By: J. S.
Andria Tupola is the Honolulu City Councilmember for District 1. In 2018 Tupalosa ran against incumbent Governor Ige as a Republican candidate for Hawaii Governor. She was the strongest opponent to run against Ige, and she gained 33% of the vote while Ige received 62%. Her political career in Hawaii began when she was elected to serve as a Republican Hawaii House Representative for House District 43 in 2014 and again in 2016.
In 2020 she was elected as a member of the council after running as a non-partisan candidate. She won the seat outright in the primaries with 59.5% of the vote against three other candidates. She has been a strong candidate in each election having won more than one primary election.
Honolulu City District 1 includes Portions of Ewa Villages and Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko Olina, Nanakuli, Ma’ili, Wai’anae, Makaha, Kea’au, Makua. In total the island of Oahu is divided into nine city districts, each represented by a Councilmember.
As a North Shore Oahu native, Tupola grew up with a family in both law and music. She attended Brigham Young University where she first became politically active when she ran for a position in the student body and won the election. Tupola mentions on her website that during a mission trip to Venezuela soon after President Chavez had assumed power, she was exposed to different political systems and saw how people suffered, giving her a strong appreciation of freedoms and human rights in the United States of America. She returned to Hawaii with her family in 2008 to reside on Oahu, and began to see policies implemented by local politicians that were eerily familiar to those she had seen in Venezuela. She became involved with local politics and volunteering locally, and officially ran for House Representative in 2014.
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During that initial campaign in 2014, Tupola built her support from the ground up. She raised funds, knocked on doors and worked diligently to get to know the communities she wanted to serve. She was unopposed as the Republican candidate, yet was running against Karen Leinani Awana who was the Democratic eight year incumbent candidate for the seat. Ultimately, Tupola won. She attributed this to her “people before politics” motto that resounded in the community.
Tupola lists her priorities as being a better plan for Covid-19, supporting local families, homelessness, public safety and crime, affordable housing and supporting local businesses.
Were it up to Tupola, the pandemic would have been handled much differently. Her solution would have been to have a plan from day one, implement a small yet effective team and continue to evaluate effectiveness, and test for Covid-19 at the airports immediately.
She also believes in government transparency, and supports the idea of broadcasting all Honolulu City Council meetings for the public.
Regarding current restrictions, Tulopa has voiced her opinion that restrictions to youth water sports should be lifted. A petition to lift restrictions on spectators at keiki sporting events has been making headway recently with thousands of signatures from concerned citizens. Tupola has led the effort to get sports going again for keiki. She has also been in support of bringing back Hawaii’s wedding industry and transitioning out of the Governor’s reopening tier system. She believes in a path for advocacy about what is happening with the system.
To learn more about Councilmember Tulopa you can visit her website as well as follow her on Facebook and Instagram. She is very responsive and transparent across her platforms.