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2022 Election: Julian (Keikilani) Ako

  • Julian Keikilani Ako
Name on ballot:

Julian (Keikilani) Ako

Running for:

OHA At-Large Trustee

Political party:

No answer submitted

Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Retired School Administrator



Previous job history:

Social Studies Teacher, Richfield (MN) High School; Social Studies Teacher and Department Head, Lawrence (KS) High School; Social Studies Teacher, Department Head, Dormitory Advisor, Dean of Student Activities, and Principal, Kamehameha High School (Oʻahu); and Strategic Plan Facilitator, Kamehameha Schools.

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

To be clear, although this position is voted on by all the people of Hawaiʻi, its charge is specifically to improve the conditions of Native Hawaiians. I have spent my life, both professionally and in retirement, working to do just that and believe I already have a proven track record in this regard.

What will be your top priority if elected?

Working to ensure that OHA receives the full 20% of the annual revenues of the State of Hawaiʻi Public Land Trust to which it is constitutionally entitled.

What is one specific change you would like to see in OHA’s operations and what would you do to make it happen?

At this point in time, I do not presume to have adequate knowledge to respond to this question responsibly. However, if elected, one of my priorities is to ensure that OHAʻs assets are managed prudently on behalf of its beneficiaries.

What should OHA do to help alleviate homelessness and increase home ownership among Native Hawaiians?

I believe OHA should collaborate with other Native Hawaiian-serving institutions, State agencies, and non-profit organizations to address the issue of houselessness (not homelessness) of Native Hawaiians.

What reforms, if any, would you propose to make OHA more transparent to the public?

If elected, I am committed to ensuring that OHA operates transparently and is accountable to its beneficiaries. In this regard, I will make sure that laws and regulations that govern ALL State of Hawaiʻi agencies relating to transparency are observed.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and what should OHA’s role be in the process?

Personally, I am opposed to the construction of the TMT on Mauna Kea for reasons associated with the history of colonialism in Hawaiʻi. However, I believe that the people of Moku O Keawe (Hawaiʻi Island) are the ones who ultimately should determine the fate of the TMT there, not someone like me who resides on Oʻahu. It is their island. OHAʻs role is to support whatever the people of Moku O Keawe may want.

What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent and what can the Office of Hawaiian Affairs do to address that need?

I believe that the most pressing needs of Native Hawaiians relate to economic well-being (income, food and housing security) and to health well=being. OHAʻs ability to adequately address these issues by itself is limited, given the revenues with which it has to work. It has to collaborate with other entities to do so.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

Hawaiian values and my personal principles, not political expediency, will guide my work if I am elected. I will collaborate with any of the other OHA trustees with whom I may share common ground on any given issue.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
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