What is Happening in Hawaii? The Coronavirus Pandemic and Other Challenges

Video Interview Series with Asian American State Legislators No. 1

What is happening in the United States as the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic? To take a closer look at the latest developments at the local level including efforts to reopen businesses, discrimination against Asian Americans, the Black Lives Matter Movement, and more, this interview series showcases conversations with state-level legislators who discuss the challenges and opportunities they are seeing on the ground.

The first installment in this series features Hawaii State Representative Kyle Yamashita in an interview conducted on July 24, 2020.

Kyle Yamashita

State Representative, Hawaii House of Representatives (Democrat)

Representative Kyle Yamashita represents District 12, Upcountry Maui. First elected to office in 2004, he has served in the State House of Representatives for fifteen years. He serves on the Finance Committee and oversees the Capital Improvement Projects budget. He is also a member of the Committees on Labor & Public Employment and Economic Development & Business. On a regional level, Representative Yamashita has been a member of the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators since 2010. He became the Chair of this Caucus in 2014. 

Irene Kawanabe

Director, National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators

Irene Kawanabe serves as the Director of the National Asian Pacific American Caucus of State Legislators, an organization of 147 state legislators from 31 states. Irene also serves as a Group Director at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Irene oversees the State-Tribal Institute, the Quad Caucus and the Women’s Legislative Network. 

For more from SPF's Japan-U.S. Program, please visit the SPF Insights into Japan-U.S. Relations page.

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