Upcountry Maui County Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura filed for re-election on Thursday.
Sugimura serves as the chair of the council’s Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture Committee and is a member of the National Association of Counties, Rural Action Caucus.
First elected in 2016, she has focused on bettering the community by serving as an advocate for fairer handling of one-day liquor permits for nonprofits; authored and passed legislation to prohibit smoking in vehicles with minors under eighteen years of age; and worked to secure the needed funding for the Upcountry Skatepark, with construction slated to begin on March 19.
Sugimura is also leading the effort to establish specific job qualifications for directors appointed by the mayor. This effort will help to ensure that the most qualified professionals are hired to serve the county.
She is also helping to ease the burden placed on farmers by working with county departments to implement a “One Farm Plan,” to allow active farmers to obtain agricultural rates and exemptions through a single application.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished in a short period of time,” said Sugimura. “I will continue to support working families, push for affordable rental and market housing, protect our precious watersheds, support the eradication of invasive species, and support social and economic development community.”
Sugimura was born and raised in Wailuku and has earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Hawaii, Manoa Campus. Before she was elected to the Council, Sugimura was a community organizer and worked on projects such as the revitalization of Wailuku town and was the Maui Representative for U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono.
She is married to Dr. Tak Sugimura, Ph.D. and has a son, Michael, who is a Dartmouth and Georgetown University graduate currently working at Booz, Allen, Hamilton as a Data Scientist.