Press Releases

LCV Action Fund Endorses Kai Kahele for Congress

Jul 20, 2020

Courtnee Connon, 727-744-4163,

Washington D.C. – The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, which works to elect pro-environment candidates, announced its endorsement of Kai Kahele for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District. 

“We are proud to support Kai Kahele for Congress,” said LCV Action Fund Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld. “Kai will fight for environmental values and climate solutions to ensure our collective health and safety, and to address the disproportionate impacts of the climate crisis on low-income and communities of color.”   

“As a Native Hawaiian growing up in an island state, protecting our environment and natural resources has always been a top priority of mine,” said Kai Kahele. “I believe if we invest in policies that balance environmental sustainability with economic stability, we can unlock the potential of a green-economy for future generations while creating millions of new jobs that have been lost to globalization.  I look forward to working with the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund to continue to act in response to the climate change crisis and the effects of a rising sea level that jeopardize Hawai‘i and many other states.”

Since giving this quote, Kai Kahele was deployed on active duty as a Lt. Colonel with the Hawai‘i Air National Guard for the state’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Kai Kahele was born and raised in Hawai‘i and is a native Hawaiian who advocates for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds in the inclusive spirit of aloha. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He was the executive director of a nonprofit organization called Pa‘a Pa’a Pono Miloli‘i, which preserves and protects the cultural, historical and environmental life and well-being of Miloli‘i, the last Hawaiian fishing village in the state. He was also a University of Hawai‘i Hilo adjunct faculty member. Kahele is a lieutenant colonel with the 201st Air Operations Group of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard, United States Air Force, with 18 years of experience as a veteran, pilot, and commissioned officer. Kahele has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Medal for combat missions flown in Afghanistan, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Hawaiʻi State Active Duty Medal and the Combat Readiness Medal for his service. In February 2016, Kahele was appointed to the Hawai‘i State Senate by Governor David Ige after the death of his father, Senator Gil Kahele. He continues to serve in the Hawai‘i State Senate as the Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Water and Land. As a Hawai‘i State Senator, Kahele has championed legislation that protects Hawai‘i’s lands, waters, and communities. He sponsored HI SB372, which directs the Governor and other government entities to develop a strategic plan to achieve a 100 percent renewable energy portfolio standard. He also sponsored HI SB930, which requires the Hawai‘i climate change mitigation and adaptation commission to assist the State and counties with developing and implementing sea level rise adaptation plans and climate change mitigation efforts. Kahele sponsored HI SB2366, which prohibits the issuance of covered source air permits for coal-burning electricity generation facilities after 2022 and prohibits the approval of new power purchase agreements for electricity generated from coal. He also sponsored HI SB2386, which prohibits any waste or disposal facility from being located in a conservation district. 


About LCV Action Fund

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) Action Fund, the connected federal political action committee (PAC) of the League of Conservation Voters, works to elect leaders who stand up for a clean, healthy environment and to defeat anti-environment candidates who oppose climate action. Since the 1990 election cycle, LCVAF has helped elect and re-elect 90 U.S. Senators and 450 members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Over the last several years, our efforts have also helped elevate climate change and clean energy as critical issues in key elections.



Paid for by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund and authorized by Kahele for Congress