Maija Calcagno

Maija Calcagno

Maija Calcagno at Kaniakapūpū

Maija Calcagno

Maija Calcagno

Candidate:  Maija Calcagno
‘Aha District:  Mainland
Address: Vallejo, CA
E-mail: Maija@berkeley.edu
Facebook: Vote4MaijaCalcagno
LinkedIn: maija-a-ka-upenamana-calcagno


  1. What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?

My educational background is highly relevant to government building and writing a constitution. I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California Berkeley in Peace and Conflict Studies where I studied a range of topics including colonialism and imperialism, international law, economic and political theories, as well as, conflict resolution, negotiating, and good governance through the realization of political, civil, economic, and cultural rights. Understanding good governance included studying constitutions, in part and whole, from around the world.

I am currently attending law school at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

  1. How would you characterize the values of your campaign to be elected as a delegate to the ‘aha for example, with aloha, lōkahi, kūpono, etc.?

Value systems are the center of how one looks at the entire world.  Through our value system, we interpret the law, politics, economics, spirituality, etc. My guiding principles are:

• Kuleana:  To take personal responsibility; a calling to fulfill a duty to our ohana and the community

• Malama: To take care and to protect

• Kulia i ka nu‘u:  To strive for the highest achievement

This is what I expect from myself and what I encourage in others.

  1. What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?

1) I would like to see a bi-cameral, proportional representation, parliamentary-style legislative body.  I see this as the fairest model of legislative bodies because the structure invites diversity and insures that diverse groups are represented in government.

2) I would like to see citizenship remain open for all Native Hawaiians, regardless of blood quantum.  The greater number of Hawaiians the government represents, the greater our political influence and legitimacy when advocating for our rights.

3) Studying the US constitution in law school has made me realize how important separation of powers is in government.  Balance among the different branches of government is important to prevent any one branch from accumulating too much power.  I will therefore advocate that when giving powers to the different branches of government, that we always take into consideration how every power would affect the balance between the branches.

  1. What governance model will you advocate for?

I will advocate for three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. As I stated above, I also believe in a bi-cameral legislature, proportional representation, and a parliamentary-style legislative body.

  1. Are you willing to discuss other governance models?

Most definitely. Drafting a constitution is a deeply philosophical endeavor. Working with others with various perspectives will help make our constitution stronger. I very much look forward to that discussion.

  1. How would the governance model that you choose impact the ali‘i trusts, the Hawaiian Homestead Act, federal contracts made with Native Hawaiian businesses; grants provided by the United States for programs and services to the Native Hawaiian people?

The governance model I would advocate for would only serve Native Hawaiians; therefore all entitlements that benefit Native Hawaiians would not be negatively impacted. If anything, a Native Hawaiian government would have more political leverage to protect those entitlements from legal challenge.

  1. In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?

No. I believe Native Hawaiians have a right to self-determination and self-governance. As Native Hawaiians, we have kuleana that other people do not possess, which is to insure the health and future of our people, our culture, and our lands.

  1. How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?

I would welcome the expertise that different people bring to the table. I especially would look forward to discussion with those with backgrounds in constitutional theory, constitutional law, governance, and/or human rights, including indigenous rights.

  1. Looking ahead, as a delegate to the ‘aha, how would you assure that the governance model ratified by the Native Hawaiian people is implemented and recognized at the state, federal, or international level, as appropriate.

The key to recognition is legitimacy. Keys to legitimacy are democracy and political participation. This is why I would advocate for citizenship to remain open for all Native Hawaiians. The more Kanaka politically participating, the more legitimate our government will be, which will lead to greater recognition.

  1. Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?

• My educational background will lend strongly to this process.

• My professional background is project oriented, so I’m accustomed to focusing on getting the job done within deadlines.

• I entered this process because I truly believe in a Hawaii for Hawaiians, and that to make this a reality, we have to start with Native Hawaiian self-determination and self-governance.