Why I am Stepping Up to Run for County Council in 2014
Mahalo ke Akua, na 'Aumakua, Kupuna, 'Ohana a me ka lahui!
Welina me ke aloha,
Some people may know me and some I am yet to greet. I am Tiana Kaleokalani Laranio. It is with great humility and honor to announce my candidacy for the opportunity to represent our Kaua'i & Ni'ihau community. I am no expert at this as some of you may know and was never much inclined to politics. Mostly because I didn't really understand it, nor taught it, and didn't realize how much it actually affects my life as I was busy working multiple jobs, playing sports and going to school. Growing up here, raised in Anahola and an alumni of Kapaa High! I remember grumbling a bunch 8 years ago. I thought that if I want to make any sort of change as significant as I feel is needed then I would have to put my self in position to be able to do so. It took 4 years till I finally registered to vote, thanks to Tim Bynum for the initiation. I realized I had no idea how any of it worked and felt pretty intimidated by the whole experience.
Since then my view of a politician has changed to just a person, another human being, signing up for a job to be of service to the community/state/nation as chosen. Getting paid by the people to serve the health and life of the people. Though this is not how my experience of government and politics have been, I feel that it is all of our kuleana (responsibility) to protect the health and life of our shared community and resources. We could accomplish much through support, open honest communication, clear intentions, fair and equal distribution of wealth in forms of education, living wages, affordable housing, keeping local jobs in local economy, and the utilization of Hawaiian Ceded lands for the local community to live and grow food.
The health of our land, air, water and food sources are questionable, expensive and in my opinion, in critical condition. With more than 90% of our food shipped in, and no healthy place for our trash to go, we need to make priority of these things, for it is the very essence of our survival. We can breath life back into the land, depleted by the plantation era and re-establish ahupua'a, an ancient Hawaiian way of taking care of our vital resources. Mindful of the intricacies of the water flow and the life that exists from Mauka to Makai, it is a harmonious way to utilize our resources for the sustenance, nourishment, enjoyment and economic gain of our community.
I am excited to learn and grow from this experience to get in touch with the inner workings of the system while staying in tune with my na'au (intuition). To be able to share and connect with my fellow neighbors, farmers, business's, hard working mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and Kupuna who have endured many trials, with so much wisdom to share. It is important for me to provide the most optimal solutions with health and life as the core foundation. I believe that when we are provided a safe space to cultivate and express, we can thrive, but only through a shared vision can we accomplish our goals. It is the little steps that are most important, and involving the community is KEY.
We can't expect to change overnight, but if we can learn to love thyself, be accountable and responsible for our actions, be impeccable with our words, judge not, assume not, and be supportive of one another, anything is possible. Together with our effort and dedication to the health and life of ourselves, our 'Ohana, and our community, I believe we will increase the quality of life. Each and every life has a purpose in community, your voice matters and the future generations depend on it. My heart is open to receiving you mana'o (thought), whatever it may be, feedback, advice, experiences, and concerns, please express freely. Be courageous, be bold, and know that you deserve to be here just like everyone else.
Mahalo for your precious time,
I was born on November 15th, 1984 at Wilcox Memorial Hospital in Lihu’e, Kaua’i. I was raised in Anahola and went to Anahola Preschool. I attended Kapa’a Public Schools from elementary through to graduation in 2002. I have a bachelors of kinesiology and exercise science and am a full time community advocate and volunteer. I humbly ask you support me for Kaua'i County Council in the upcoming 2014 election.
My Father is Timothy D. Laranio of Anahola. He works for the County of Kaua’i in the Building Maintenance Department. My father was a baseball coach in Anahola before following his daughters to Kapa’a High, where he coached Softball until my graduation year. My Mother is Anna K. Carvalho (Kaiminaauao). She is married to Rick Carvalho of Anahola. In the 70’s my mother danced hula for Paradise Pacifica at Smiths Tropical Gardens. After having four kids, she began work at the Kauai Sands Hotel in the mid 80’s and is currently the Guest Service Manager.
I am the youngest of four children. The oldest of my siblings is Timothy P. Laranio. Along with his wife and son, he will be retiring this year after 18 years of service in the United States Marine Corp. My sister Tori Ann K. Miyazaki of Kalaheo, works for the Kaua’i Drug Court and serves our community through helping to rehabilitate members of our society and help them lead fulfilling lives. My other sister Tiffany K. Yamashita of Anahola, works for the Department of Human Services and is a happily married mother of four.
In my youth, I was very active playing in team sports and dance. I played T-ball through major league with the Anahola Dodgers, added soccer in 4th grade, then just about every sport in high school. I Began dancing Hula at the age of four, and then Tahitian dance from 9 - 16 years old, returning back to Hula in 2005. I was a member of the Interact Club and was also the Student Body Vice President my senior year in high school. With a passion for singing, I participated in school talent shows, and opening school assemblies with the National and State anthem. I worked two restaurant jobs through High School, and worked days and nights during the summers. I participated in Varsity sports all four years of high school and senior year I received the "female athlete of the year" award.
After highschool, I attended the University of Hawai’i at Hilo and played college softball. After a four year break I obtained my Bachelors in Kinesiology and Exercise Science in Spring 2010. I am currently furthering my education and going through certification processes in a few areas of health and well-being.
In college I maintained my GPA while working two jobs and playing college softball. With a heavy workload of 2-4 jobs during and after school to pay the bills and student loans, I felt that my health and spirit was being neglected. I began to seek other ways to create a more optimal and fulfilling life and lifestyle. Being blessed with wonderful support from friends and family, I have been able to suspend working temporarily while I focus on expanding my health education certificates and investigate opportunities to better serve my community.
Recently I have been learning to better take care of the health of my body through food nutrition and exercise. In turn, I feel it allows me to be of better service to the health and well being of our community and environment. I am in the process of getting my Raw Nutrition Certification through the Body Mind Institute. I am also in process of certification as a Qi Gong Instructor in the Organ Cleansing and Strengthening practice as well as Women’s Qi Gong practice. I am also a student of lomilomi at the Aloha Massage Academy in Lihu’e.
I have been more and more active in the community over the last few years, volunteering in various areas. I am a facilitator for The Leadership Challenge Kaua’i, a Kupu A’e initiative working to implement the Leadership program into our high schools. I volunteer as a facilitator for team building at the Waipa Ropes Course working with children and adults in our community and outer islands as well. I volunteer at various environmental and educational activities, such as beach clean ups and invasive species eradication. I am a new board member of Kukulu Kumuhana O Anahola and I look forward to strengthening our Kaua’i community by starting with my hometown. I am a supporter of the MOMs Hui Kaua’i and an active member of ‘Ohana O Kaua’i. I volunteer as a docent at Steelgrass Farm learning and sharing with the community and visitors on the organic agriculture of Chocolate, Vanilla, Honey, and Bamboo production as a viable economical resource for our Island.