LOCAL GIRL, WORKING FOR THE COMMUNITY
Lisa with husband Jim, and children Jesse and Max.
Lisa (left in the pink muʻumuʻu) with parents and sisters Debbie and Julie, 1983.
Lisa grew up in Kailua, graduating from Kailua Intermediate School and Kalaheo High School. Lisaʻs parents instilled a sense of purpose to help others and protect the environment - her mother Ann is a social worker and her father Gerry is an ecologist (both still living and working in Kailua).
Lisa wanted to learn how to alleviate poverty and enhance health, which led her to earning a BA from Pitzer College and Waseda University (Tokyo), a Masterʻs in Public Policy at Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Public Health at Columbia University. She worked abroad for many years running a child nutrition program in Guatemala, a youth sexuality education program in Singapore, and working on HIV prevention in South East Asia, among other things.
When Lisa had her two sons, she wanted to return home so they could grow up in paradise, as she had. She worked part-time at the John A. Burns School of Medicine UH Mānoa in the Center on HIV while her children were young. Lisa also relished her role as a soccer mom, paddling mom, and getting her sons as hooked on surfing as she is. Lisaʻs husband Jim, an investment professional, has devoted his free time to soccer coaching, serving on several boards, including Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, Le Jardin Academy and Honolulu Zoo Society.
FIGHTING FOR THE COMMUNITY
Lisa was alarmed by the changes she was experiencing on the Windward side - increased homelessness, proliferation of vacation rentals, monster houses, commercial tours invading neighborhoods and taking over public park space, erosion of hiking trails, pollution in the ocean, and traffic congestion so severe it was a safety hazard and made it impossible for locals to get where they needed to go.
For over a decade Lisa has worked hard, along with other community members, to find solutions to these problems. She has spent countless hours organizing, meeting officials, and testifying at hearings. She served on the Kailua Neighborhood Board, and the Lanikai Association as an additional way to help. There have been successes along the way - regulations passed to curb commercial activities in our parks, to curb expansion of vacation rentals in our residential neighborhoods, and to manage parking and increase fines for parking in the bike lane.
With COVID she has worked on community education (click for video with Waimanalo Leaders), supplying health care providers with PPE, feeding kūpuna and the homeless first through Mālama Meals and then through the Waimānalo SDA Church, and supporting housing for the homeless.
UH Medical School, AIDS Walk 2004
Press conference at State Capitol
Learning about homeless solutions.
Getting advice from her Auntie.
Talking story with old friends.
GETTING INVOLVED IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AND EDUCATION
Proud students plant a Koa seedling at Hamakua Marsh that they grew in science class.
Lisa teaching an environmental workshop.
Lisa also wanted to take action on larger issues facing Hawaiʻi like food security, energy security, adapting to Climate Change, and preventing the extinction of native species. She started the nonprofit Healthy Climate Communities four years ago and works full-time on its various programs. She started a community forestry project in partnership with DLNR on the watershed of Hamakua Marsh that has taken thousands of local students and community members behind the locked gates to connect with the ʻāina as they plant and care for the native forest. She has done workshops for thousands of students at public and private schools across Oʻahu, as well as developed science curriculum for teachers to use themselves.
Lisa has consistently supported legislation to shift Hawaii to 100% local, renewable energy. She has organized others to support legislation and collaborated with legislators and Blue Planet Foundation in these efforts. She is currently collaborating with Representative Chris Lee on legislation to promote tree planting.
Lisa is a founding Officer of Trees for Honoluluʻs Future which promotes planting of trees in urban areas across Oahu.
Lisa organizes an Arbor Day Poster Exhibit each year.
Lisa hosting Enchanted Lakes Elementary students at State Wildlife Sanctuary Hamakua Marsh
Lisa promoting 100% renewable energy with Blue Planet Foundation and her son, niece and nephews
Meeting with City, State and non-profit "tree" people to try to coordinate efforts as officer of Trees for Honoluluʻs Future.