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Rawlins-Fernandez Looks Forward to 2nd Term

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez News Release

Keani Rawlins-Fernandez announced her re-election to the Maui County Council, representing Molokai. She looks forward to campaigning with her supporters after the Primary Election on Aug. 8. Since there are only two candidates for the Molokai seat, the race will only appear on the Nov. 3 General Election ballot this year.

Rawlins-Fernandez currently serves as Council Vice-Chair and Budget Committee Chair, positions she was unanimously elected for in her first term. As the youngest sitting Councilmember, her perspective helps bring innovative solutions, while her energy moves legislation along efficiently.

Community empowerment is important to Rawlins-Fernandez, driving her advocacy for strengthening transparency and participation in government, evidenced in monthly town hall meetings she hosts on Molokai, on social media, and on Akaku cablecast. She led the charge of transitioning council and committee meetings online and prioritized accepting live public testimony, making Maui County the only Council in the State to have done that.

Her priorities include housing and the local economy. This term, she chaired a Temporary Investigative Group on Tax Reform, where she implemented a progressive tiered tax rate structure. In the coming months, she plans to unveil legislation for a long-term rental exemption, which will incentivize owners of multiple homes to rent their units to residents of Maui County, rather than to tourists. This helps compliment the community-requested zero cap on STRs for Molokai that she championed and passed into law.

This budget session, more funding was invested into diversified economic industries and local agriculture to meet our community’s needs and keep our dollars circulating here at home. Rawlins-Fernandez plans to continue exploring ways to responsibly manage the tourism industry and protect the environment, natural resources, and quality of life for residents, as she has done with the smokeless-incinerator planned for the Molokai Landfill. She spearheaded this pilot project and secured funding for testing required for permanent installation, the first of its kind in Maui County.

“It’s been an honor to serve our community in this capacity and deliver on the promises that I made while campaigning before the last election,” said Rawlins-Fernandez, “making it easier for the community to engage, introducing initiatives that prioritize cultural and environmental protection, education, food security and independence, and truly affordable housing.”

Rawlins-Fernandez has a strong educational and professional background, graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law with a law degree and Shidler College of Business with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Her experience at the Hawaii State Legislature has fostered collaborative relationships with State officials on a variety of issues.

Our community deserves a voice they can trust and rely on in all decision-making, Rawlins-Fernandez has proven to be that voice. For more information, visit votekeani.com or her Facebook page at facebook.com/votekeani.

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