What do I stand for? 

I stand for Change.


Working for the People

I am running for Senate because the people of South and West Maui deserve a new senator who is working for them, not for corporations and lobbyists. My priority is to advocate for the people of Maui and their children and to ensure their needs are put first.

Issues of concern in my district (South and west Maui) affect all of Hawai'i and include

  • Standing up against the influence of corporate and lobbyist money in our government

  • The effects of pollution and toxins on Maui’s workers, economy, environment, and our health

  • Improving education

  • Ensuring quality accessible healthcare to the people of Maui

  • Supporting our local workers and unions

I will never accept money from Corporations or Lobbyists.

The people of South and West Maui deserve a new Senator who works only for them, not for corporations and lobbyists. 


Hawai'i's resources are limited and must be prioritized over business profits. Without our pristine environment, all sectors of industry in Hawai'i will fail. This is not an anti-business approach; it is a responsible business approach. This means, no open air testing of new life forms until safety can be thoroughly assessed, strict guidelines for pesticide/fertilizer use, careful mitigation of dust drift and water runoff, and comprehensive air quality monitoring along with true transparency.

To accomplish this, there must be more accountability at the state level to uphold current regulations as well as the implementation of new, more comprehensive regulations. Additionally, more resources must be allocated at the county level to ensure our natural assets are protected. I believe the county’s and state offices must work closely together to ensure irreparable harm to fragile ecosystems does not occur and will actively work to ensure that modern, comprehensive metrics are implemented to serve that goal.

Protecting our environment:Unlike my opponent, I will always support the constitution of the State of Hawaii article XI-Conservation, control and development of resources: “Section 1. For the benefit of present and future generations… All public natural resources are held in trust by the State for the benefit of the people.”

I advocated for green harvesting instead of  burning due to serious health effects on our community. I will fight granting Alexander & Baldwin's East Maui Water permits and support our local farmers. I have advocated for fixing our local wastewater treatment issues (ocean contamination). I supported a polystyrene ban. Our family has stepped up to prevent environmental abuses.

Unlike my opponent I stand for transparency: I support legislative reform including full disclosure of restricted use pesticides, no open air GMO testing, and support GM food labeling – you have a right to know what you are eating breathing or drinking.


Where is the promised DOE Kihei High School?  For 30 years we have needed a high school.  Why do we get updates from our elected officials politicians every year saying how great their efforts have been and all we really have is a sign saying future site?

As a parent of four children in Maui’s public school system, education is particularly important to me personally. Our teachers are entrusted with our greatest assets (our youth) and need to be shown that they are valued and appreciated. Our teachers deserve more support for the challenging task of educating the diverse group of students who make up the public school system.

I support working directly with our public school teachers to give them more control over their curriculum, and I support higher wages and bonuses.  I support all teaching unions from DOE (HSTA) through University level (HGEA, UHPA).  I also feel that higher goals could be attained with more autonomy at the local level by having school boards with direct input and involvement from parents.  I support paid family leave Paid family leave (SB2990).

I support charter school facilities funding (HB2508). In my district in Kihei we have been waiting for a promised high school for over 30 years, so while we are waiting lets fund the existing charter school adequately.

I will unequivocally support future legislation requiring a public school teacher on Board of Education. That is a no brainer- The teachers MUST have a voice.

We must provide a new stream of funding for SPED teachers to make up for what the federal government has defunded. They (like all teachers) have a tough and important job, we must support them in every way possible. No excuses.

I believe in local school boards and local control therefore I support local schools making their own decisions on bills that allow local control of funding and resources; increasing from 70 to 90 percent. Let teachers decide, they know what they need!

I agree with HSTA President Corey Rosenlee: I oppose arming teachers!

It is an embarrassment to the DOE that teachers must buy supplies. I strongly support a teacher tax credit for supplies. I’ll go further, we need to make sure that DOE actually provides what teachers and students need so that underpaid teachers don’t have to subsidize out of their own pockets. I’ll vigorously support new legislation for that.
In addition to raising teacher salaries and supporting legislation for funding described in my other answers, I feel compelled here to discuss protecting our unions.

I will always stand up for our teachers and our children!

Higher Education:
I’m in favor of more autonomy for UHMC and UH branches located here on Maui. It’s important that greater higher education opportunities be provided here, within Maui County. UHMC has grown significantly during the past few years, but if we hope to continue to excel, more Maui County money needs to stay within Maui County. UH is a microcosm of this problem at state level.  More TAT taxes also need to stay on Maui.  Let's support education here on Maui so our families can afford to get the best education possible.


Worker’s rights:
Living wage — I support living wage over a minimum wage measure for the people of Hawai’i. The cost of living is particularly high here in Hawaii. Nearly 11% of Hawaii’s residents live below the Federal Poverty level! For Hawaii, that’s an annual gross income of less than $27,090 for a family of four. Wages do not reflect our unique geographical challenges including soaring housing costs due to displacement by investors and other sources, as well as extraordinary energy consumption costs. 

It is cheaper to pay people a decent wage than to deal with the resulting societal issues when people can't make a living. Society must pay a living wage. Anything less is a disservice to our people at all levels.

Worker Protection for Hazardous Fields — More stringent protection requirements for workers in hazardous fields must be mandated to protect our labor force. This includes those working with hazardous and toxic chemicals as well as dangerous machinery.

Protecting Workers and Unions

Our Unions provide a critical voice on the job securing worker pay, benefits and conditions of employment.

We now face a grave threat by corporate funded union busters: Workers across the nation have repeatedly come under attack from corporate interests looking to cut wages so they can pocket higher profits. The current JANUS supreme court case seeks to gut public sector unions across the nation including in Hawai'i.  We must not allow this to destroy unions in Hawai’i

The  Janus case in the US supreme court is a clear assault on workers and unions by trying to remove mandated union dues. I will always support our workers and small businesses against corporate abuse, in this case by advocating state legislative protection of unions. I vow to to fight against so called "right to work laws", and further promise to support legislation to protect Hawai’i and its people and unions  from these union busting tactics. This will be a fight, but we must do it for the people of Hawai’i

Unions have been a valuable tool for promoting worker safety, better pay, and equality in the workplace since their inception here in Hawaii during the mid-1800s. The role of labor unions in Hawaii is still just as important now as it was then. As a former business owner, I understand the need to arrive at equitable labor negotiations that benefit both business and employee. When our employees are properly provided for and feel valued and happy, business thrives.  

Local Industry

Industry must begin looking forward if it’s to succeed here in Hawaii. The business model must be redefined into a balanced, sustainable approach that creates value in all sectors—economic, human, and environmental. Industry in Hawaii must look towards modernizing practices as an investment in Hawaii’s future and economy, not merely as a burdensome business expense. Ideally, this would be attained by educating businesses on cleaner, more responsible models which inspire a voluntary shift in practices.


Affordable Health Care: For too long health care services have been rising and services decreasing. Many have little coverage, no coverage, or are not paid a living wage and have to carry the entire burden of coverage without support.

My opponent has at every step acted to defund the Hawaii health Authority (HAA) against the sage advice of the Hawaii medical association (HMA).  I support single payer health care, I support a comprehensive study then overhaul via funding the HHA, medicare reform, tort reform, simplified uniform billing leading to reduced administrative costs. There is an unreasonable provider shortage including M.D.s, specialists, education of PA’s and more.  We must have mandatory Fair business practices in health insurance including recruitment techniques.   

I would advocate for a stroke certified rehab on Maui as we have none. 

Maui only has one hospital. As such, there is no local competition or alternative for medical treatment on island. I support upgraded and further improved standards for healthcare at MMMC. I also fully support the construction of an additional hospital on island to better serve our growing population. At the clinic level, I support requiring a smaller patient to support staff ratios in all local clinics.

The people of Maui need access to quality medical care. We must ensure that we can maintain health services for the people of Maui, reduce taxpayer subsidies for our health care safety net, invest new resources to improve our hospitals, increase efficiency, and meet our obligations to our hospital employees.

The wrong thing to do was to sell Maui’s hospitals to mainland corporations with no commitment to the people of Maui. We now have nurses and Doctors quitting due to overworked conditions and contract issues.  Year after year, my opponent continues to support bad legislation without concern for  thousands of union jobs leaving our healthcare and hospital services in the hands of a mainland corporation.  The HGEA union leader has complained publicly.  Hospital staff including overworked nurses have come to me and personally and expressed their extreme dismay with the current situation over hospital worker issues.  We must stand by them!

You have a right to quality, affordable, accessible healthcare.  In Summary: I will never take money from corporations and lobbyists. I will always fight for the people; and unlike my opponent I support measures to help address Hawaii’s health care and and businesses of Hawaii. I pledge to at every step be transparent and work for the people of Hawai’i. They deserve a Senator that is working for the people, not for corporations and lobbyists. I will support improving care and I will fight to improve hospital services and to protect the jobs of working families.


Unlike my opponent

Running for an elected office in which I serve as an advocate for the people of Maui is an honor that I will never take for granted. 

I am running for Senate because the people of South and West Maui deserve a new Senator who is working for them, not for corporations and lobbyists. The people of Maui deserve a Senator who has made a commitment to be honest and transparent, and who will work only for them not for corporate interests.

Unlike my opponent I stand for transparency: Recently my opponent gutted the restricted use pesticide (RUP) disclosure bill (SB3095). I will always stand up against lobbyists who want to keep toxic poison specifications a secret.

Unlike my opponent I will not give special breaks to special interest: For years my opponent has protected Corporate Biotech, Big Pharma, Healthcare corporations and contributed to over-development while taking money from those entities. 

Unlike my opponent I would never vote against an ivory ban designed to protect endangered species and defund child powered armies. I care about the environment and will always work to preserve it.  Our local jobs and health depend on it. 

Unlike my opponent I do not support a privatization bill that would allow for profit prisons in Hawai'i.  I stand firmly against profiting by locking up people! For the record, I will never support privatization of any of Hawai'i's prisons nor will I ever support sending Hawai'i's inmates to United States prisons abroad. 

Unlike my opponent I will never take money from corporations or lobbyists: According to my opponent's own June 30th 2014 report to the State of Hawai‘i Campaign Spending Commission, only one contribution of $250 came from her district out a population of more than 50,000 people! Over 96% of her money that year didn’t even come from Maui or its people she has sworn to represent! She has received 3/4 of a million dollars in contributions and funded by biotech, insurance, healthcare, development, banking and other powerful lobbies/industries.

We must ask who gives my opponent this money, and examine how this shapes her policies. This is not bashing-These are all fair and important questions people must ask and I am asking them and you should too! The data shows very clearly that it is not the people of Maui who are supporting her.


In Summary

The people of Maui deserve a Senator who has made a commitment to be honest and transparent, and who will work only for them, not for corporations or lobbyists. This is why I, Terez Amato, am running for Senate.

Mahalo for taking the time to get to know me. I truly appreciate you and your support.  I am working for you, working for the people, and working for change

Please feel free to reach out to me for any reason.

With Aloha, 

Terez Amato


Showing 3 reactions

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  • Jacque Mulleitner
    commented 2018-07-09 01:19:00 -1000
    I just don’t agree with the Living Wage or hazardous fields/machinery wage. Get rid of the Vacation Rentals by owners and our housing prices will come down. Buy to live here, not to bring people over that don’t care and/or understand what it takes to cultivate and maintain our mountains, streams, beaches and oceans. They are making money off our backs at the expense of our aina, sending housing prices to unattainable levels for most families that live here.
  • Dennis Kleid
    commented 2018-06-23 13:43:18 -1000
    I’m for Terez and she is “local grown”.
  • David Reader
    commented 2018-06-21 14:29:51 -1000
    Roz Baker has accomplished so little for South Maui considering her 20 year tenure in State government. She’s had 20 years to get the High School built and still nothing rises on the site. As Chair of Consumer Protection she does nothing to get the kids off the school buses where they spend two hours a day commuting to Kahului or wastefully use a car to travel 10 or more miles from home each day. We need someone to get the school built without further delay. We never hear from her between campaigns, testimony that she has nothing tell us about getting anything constructive accomplished. We need a change agent