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2022 Election: Sam Peralta (Kamuela)

Samuel Peralta
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Name on ballot:

Sam Peralta (Kamuela)

Running for:

State House – District 9

Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Construction/ Hospitality



Previous job history:

Construction, Hospitality, Education

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

My father was born and raised on Kauai. He is a United States veteran and grew up in sugar plantation camp. He and his father (from Elocos Norte) worked hard in the HC&S industry here in Hawaiʻi. My mother comes from rural farming in the Philippines(Bicol, Naga) who was an immigrant that worked most of her life in the hotel industry. I went to Christ the King school, Maui Waena, and graduated from Maui High School. After I graduated I spent five years working in NewCastle Australia in the public/ private school system of New South Wales. When I came back to Maui, I studied Hawaiian language (ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi) as well as environmental politics from University of Hawaiʻi. I also studied governance in the Philippines connected to UHMC international mobility program. I worked in Hawaiian Immersion schools and continue to support Hawaiian language and culture to give back. I have been in the construction and hospitality industry for past ten years. I was the former University of Hawaiʻi Student Government President and have been in student government since 2018.

What is the most pressing issue facing residents in your district and how would you address the problem?

Lethargy, apathy, and selfish ambition. Our collective numbness level to participation with reality is at an all time decline. Our education system generates compliance not creativity. Our education system was made for a different time for a different place. From separating our youth from land based education and putting them in concrete rooms filled with synthetic lighting and electromagnetic radiation to creating a culture of rewards and punishment that comes from doing what youʻve been told to do. This pedagogy has colored our local culture. You now can see it in our working class. That word “working class” alone describes what our current systems and structures values. We need a new paradigm in education. Our youth need to be equipped and educated in what it means to be a global leader in our local society. We need to increase our collective innovative power. The idea of go to school, go to college, get a career, start a family is no longer attractive to people today. We need to prepare our youth for what is emerging. 

Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the state level to help Hawaii residents cope with high consumer prices?

Our State needs to take back responsibility in what it means to be a State. Meaning taking care of our people and places. We have diverted tremendous amounts of natural resources, energy, and efforts towards pseudo science and educational theories from somewhere else. Our people have the answers collectively. Return natural water flow, cultivate and increase biodiversity, and create an alternative culture to the one that has been destroying Hawaiʻiʻs livelihood. Education reform is the key. When we let the younger generations create, innovate, and thrive Hawaiʻi will thrive. The State needs to trust its people and not foreign saviors. Our students are the driving force for our State motto “ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono.”

Hawaii’s rising gasoline prices are among the highest in the nation. Should Hawaii lower or temporarily suspend state taxes on gasoline to help ease the pain at the pump?

Hawaiʻi should not be reactive to rising gasoline prices. But take a look of how weʻve already been spending money and if there are ways we can reduce waste and be more efficient and effective in our goals. This is not a “business as usual” season we are in. What we can do as people of Hawaiʻi is to start leading in alternative ways of energy. We can also now take the time to start investing into our communities. As oil prices are the highest, we can make the best of these opportunities by becoming more sustainable.

Do you support or oppose efforts to slow or limit the number of tourists to Hawaii? Please explain.

We need to diversify tourism. Putting tourist into one category such as “tourist” is not helpful. The devil is in the details. Hawaiʻi needs to take responsibility and action for creating multiple options for those coming to Hawaiʻi to give back to Hawaiʻi. Right now there really isnʻt any viable options. Its just hotels, resorts, and shopping at expense of our natural resources. Iʻve been a part of models where ecotourism, cultural tourism, and education adventures were the highlights of many of the visitors I talk with. Most of all on Maui people come here to get healed. Maui can be a healing hub rather than a stealing hub. I support Hawaiʻiʻs initiative and responsibility to be the best we can be. Right now weʻre not. We given our power to others. We need to be better.

Can Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy be diversified, and, if so, what can state government do to support the effort?

It all comes back to education reform. We need to be teaching our youth about taxes, how to start business, technical and trade skills etc. Our schools should be the most creative innovative places on the planet. We are the most diversified region in the world and yet we tend to stick western pedagogy. The youth have the answers but it seems that our schools and teachers can barley get on the same track with administrators. This has to change. Can we shape our education system towards gearing up our youth to create and innovate a diversified economy that has tourism aspects to it? I think so.

What is your plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii, and to help the counties deal with homelessness?

Iʻve worked in construction industry for the past decade. We need to look at alternative building materials and community hubs as answers for some of these issues. Not all, but some who are open to more communal type living. We can use abandoned or vacant buildings and structures to create these community hubs and complexes. Its time to think out of the box (literally). From green roofs, SIPS, bamboo, compressed earth, straw, etc. We have the technology and answers. But someone has to let go. We need to deal with the trusts we have as a State. Are we people ready to take on more responsibility or not?
Community hubs specific to houseless community can be a viable solution. Here in Kahului, we are set up more than ever for it. With many abandoned buildings and car rental structures lets put in the effort and take care of our people.

What would you propose to help protect Hawaii residents’ health during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?

Part of education reform is holistic health. We need to start educating our people not only in allopathic disciplines but homeopathic disciplines of health and wellness. Giving our collective human consciousness the opportunity to expand in various forms health will save us millions if not billions of dollars. During the pandemic mental health increased dramatically which compromises the human immune system. In Hawaiʻi there are many other disruptors that we face. Our bodies need to be healthy from the inside out, not the other way around. Confronting our education system would be a priority. The fear and shame tactics used this past year coming from teachers, administration, and the general public alike was horrific. Weʻre sick because our environment is sick. We need to create healthy environments first before we start pointing the finger.

Hawaii isn’t likely to see a repeat of this year’s $2 billion revenue surplus which allowed higher-than-normal spending on state programs and projects. If elected, what will your top spending priorities be?


What, if anything, should state government do in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade?

The State should come together and be able to openly discuss in public what Hawaiʻi decisions should be.

What should state government do to support and improve public education in Hawaii?

State should diversify and decentralize educational power. Local and regional leadership and administration should cultivate optimal diverse learning environments. Open up public schools and create parent/ community opportunities for them to invest back into the classrooms.

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

Social media department. Daily updates and videos by everything government related. Make it active and generational friendly. We need more public participation and awareness. Government officials should have monthly public town hall meetings for community to be informed and ask questions. Just like election season, we need need this kind of network, connection, and dialog though the year.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?

I oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope on Big Island until Lāhui Hawaiʻi agrees on it. It is a indigenous stewardship, an inherited right to kānaka maoli.

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

My platform is dreams, hopes, and fears of Hawaiʻi. Reconciliation of Western, Eastern, and Oceanic. A wake a call to the sleepers. A keep on dreaming to dreamers. To those who lost belief in their mothers and fathers. My platform is a tear drop in the abandoned child left at broken rusted bus stops who looks in the mirror and ask how she got there. I am for the father who is tired, an aching body, and wakes up early to give his energy to the “ideal” society. He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa. My platform is yours.

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