Candidates were invited to submit a brief bio for introductions. Below are bios either as submitted or as found on the Web.
(Moderator) Jerry Burris
Jerry Burris has more than 40 years experience in Hawaii journalism first with UPI then with the Honolulu Advertiser. For years, he covered politics and the Legislature as the Advertiser's Capitol Bureau Chief. He finished his career as Editorial Page Editor and political columnist for the paper. He is co-author of two books, "The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barak Obama" and "Sam King: A Memoir." He is currently finishing a book on a third legal/political figure which should be out in a few months. He is a graduate of the University of Hawaii.
Candidate bios as submitted or from Web sources
Ikaika Anderson has worked in government for the last 15 years, and has served two terms on the Honolulu City Council tackling Oahu's toughest issues. He currently holds the position of Vice-Chairman of the Council and is regarded as a deliberate decision maker with a passion for ensuring that the community has a voice at the table. His tenure has produced solid successes, including stabilizing Oahu's residential real property tax rate, improvements to the City's handling of its wastewater and solid waste, moving forward on Honolulu's mass transit system, and streamlining the permitting system for renewable energy.
Anderson is a 1996 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and 2002 graduate of the University of Hawaii Manoa with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. He is married to the former Lisa Hirata and together they have four children - Tianni 12, J.W. 10 and twins Kaleb and Kaili, 4 years old.
Stanley Chang, the son of immigrants, is fortunate to have lived the “American Dream.” His mother and father, both educators, taught him firsthand the value of hard work and determination – the defining characteristics of Stanley’s service in our community.
Stanley’s father came to Honolulu in the 1960s with little more than a commitment to further his education, start a family and give his children a better life than the one he had. He started as a beach boy in Waikiki and was soon able to pay his way through
college, buy a house and start a family. He knew that only in America could his dreams be realized through discipline and resolve. It’s how he supported his family and provided his children with world-class education.
As a graduate of Honolulu’s ‘Iolani School, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School, Stanley was fortunate to attend some of the nation’s leading schools. However, he will tell you the most important lessons he ever learned were those instilled within
him by his parents, friends and neighbors while growing up in Hawai‘i – lessons in responsibility, honesty, and humility.
In 2010, Stanley left his career as a real estate attorney in downtown Honolulu. He felt
a call to give back to the community that had given him so much. After knocking on
19,000 doors, Stanley was successful in his bid to represent his neighbors in the City
Council’s 4th District, which stretches from Ala Moana to Hawai‘i Kai.
Stanley got straight to work making city government more responsible and responsive. His proactive agenda and collaborative approach led to a series of significant accomplishments, which include:
• Spearheading a uniform policy for road repairs that
prioritizes proactive maintenance of roads instead of the old and inefficient “worst first” repair policy;
• Improving the daily quality of life for O‘ahu
• Enhancing communication between the City and
• Protecting our environment and keeping our
beaches and city parks clean;
• Supporting small businesses – the backbone of
Honolulu’s vibrant business community – and
spurring economic development;
• Streamlining basic services;
• Co-chairing the Counties of Hawai‘i Sister Cities
Summit at APEC; and
• Working to bring in new revenue streams for
greater city services without raising taxes on
Honolulu’s middle class.
• Fighting for record funding for road repaving;
Stanley Chang’s proven energy, passion, and ability to get the job done are why he will thrive in Congress.
Stanley is very proud of his work as Honolulu’s representative to the Hawai‘i State Association of Counties. This led to the opportunity to co-chair the Counties of Hawai‘i Sister Cities Summit in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Economic
Conference (APEC) – allowing Hawai‘i to leverage otherwise ceremonial relationships to reinforce its role as the economic center of the Pacific Region.
Stanley knows that no great accomplishment is achieved alone. That’s why he’s worked tirelessly to involve people in discussions on the important issues facing Honolulu. He’s built a solid reputation for listening to everyone at the table and
making sure that every citizen has a voice in their government.
Stanley grew up in Hawai‘i, built his life in Hawai‘i, and has dedicated his career to Hawai‘i. His fresh vision will serve us well in Congress as we work to overcome today’s challenges, while building an even better future for Hawai‘i.
Will Espero (from Legislature web page)
Senator Will Espero represents the 19th Senate District, which encompasses ‘Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, ‘Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Pointe, and a portion of ‘Ewa Villages. He currently serves as the Chair of the Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Committees on Transportation and International Affairs, and Ways and Means. He also serves as Majority Floor Leader.
Senator Espero was recently appointed to the Clean & Sober Homes and Halfway House Task Force, the Steering Committee of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the Government Contracting Task Force, and on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Hawaii State Art Museum.
Senator Espero is a member of the Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization, which coordinates federally funded transportation projects for Oahu. He is also a Board member of the West Oahu Economic Development Association, Workforce Development Council, the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, Corrections Population Management Commission, Re-entry Collaborative Steering Committee, and Operation Homefront of Hawaii.
Born on November 6, 1960, Senator Espero was born at the U.S. Naval Base in Yokosuka, Japan. His mother is from Santiago, Ilocos Sur, and his father is from Bacnotan, La Union, in the Philippines. He graduated from Seattle University in Washington with a B.A. in Business Administration in 1982.
Joey Manahan (from Ballotpedia)
Joey Manahan was a former Democratic member of the Hawaii House of Representatives, representing District 29 from 2006 to 2012. He served as Vice Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2012.
He is a Honolulu City Councilman. Manahan worked as an Election Specialist for the State of Hawaii Office of Elections, and legislative assistant to the Hawaii State House of Representatives and Hawaii State Senate.
He is a member of the Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Filipino American Associations, and the Filipino Centennial Celebration Commission.
Mark Takai (from Legislature web page)
Hawaii State Representative K. Mark Takai hails from the 33rd House District representing the communities of Aiea, on the shores of historic Pearl Harbor. He was first elected in 1994 and has successfully won re-election nine more times (1994 through 2012).
Mark is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military, and International Affairs, and Culture and the Arts, and a member of Committee on Education and Committee on Higher Education. He served as Vice Speaker of the House during the 2005 and 2006 sessions. Mark served as Chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education (2003 to 2004 sessions) and as Vice Chairman (1995 to 2002 sessions). He served as Chairman of the House Committee on Culture and Arts for four years (1997 to 2000 sessions).
Mark was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the Hawaii Army National Guard (HIARNG) on July 19, 1999 and worked as the Preventive Medical Officer. Currently, he is a Lieutenant Colonel in the HIARNG and is the Division Chief for Soldiers Services and a School Liaison for the HIARNG. He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Base Operations Officer (Camp Mayor) at Camp Patriot, Kuwait from February 2009 to September 2009. He served as the Company Commander of Charlie Company (Medical), 29th Brigade Support Battalion from November 2006 to May 2008. Mark was also called to active duty for six months (May to November 2005) and served as the Hawaii Army National Guard Deputy State Surgeon.
Mark has worked to develop successful partnerships between military-connected organizations and non-military entities with focus on the education of military children in Hawaii and throughout the world. From 2003-2009, he coordinated a six-year effort that netted an additional $40 million in Federal Impact Aid for the Hawaii Department of Education.
Mark currently serves as President of the National Guard Association-Hawaii Insurance Inc. and President (since 1997) of Waiau Community Association G-1. He was the President of the Hawaii National Guard Association (2012-2013) and the President of the University of Hawaii Letterwinners Club (2012-2013). Mark also serves as the coordinator (since 2004) of the Hawaii State Legislature's Military Appreciation Package and as a Board Member (since 2004) of Hawaii's Joint Venture Education Forum, a partnership between Hawaii's military component commands and the Hawaii Department of Education. He serves as the National Chairman (since 2006) of the National Network of Legislators in the Military, State Coordinator (since 2006) of the USA for Military Families, Chairman (since 2005) of the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites Task Force, and Coordinator (since 2006) for the Hawaii Medal of Honor, an award on behalf of the people of the State of Hawaii to an individual who was killed in action while serving our country as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Mark received his diploma from Pearl City High School in 1985. He is four-time High School Swimming Champion and a High School All-American Swimmer. Mark received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. While at the University, Mark was a WAC Champion swimmer, the President of the Student Senate, and the Editor-in-Chief of the campus newspaper. After graduating, he worked at the State Department of Health as a public health educator.
Among his numerous awards and decorations, Mark received the Meritorious Service Medal from the United States Army in 2009, the Distinguished Service Medal from the National Guard Association of the United States in 2011, and the Hawaii Distinguished Service Order in 2012.
Mark and his wife Sami are parents of Matthew and Kaila. Both children attend public schools in Aiea. Sami and Mark are owners of Pacific First Enterprises, an insurance brokerage and consulting firm.
Kathryn Xian is a democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in House District 1, and an award-winning organizer and filmmaker. She is the Non-Executive Director of Girl Fest Hawaii and the executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, Hawaii’s leading service provider for survivors of trafficking. Since 2005, Kathryn has helped pass 8 laws relating to human trafficking including Hawaii’s first labor trafficking law and the nation’s first state statute outlawing sex tourism as a felony offense. Kathryn is also a member of Chapter at the Cathedral of St. Andrew and the Chair of the Justice and Outreach Ministry.
Since 2000, she has been raising local awareness of the trafficking of women and children for sex to and from Honolulu and has influenced the passage of law with regard to sex tours and promoting prostitution.
In 2004, with the help of Equality Now, she led a publicity campaign incorporating a public rally and testimonials at the State legislature which resulted in the signing of Act 82, the first law in the nation to outlaw sex-tourism on the state level. Several states have modeled their laws on Hawaii’s Act 82 since then.
In 2008, she successfully demanded and saw pass the age defining a minor victim in Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree (in Hawaii) raise from “less than 16 years of age” to “less than 18 years of age” (Act 147).
She co-founded the Rape-Free Zone Coalition, which was responsible for enacting change at the University of Hawaii on August 29th 2005 to declare its system (10 Campuses) Rape-Free Zones and requiring all managerial and executive staff to attend an anti-sexism leadership training at Girl Fest led by Jackson Katz, former member of the U.S. Secretary of Defense’s Task Force on Domestic Violence in the Military and founder of MVP Strategies; an unprecedented event in the University’s history.
Xian was also awarded the 2005 Ellison Onizuka Human and Civil Rights Award by the National Education Association on July 2nd 2005 and is the recipient of the Soroptimists International of the America’s Women Making a Difference for Women Award 2006.
She was also one of five distinguished finalists in Glamour Magazine’s Women of Your Year Awards 2009 and was inducted to Pacific Business News’ 2010 Class of Forty Under 40.
In 2011, Xian successfully lobbied for the passage of Hawaii’s first labor-trafficking law and reforms to the Promoting Prostitution statutes. Previous to that, Hawaii had been 1 of 4 states in the nation with no local law defining the offenses as felonies and was ranked a Tier 3 state by the Polaris Project rating map, the worst rating for states. In 2012 Hawaii’s ranking improved to a Tier 1 state mainly due to Xian’s legislative advocacy for policy changes.
Also in 2012, Xian helped pass the state’s first Vacating Convictions law allowing victims of sex-trafficking to vacate their records of prostitution offenses if established that the prostitution occurred while held in servitude. In December of 2012, Xian received one of three Norma Hotalting Anti Trafficking Awards from Global Centurion, the Josephine Butler Award.
In 2013, Xian drafted and passed End Demand for Prostitution laws which make it a felony offense for any adult to solicit sex from children under the age of 18 and passed legislation to allow the Hawaii Department of Human Services to recognize children exploited for sex or labor as victims in need of services under the Child Abuse statutes.
She is a long-standing mentor to PASS’s trafficking clients.