Many of my happiest memories are of my mom, grandparents, brothers and sisters growing up in Kalihi Valley, where I was born and raised. My father, Jack Sakai, was second generation Nissei and a public transportation bus driver. He was drafted at the outbreak of World War II and served with distinction. My mother, Elizabeth Hildreth, was Hawaiian, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Irish and Scotch. She also joined the war effort by becoming a telephone operator. The war’s separation was a huge strain on my parents’ relationship and they divorced when I was five years old. At the time I was attending Kalihi Uka Elementary School.
When I was eight years old, my mother married U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Harold Paresa. Soon after their union our family moved from Hawaii to Germany. It was a difficult transition since we were a multi race family from Hawaii and we did not “look or speak” the same as everyone in our new environment. I’m sure that my compassion for minorities and “underdogs” started at this time in my life. We happily returned to Honolulu when I was 13 years old and attended Dole Middle School.
I was a “Governor” before I became a Senator…a proud graduate of Wallace Rider Farrington High School, active in sports and various clubs. I am a lifetime member of the Farrington High School Alumni Association. Because I have never forgotten my roots, I still have regular gatherings with members of the “Raeleens”, my high school club as well as dinners with my high school coach, Patsy Dung, and teammates of the various sports in which I participated. My strong dedication to educational and cultural values began here and they continue to enrich my life everyday.
I went on to attend Honolulu Business College where I earned my Associate of Arts in Legal Secretarial Science. I also attended Leeward Community College before receiving a B.S. in business administration from Kennedy-Western University in Boise, Idaho.
I married the late Gary Kidani in 1971 and in 1974 we decided to make our home in Mililani. All four of our wonderful children---Malia, Sunny and twin boys, Shane and Shaun, grew up and all attended public schools in Mililani.
After volunteering for numerous worthy events over the years, I am still enthusiastic about being involved in activities to support my community. I had the pleasure of coaching hundreds of girls in the Mililani-Waipio Bobby Sox League for many years; previously served four terms on the Mililani Neighborhood Board; and served on the Board of Directors for Festivals Hawaii responsible for the annual Hale’iwa Sea Spree.
I am the current Vice President of the board of directors of the Mililani Town Association, the largest homeowners’ association in the state. I am also a member of the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation, I am also a member of the hardworking Rotary Club of Mililani Sunrise. I have come to realize how much fulfillment I receive through volunteering and learning from others who selflessly give of themselves.
A RECOGNIZED LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE SENATE
Senate Vice President
Chair, Education Committee
Member, Higher Education Committee
Member, Ways and Means Committee
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) – Vice Chair, Education Committee
NCSL Early Learning Fellows (2018)
National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators (NAPACSL) – Co-chair, Education Committee
Education Commission of the States (ECS) – Hawaii Commissioner
Member, Women’s Legislative Caucus; Member, Hawaiian Caucus
Fabulous Freshman Senator of the Year, Hawaii Women’s Political Caucus (2009)
Legislator of the year (HSTA 2017, HDA 2018, Friends of Lib. 2017, Charter School Network, 2014-2015)
The Farrington Governors alumni selected her as Alumni of the Year for Farrington High School in 2011.
In 2004 her MedQuest division won the Governor’s “Team of the Year” for their innovation in helping their department to operate more efficiently.
Please allow me to serve you for a third term. Any donations and other support towards my re-election efforts would be very much appreciated.