chemical pesticides spray in Kauai.

As a community organizer I believe every campaign I’ve organized has seen success because I listen to and uphold the will of the people. From years of experience advocating with and for the community, I believe that the people who live in the community know what is best for the community.

As a business and economics major I know there are practical budget and operations management solutions to our districts infrastructure and that can create jobs and not increase taxes. Increasing taxes should never be a solution.pass a bill protecting children who were being sent to hospital from agri-chemical pesticides spray in Kauai.

And here are the responses to actual questions:

Education

– In 3rd year of pursuing BA in Business and Economics with specialization in Management UH Hilo

– Liberal Art’s Degree in General Education Hawaii Community College (2009)

– Kea’au High School Diploma (2006)

Other:

– Ku’ikahi Mediation Center Basic Mediation Training (2014)

– In the Eye of the Storm Leadership Training by Peter Adler (2012)

– Chicago National People’s Action Weeklong Intensive Organizer Training (2010)

Community Service

I volunteered for 5 years as the main organizer for Global H.O.P.E., an registered independent student organization at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. I’ve organized 11 speaking events, 6 rallies, 4 concerts, and 41 movie nights all free and open the public. I’ve lead a successful 2-year campaign passing public beach access bill engaging 5,485 supporters. For those 5 years I played the lead role to work with members to draft agendas, develop attainable goals and strategies. facilitated meetings, and manage campaigns.

I volunteered as an event coordinator for TEDxHilo, (TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design) for TEDxHilo Change 2013.

Co-founder, treasurer, and student reporter for UH at Hilo’s first student union, UHSU, (UH at Hilo Students United). I served as the Senator for the UH Hilo’s College of Business and Economics in 2015.

I’ve volunteered for Let’s Grow Hilo where we planted downtown Hilo with edible landscaping.

I volunteered for Peaceful Sky Alliance as advocate which successfully passed the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of Cannabis.

I”ve also volunteered numerous times at the Nanawale Food Basket and for Surfrider at various beach clean ups.

Brief candidate statement (250 words)

I was born in Hilo and raised in my district, in Mountain View. Beginning from a young age I’ve always been passionately engaged in the social justice issues facing our community, nation, and world.

My commitment to making a positive impact in Hawai’i has influenced every major decision in my life. Upon graduating Kea’au high school I discovered a way to focus my passion for justice by serving the community. I volunteered as the main organizer for a club at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where I worked on a variety of issues ranging from food and energy sovereignty to improving Hawaii’s campaign finance law. I was a volunteer with Peaceful Sky Alliance supporting Ballot Initiative #1, making law enforcement of cannabis lowest priority. I led a successful campaign to preserve beach access to Papaikou Mills beach, (a beach I had never been to) by request of the community. I helped implement Hawaiʻi’s first Clean Elections law which reformed Hawaii’s campaign finance system and helped get big money out of government. In 2013 I was hired by a non-profit to organize a campaign to pass a bill protecting children who were being sent to hospital from agri-chemical pesticides spray in Kauai.

As a community organizer I believe every campaign I’ve organized has seen success because I listen to and uphold the will of the people. From years of experience advocating with  and for the community, I believe that the people who live in the community know what is best for the community.

As a business and economics major I know there are practical budget and operations management solutions to our districts infrastructure and that can create jobs and not increase taxes. Increasing taxes should never be a solution.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running for office because I see how our district is under-served, under-represented and I’m passionate about making a positive impact. Working to make our island a better place has influenced every major decision in my life, and having been engaged in working to this end, I’ve experienced how the government can be the only way to get things done. I’ve seen how that one swing vote can make a world of impact, and be either in the best interest of people, or for some private interest. I believe I can effectively represent best interest of the residents in Puna. Our problems are not being taken seriously and there is much more the county could and should be doing for our district, and our island as a whole.

Ultimately, I am running for justice. Justice for the land, and justice for the people who live here, who are forced to pay into a system voices are not represented, who’s struggles remain ignored by a government who is supposed to serve them. Justice for our future generations.

Why are you qualifed to hold this office?

My passion and experience is what makes me qualified to hold this office. The job of a public elected official is to do right by, serve, and uphold the will the people. I have a proven record of grassroots organizing in which I’ve successfully worked with diverse groups of people and politicians alike to find common ground. I’ve organized campaigns passing bills at the state and county levels reforming our campaign finance laws, preserving beach access, and protecting our children and environment from mass agri-chemical pesticide spray.

Every campaign I’ve led has seen success. This is because I listen to people, facilitate discussion, and coordinate campaigns in alignment with the will of the people. I believe the people who live in the community know what’s best for their community, and it’s this basic belief and experience that makes me qualified to hold an office in service to the community.

What are your top two goals and how will you achieve them?

When you live in Puna you know the impact poor roads have on everyday life. Many residents are tired of having to replace vehicles over and over, and not having access to emergency fire, medical, and police services. Most of the roads in our district are privately owned by community associations. The ‘you’re on your own’ policy that the county currently uses is not working for residents. Better roads would be my top goal as it has been, by far, the most common concern in my district. First, I will work on a low cost, multi-faceted capacity building program that provides resources and support to help associations implement basic models that have been successful across the nation. Secondly, I will provide support for funding through funneling in grant money and introducing a bill that will allow associations to receive a portion of the fuel tax revenue generated in the district to use for road improvement. Lastly, I have several ideas as to how the county can give road associations and residents alike, street by street options that have been proven to work in other places, (like low interest bonds, and county tax programs).

While going door to door almost everyday since March, I’ve surveyed 100’s of residents and have a clear picture of what is important to my district. Better addressing of our drug problems, internet and phone service, invasive species, public transportation, and support of local business, and addressing Ohi’a wilt are all basic needs of our Puna district.

Opportunities to promote clean energy gneration exist at all lvels of government. What would youdo to hlep move Hawaii away fromsuing oil and natural gas and toward renewable sources of energy?

Our residents pay more than any other state in U.S. for electricity. This is because oil and gas private interest money in our government has compromised the ability for real representation in regard to energy. I am committed to working toward 100% energy production for our island and you can count on me represent the interest of the public and not just profit-driven businesses. I will promote rational discussions among all levels of decision making, with the communities impacted being the central voice. Economic incentives, smaller distributed energy grids, energy co-ops, wind, hydroelectric, and especially large scale solar projects should all be on the table to create a green energy industry that will create jobs, boost our local economy, reduce our cost of living, and preserve our greatest resource to pass down to our keiki, our beautiful environment.

——-

I was born in Hilo and raised in Mt. View. Beginning from a young age I’ve always been passionately engaged in the social justice issues facing our community, nation, and world.

My commitment to making a positive impact in Hawai’i has influenced every major decision in my life. Upon graduating Kea’au high school I discovered a way to focus my passion for justice by serving the community. I volunteered as the main organizer for a club at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where I worked on a variety of issues ranging from food and energy sovereignty to improving Hawaii’s campaign finance law. I was a volunteer with Peaceful Sky Alliance supporting Ballot Initiative #1, making law enforcement of marijuana the lowest priority. I led a successful campaign to preserve beach access to Papaikou Mills beach, (a beach I had never been to) by request of the community. I helped implement Hawaiʻi’s first Clean Elections law, and led a campaign to protect children from agri-chemical pesticides in Kauai.

As a community organizer I believe every campaign I’ve organized has seen success because I listen to and uphold the will of the people. From years of experience advocating with the community, I passionately believe that the people who live in the community know what is best for the community.

Brief candidat stament:

I was born in Hilo and raised in my district, in Mountain View. Beginning from a young age I’ve always been passionately engaged in the social justice issues facing our community, nation, and world.

My commitment to making a positive impact in Hawai’i has influenced every major decision in my life. Upon graduating Kea’au high school I discovered a way to focus my passion for justice by serving the community. I volunteered as the main organizer for a club at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo where I worked on a variety of issues ranging from food and energy sovereignty to improving Hawaii’s campaign finance law. I led a successful campaign to preserve beach access to Papaikou Mills beach, (a beach I had never been to) by request of the community. I helped implement Hawaiʻi’s first Clean Elections law, and led a campaign to protect children from mass agri-chemical pesticide spray in Kauai.

Every campaign I’ve  led has seen success because I listen to and uphold the will of the people. From years of experience advocating with the community, I believe the people who live in the community know what is best for the community.

As a business and economics major I know there are practical budget and operations management solutions to our district’s infrastructure problems that can create jobs and not increase taxes. Increased taxes should never be a solution.

– In 3rd year of pursuing BA in Business and Economics with specialization in Management UH Hilo

– Liberal Art’s Degree in General Education Hawaii Community College (2009)

– Kea’au High School Diploma (2006)

Other:

– Ku’ikahi Mediation Center Basic Mediation Training (2014)

– In the Eye of the Storm Leadership Training by Peter Adler (2012)

– Chicago National People’s Action Weeklong Intensive Organizer Training (2010)

I volunteered for 5 years as the main organizer for Global H.O.P.E., an registered independent student organization at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. I’ve organized 11 speaking events, 6 rallies, 4 concerts, and 41 movie nights all free and open the public. I’ve lead a successful 2-year campaign passing public beach access bill engaging 5,485 supporters. For those 5 years I played the lead role to work with members to draft agendas, develop attainable goals and strategies. facilitated meetings, and manage campaigns.

I volunteered as an event coordinator for TEDxHilo, (TED stands for Technology, Education, and Design) for TEDxHilo Change 2013.

Co-founder, treasurer, and student reporter for UH at Hilo’s first student union, UHSU, (UH at Hilo Students United).

I’ve volunteered for Let’s Grow Hilo where we planted downtown Hilo with edible landscaping.

I volunteered for Peaceful Sky Alliance as advocate which successfully passed the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of Cannabis.

I”ve also volunteered numerous times at the Nanawale Food Basket and for Surfrider at various beach clean ups.

I was born and raised on the Big Island and my commitment to making a positive impact in Hawai’i has influenced every major decision in my life. Upon graduating Kea’au High I discovered a way to focus my passion for justice by serving as the main organizer for Global H.O.P.E., an organization at UH at Hilo. Our focus was food and energy sovereignty, social, economic, and environmental justice, and getting big money out of government. I’ve organized over 50 political events all free and open to public. I am a business and economics major.

My passion and experience is what makes me qualified to hold this office. I have a proven record of grassroots organizing in which I’ve successfully worked with diverse groups of people and politicians alike to find common ground. I’ve organized campaigns passing bills at the state and county levels reforming our campaign finance laws, preserving beach access, and protecting our children and environment from mass agri-chemical pesticide spray.

My goals in office will be to bring real representation to the people in my district. While going door to door almost everyday since March, I’ve surveyed 100’s of residents and have a clear picture of what is important to my district. Improved roads, better addressing of our crime and drug problems, internet and phone service, invasive species, public transportation, and support of local business, and addressing Ohi’a wilt are all basic needs of my district.

When you live in Puna you know the impact poor roads have on everyday life. Residents of tired of having to replace vehicles over and over, and not having access to emergency service vehicles. Most of the roads in our district are privately owned by community associations. The ‘you’re on your own’ policy that the county currently uses is not working for residents. Better roads would be my top goal as it has been, by far, the most common concern in my district. First, I will work on a low cost, multi-faceted capacity building program that provides resources and support to help associations implement basic models that have been successful across the nation.

Secondly, I will provide support for funding road associations through funnelling in grant money and introducing a bill that will allow associations to receive a portion of the fuel tax revenue generated in the district to use for road improvement. Lastly, I have several ideas as to how the county can provide road associations and residents alike, street by street options that proven to work in other places, (like low interest bonds, and county tax programs).

You can count on me to always have an open door and an open ear to your ideas and concerns. The people who live in Puna know what’s best for Puna, and I want to work with you to explore your ideas and to implement real solutions.
Our residents pay more than any other state in U.S. for electricity. This is because oil and gas private interest money in our government has compromised the ability for real representation when it comes to renewable energy. I am committed to working toward 100% energy production for our island and you can count on me represent the interest of the public and not just profit-driven businesses. I will promote rational discussions among all levels of decision making, with the communities impacted being the central voice. Economic incentives, smaller distributed energy grids, energy co-ops, wind, hydroelectric, and especially large scale solar projects should all be on the table to create a green energy industry that will create jobs, boost our local economy, reduce our cost of living, and preserve our greatest resource to pass down to our keiki, our beautiful environment.

One thought on “League of Women Voter Online Candidate Survey

  1. Jen, you had me with, “I listen to and uphold the will of the people.” Far too many of our current Council Members forget who they serve. They bend to the will of special interests groups, lobbyist, super pac money rather than their constituents. Time for a change!

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