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Candidate Kathryn Xian would donate half her salary

By Cathy Bussewitz / Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:56 p.m. HST, Jun 19, 2014

If congressional candidate Kathryn Xian is elected to the U.S. House, she has vowed to donate half her salary to charity.

The Democrat, running in Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, said she wants to put her money where her mouth is as a politician and as a human being who cares about her community.

"I feel that the pursuit of politics can become a very self-centered endeavor, to the detriment of our democracy," Xian said.

Xian said the salaries offered to Congress are generous, but "Congress needs to show a little more for what it's being paid to do with that money."

If elected, Xian would retain about $90,000 a year after donating half her salary.

Xian is executive director of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking. The nearly $90,000 salary would be a step up for Xian, who doesn't currently earn a salary. She is being supported by her partner, and previously earned $42,000 a year as director of development and communications at Hawaii's Legal Aid Society, she said.

Asked whether they would make a similar decision to donate parts of their salaries, none of Xian's competitors in the crowded field of candidates immediately said they would do the same.

"At this stage, I hadn't even thought about that one bit. I've been concentrating on first getting myself elected," said state Sen. Will Espero, who's competing against Xian in the Democratic primary. "That's a noble statement on her behalf."

Xian said she would donate the money to the Hawaii Home Project, which delivers medical care to homeless people; Family Promise of Hawaii, which helps homeless families with children; and Hawaii Meals on Wheels.

"In Hawaii, in order to survive, people need a system around them in order to make ends meet, and that needs to end," Xian said.

Honolulu City Councilman Stanley Chang did not say whether he would donate part of his salary, but said in an emailed statement that if elected he would support the elderly on fixed incomes and workers who struggle from paycheck to paycheck.

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ellinaskyrt wrote:
Frequent commenters to the Star-Advertiser complain that they want a candidate who isn't in politics for self-enrichment. Well, here she is. You gonna vote for her?
on June 19,2014 | 02:04PM
iwanaknow wrote:
Ahhhh......we are looking for servant leaders...........will she be next? time will tell.
on June 19,2014 | 02:07PM
cojef wrote:
I thought congresspersons earned around $174,000 plus expenses to run the office. Guess, $90,000 must be 50%. At any rate, if all the legislators worked under that premise, maybe we can get some accomplishment, instead of the partisan politics that is occurring. In the process, term limits may help get rid of the "career" politicians who only look after their benefits plans and screw the taxpayers.
on June 19,2014 | 02:14PM
cojef wrote:
Oops sent for approval for saying the politicians only take of their benefits and give the taxpayers a good scr--ing. Also implement term limits.
on June 19,2014 | 02:16PM
lowtone123 wrote:
You've got my vote.
on June 19,2014 | 02:26PM
jmarie wrote:
I want to see it in writing!
on June 19,2014 | 02:34PM
Nala007 wrote:
This is an empty promise from a candidate who doesn't stand a chance at winning the election. Ms. Xian has never held elective office at all and has almost no campaign to speak of. This is nothing more than a publicity stunt and an easy promise to make since she will never be called on to fulfill it.
on June 19,2014 | 03:08PM
8082062424 wrote:
i really liked her until she went after Don Horner because he did not support her cause. . she lost my vote. it either Anderson or kim for me
on June 19,2014 | 03:30PM
Anonymous wrote:
Yes, and she is a one issue candidate. I'm leaning anderson
on June 19,2014 | 03:48PM
nitpikker wrote:
"bring back fireworks" anderson? you gotta be kidding!
on June 19,2014 | 04:33PM
8082062424 wrote:
a lot of us want fire works back
on June 19,2014 | 06:17PM
false wrote:
Why go through the motions? It will be Donna Kim vs Charles Djou. Ms Xian is admirable and I really believe she would fulfill her promise. However, reality and name recognition will propel Kim to the dem's nomination. I wish Ms Xian the best.
on June 19,2014 | 03:51PM
jmarie wrote:
Not sure why she always looks so angry!
on June 19,2014 | 03:56PM
kwensel wrote:
We should pay them all a per deim and no salary
on June 19,2014 | 04:39PM
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