Kealiilalanikulani ‘Keali‘i’ Lopez

Kealiʻi Lopez

At left are my two sons, Javi and La‘akea, and at right, my grandson Kealapono and me.

Keali‘i Lopez

Keali‘i Lopez

Candidate:  Kealiilalanikulani “Keali‘i” Lopez
‘Aha District:  O‘ahu
Address: 89-568 Puakolu Street, Waianae, HI 96792
Phone: (808) 722-0248
E-mail: lopezkealii@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/KealiiLopez4Hawaii


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

A vote for me is a vote for a Native Hawaiian leader that is balanced, realistic and effective at measuring short- and long-term goals.  Additionally, I am very clear about how critical this is for our people, as well as those whom we love and work with.   Our pathway to self-governance should not continue to be perceived as a battle.  We need to see it as a deliberate focused strategy that will require both approaches for now and the future.  This is what I excel at, and my passion is not to seek to fight first, but to preserver toward peace for our people and coexistence with those who call Hawai‘i home, no matter their ancestral place of origin.

I believe we are at a critical point in the life of our people. We cannot afford to wait another 120 years.  We must act now.  What we do today will give us momentum for more possibilities ahead.  What we choose today does not eliminate what can happen later.  This is a foundation for more.  My understanding of this and my commitment to this is one of many reasons I would be an effective ‘aha delegate, and why Native Hawaiians should vote for me.

Me ka ha‘a ha‘a,
Kealiilalanikulani “Keali‘i” Lopez.

  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.?

‘Ohana, not just in the way that so many of us understand this. Yes, family and caring for those who are part of us. But also ‘ohana as it relates to how we work together and our contributions to the whole. For me, the value of ‘ohana carries into my work and interaction with those I am working alongside to accomplish shared kuleana. This too is ‘ohana. Like any family, our love for each other carries us through the challenging times as well as all the wonderful times. The work of the ‘Aha will be very challenging, and our love for each other, and most importantly for our people, will have to be the strongest guide. This is possible through ‘ohana.

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

Although I believe the entire constitution is important, the three areas I have the great interest in are: the balance of power between the branches of government, citizenship and commerce.

  1. What governance model will you advocate for?

I am primarily interested in there being a balance of power among the different branches of government. Most importantly my goal is to have a governance model that is transparent and accountable to its people.

  1. Are you willing to discuss other governance models?

I am open and will remain open to all perspectives. This does not mean I will agree with all approaches, but I will work at not being predisposed to objecting to other models. However, I will want to see models consistent with the principles I note above.

  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?

I am in favor of a governance model that at minimum strengthens and protects the ali‘i trusts, 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.

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

The governance model we are addressing as part of this specific ‘Aha relates to the care for Native Hawaiians, and the focus on inclusion or exclusion misses the point and shifts the focus.  It is entirely about how Hawai‘i nei, supports and advocates for the indigenous people of Hawai‘i. I believe those who love Hawai‘i nei and its native people, have great aloha for our efforts in this ‘aha.   Any lack on inclusion in this process has nothing to do with not seeing a role and place for non-Hawaiians in their island home.  To all my non-Hawaiian friends, family members and colleagues: although I believe the only way this makes sense is for there to be Hawaiian self-governance; I ask that you think of us all as a large extended ‘Ohana.

The people of Hawai‘i nei are like a large extended ‘Ohana.  We might not know everyone in the family, but everyone is still part of its essence and well-being.  Native Hawaiian governance is a bit more like an immediate family.  What we do for our immediate family is the kuleana of the immediate family.   Obtaining resources to put a roof over the family’s head and food on the table, send our children to school, take care of our kupuna and so much more.  We must take care of our immediate family; in order to be strong for ourselves and others.  We have the larger extended family of all those who live here.  What our immediate ‘Ohana does can impact our extended ‘Ohana and vice versa.  To make this work we will need each other, care for one another and be there to lend help and support the greater well-being of Hawai‘i nei.  This can best be done by having the immediate family of Native Hawaiians heal ourselves, become healthy and learn to embrace our kuleane for caring for our immediate and extended ‘Ohana.

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

The ‘Aha by design is somewhat limited to the delegates who are elected. However, I favor and will advocate for our being open to hearing from others who may be more experienced in certain areas. I think we need to provide opportunities to also hear from those who elected us about their thoughts, desires and needs. I will also advocate for the ‘Aha to be transparent through live streaming of the meetings, posting of information daily and allowing input through reasonable means by those who elected us. However, whatever methods we adopt for the points I am advocating, I will not support anything that will be disruptive to the work of the ‘Aha members. Those who are elected are elected to accomplish certain kuleana, and this is our primary purpose.

  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.

These specific points need to be part of the consideration in the development and ratification of the constitution developed by the delegates. It can be as narrow or broad, depending on the relationship our people want to have with these other entities. However, at minimum, I believe recognition by the State of Hawai‘i and the federal government are critical to maintaining the programs and services currently available to our people.

  1. Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?

A vote for me is a vote for a Native Hawaiian leader that is balanced, realistic and effective at measuring short- and long-term goals.  Additionally, I am very clear about how critical this is for our people, as well as those whom we love and work with.   Our pathway to self-governance should not continue to be perceived as a battle.  We need to see it as a deliberate focused strategy that will require both approaches for now and the future.  This is what I excel at, and my passion is not to seek to fight first, but to preserver toward peace for our people and coexistence with those who call Hawai‘i home, no matter their ancestral place of origin.

I believe we are at a critical point in the life of our people. We cannot afford to wait another 120 years.  We must act now.  What we do today will give us momentum for more possibilities ahead.  What we choose today does not eliminate what can happen later.  This is a foundation for more.  My understanding of this and my commitment to it is one on many reasons Native Hawaiians should vote for me.

Mahalo piha,
Kealiilalanikulani “Keali‘i” Lopez