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Rep. McKelvey focused on helping people continuing to struggle

By Staff | Aug 3, 2020

Tenth District Rep. Angus McKelvey is a board member for LahainaTown Action Committee and member of the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunrise.

LAHAINA – With unimaginable challenges facing our community, Tenth House District Rep. Angus McKelvey believes his experience and record of success “puts Lahaina in the best position possible to ride out the storm as best we can.”

Democrats McKelvey and Leonard K. Nakoa III will face off in the Aug. 8 Primary Election. This year, all Hawaii residents are voting by mail.

McKelvey is seeking reelection to “continue to serve the good people of West Maui, Maalaea and Kihei, and to continue to direct resources back to the community to help provide state resources for their hard-earned tax dollars.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together so far… from making the bypass (Lahaina Bypass) a reality to saving Honolua Bay to securing millions for Lahainaluna High School and our elementary schools, and in particular this year for the Villages of Leiali’i Phase 2. Now more than ever with COVID-19, I feel that experience and a record of results is important in being able to continue to direct these kinds of resources into our community, so we can improve our lives while riding out the storm.”

Other than the economic impact of COVID-19, McKelvey considers affordable housing to be one of the biggest issues this election season.

He was able to help preserve affordable rentals at the Front Street Apartments through the Hawaii Legislature, and working with the County of Maui and non-profits, new projects – such as the Keawe Street Apartments, Kahoma Village and the Kaiaulu o Kupuohi Apartments Project – are moving forward in Lahaina.

“We need to continue to use these successes as a roadmap to provide more affordable housing in West Maui by funding other projects like these, as well as going forward and continuing to build additional partnerships with the county and non-profits,” McKelvey said.

West Maui’s state representative since 2006, McKelvey has held leadership roles with the Consumer Protection and Commerce, Economic Development and Business, Judiciary and Higher Education committees. He also served on the Labor and Public Employment Committee.

“I believe my experience as a legislator and as a chair in these various different areas is an asset in state government in getting things accomplished and helping to make government more responsive to people and their needs,” he explained.

“This has especially been the case in trying to help people navigate the unemployment insurance and other government programs, so that they can get the support they need for their families during this unprecedented pandemic and economic shutdown.”

His biggest accomplishments as a state lawmaker include the acquisition of Honolua Bay – “keeping this iconic landmark and surf spot open and for the public good for future generations,” he explained – working to resurrect the Lahaina Bypass and securing funding to develop the first phases, saving the Lahainaluna High School Boarding Program from being abolished by the state and helping to secure millions for improvements to the historic school, and authoring the measure to make Hawaii the last state to allow people to use electronica to provide proof of insurance.

If he is reelected, McKelvey wants to continue to work on the second phase of Villages of Leiali’i and West Maui affordable housing projects.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, McKelvey and his staff helped residents secure unemployment insurance and businesses apply for support programs.

“I have eschewed traditional campaigning of putting up signs, etc., because I believe the community is not in the mood for politics and wants our nose to the grindstone,” he added.

This pandemic is still ramping up on the Mainland and may lead to delays in restoring tourism in Hawaii. The state will need to allocate more resources to the community, he said, and try “to pull down as much federal help as we can get to make it through the rest of the dumpster fire that is 2020.

“COVID-19 pandemic has created a nightmarish dance between reopening our main economic engine of tourism and keeping our community safe. It has impacted my job as a representative by limiting the ability to have face-to-face meetings with different groups and entities, and to pivot away from policy to community relief in so far as focusing in on drawing down federal resources to Maui and ensuring that the whole community, especially our businesses, get the support they need to survive and be here when we rebuild our economy,” McKelvey continued.

“As such, I’m focusing on trying to use all of our available legislative resources to help those who are still continuing to struggle.”

Lahaina resident McKelvey, 52, earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Whittier College and Juris Doctor Degree from Concord Law.

McKelvey hopes to continue to work with the community of the Tenth District.

“I believe I’m worthy of the support of our voters based upon the accomplishments that we have secured working together,” he said.

“Besides an actual proven track record of real collaboration and accomplishment, I believe my seniority and experience puts us in a much better position to secure the resources we need to weather the storm – COVID or Douglas or whatever else 2020 has in store for Maui Nui.”