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111 Hekili Street, Box 392, Kailua, HI 96734

Paid for by Friends of Chris Lee

A Coalition of Grassroots

Supporters Like You!

Creating Change

Creating Change on Important Issues

Always Doing The Right Thing

Holding Special Interests Accountable

Ensuring A Just Economy

Creating Change On Important Issues

Chris is a different kind of leader who has consistently put the interests of people first while tackling controversial issues, taking on billion dollar corporations, and challenging status quo politics in Hawaii. He has succeeded in helping to make Hawaii a leader on renewable energy, climate change, ending discrimination, and rebuilding a fair and just 21st century economy that leaves no one behind.

He has worked strategically to pass dozens of bills, earned the respect of his colleagues to serve as Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, and has been endorsed by Barack Obama for his role making Hawaii a national leader on climate and energy policy.

Setting Politics Aside To Do The Right Thing

Despite political pressure from the powers that be, Chris has never been afraid to stand up to do the right thing. When a mainland corporation pushed a $4.3 billion takeover of Hawaii’s utilities that would hurt local consumers, Chris built a coalition and led the opposition, successfully fighting back against a $20million corporate PR campaign to defeat the takeover.

In 2013 Chris stepped up to help lead the campaign to pass marriage equality in Hawaii. Despite receiving a death threat for his role as a spokesperson for the campaign, he fought on to help end discrimination against LGBT citizens and make Hawaii the 15th state to pass marriage equality.

Chris then took on the political might of the fossil fuel industry and passed a groundbreaking law making Hawaii the first state to require all electricity to come from 100% renewable energy.

Holding Special Interests Accountable

Chris has never been afraid to hold special interests accountable for their actions. When a massive spill in Honolulu Harbor wiped out nearly all marine life, Chris helped lead the effort to ensure negligent regulators and shipping companies cleaned up the mess, restored marine life, and took action to prevent it from happening again.

After jet fuel began leaking from the Navy’s massive underground storage tanks into the public water supply, Chris helped push the Navy toward a fix and passed a law ensuring public oversight of the recovery process, and continues to fight for a permanent solution.

When utilities began blocking consumers from installing solar panels, Chris convened public hearings and passed a law that directed the utility to let more consumers take advantage of solar energy. Chris was named a national “Solar Champion” for his work on renewable energy.

Reducing the Cost of Living And Ensuring a Just Economy

Taking on a rising cost of living and growing income inequality, Chris passed a resolution making Hawaii the first state to commit to ensuring basic financial security for all families, take the first steps to consider a universal basic income or other mechanisms that would eliminate extreme poverty, and ensure that as automation changes our economy everyone benefits and no one is left behind.

For many years Chris fought hard and introduced legislation to establish a state earned income tax credit (EITC) to benefit working families and allow paid family leave to care for siblings. Hawaii adopted both in 2017.

To prevent exploitation of workers, Chris passed a law preventing tech corporations from forcing employees to sign non-compete agreements to bind workers to their employers, despite sometimes unfair or unfavorable working conditions.

Addressing Clean Energy and Climate Change

Hawaii is already facing eroding beaches, a diminishing fresh water supply, and growing hurricane frequency as result of our changing climate. As a first step, Chris passed a groundbreaking law making Hawaii the first state to mandate 100% renewable electricity by 2045. He also passed a law directing the state to eliminate fossil fuels for all ground transportation. Progress toward 100% renewable energy has already saved Hawaii over a third of a billion dollars and Chris was honored to be named a national “Solar Champion” for this work.

When utilities began blocking consumers from installing solar panels, Chris convened public hearings and passed a law that directed the utility to let more consumers take advantage of solar energy. He was also named national “Best Policymaker” by the US Green Building Council Center for Green Schools for two laws he passed making Hawaii the first state to direct all public schools and universities to produce 100% of their own power from renewables by 2035.

Sea level rise and impacts of global warming are already impacting Hawaii and our economy. Action must be taken not only because it will help boost the local economy, but more importantly because it is the morally right thing to do for our next generation. Chris authored the Hawaii Climate Adaptation Initiative directing all levels of government to work together to address sea level rise and prepare for these coming changes. He also passed a law establishing a process to allow local farmers to receive carbon credits and be paid for sequestering carbon.

Chris has been working with leaders around the country and passed a resolution calling on other states to follow Hawaii’s efforts to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy which have saved consumers millions, created thousands of jobs, and benefited our economy.

Fighting Discrimination and Ensuring Equality

Chris has always been a champion for LGBT rights because all citizens deserve the same benefits and protections of the Constitution. In 2013 Chris stepped up to help lead the campaign to pass marriage equality in Hawaii. Despite receiving a death threat for his role as a spokesperson for the campaign, he fought on to help end discrimination against LGBT citizens and make Hawaii the 15th state to ensure marriage equality.

More recently Chris passed a law allowing transgender individuals to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identities as recommended by the American Medical Association. He also passed a law barring health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender individuals by unfairly denying them medical coverage.

Protecting Our Environment

In Hawaii, our environment is our economy, and Chris has fought to protect our irreplaceable natural resources for our next generation. Working with community leaders and Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation, Chris helped organize a grassroots effort and pushed to expand protections for the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The expanded monument prohibits sea floor mineral mining around the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and ensures the protection of the oldest species of life on the planet.

When residents began fighting for their health and safety as industrial agriculture companies sprayed thousands of gallons of pesticides near communities and watersheds, Chris questioned officials about the massive quantities of unreported pesticides being sprayed around the state, as well as the lack of meaningful oversight to ensure public safety.  Chris championed legislation to ensure that industrial agricultural companies disclose the thousands of gallons of restricted use pesticides being sprayed near schools and homes in communities around the state, as well as establish buffer zones around these sensitive areas. It is impossible to know the extent of the impacts these pesticides may be having on surrounding communities and take appropriate action without reliable data.

When a massive spill in Honolulu Harbor wiped out nearly all marine life, Chris helped lead the effort to ensure negligent regulators and shipping companies paid to clean up the mess, restore marine life, and prevent it from happening again.

After jet fuel began leaking from the Navy’s underground storage tanks into the public water supply, Chris helped push the Navy toward a fix and passed a law ensuring public oversight of the recovery process, and continues to fight for a permanent solution.

Ending the Corrosive Influence of Money in Politics

The US Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC has allowed billions of dollars of money to flow through superPACs and influence decision makers. Chris has fought to get money out of politics and in his first year in office passed an amendment prohibiting state contractors from making political contributions, helping to prevent the pay-to-play culture that exists elsewhere.

Chris followed up by passing a groundbreaking law that requires secretive superPACs to disclose their top donors in all elections advertising. He also passed a law making voter fraud a felony, preventing fraudulent elections advertising that has been used to misdirect voters in other states around the country.

Preventing Gun Violence

There are more than 30,000 gun-related deaths each year in the United States and Americans are ten times more likely to be killed by a gun than citizens of other developed nations. Keeping guns out of the wrong hands is the easiest way to prevent senseless loss of life.

Chris passed a law that prohibits convicted stalkers from acquiring firearms, an important step considering the vast majority of female murder victims have been previously stalked by their assailants.

Chris has also championed efforts that make it harder for the mentally ill to buy weapons, ensure felons trying to acquire guns are reported to authorities, and has served on the Advisory Board for American State Legislators For Gun Violence Prevention.

Protecting Retirees and Ensuring Affordable Healthcare

As growing economic inequality continues to leave more Americans working harder, but earning less, expanding the social safety net has become more critical for everyone  - especially retirees. Chris has fought policies that hurt the security of everyday families. Chris voted against additional taxes on the pensions of senior citizens that would shrink the fixed incomes keeping many retirees out of poverty.

Chris has also taken a public stand to preserve and expand Social Security, which has been proven to be the most efficient and effective means of keeping people out of poverty in the United States.

Americans spend significantly more than any other nation on healthcare, yet receive worse healthcare and outcomes than the people of at least 36 other nations. It’s clear we need a system that prioritizes people, rather than profits for insurance or pharmaceutical companies that have been allowed to exploit the system at our expense.

Fixing Our Schools and Public Infrastructure

Chris knows that good roads and infrastructure are critical to a healthy society and economy. Modern green schools with proper classroom conditions have been shown to improve cognitive function as much as 300%. Chris recently served as lead negotiator on a deal to provide $100 million to cool hot classrooms, modernize aging campuses, and install solar panels and batteries that can save schools millions electric bills. When teachers asked for additional help, he followed up by passing another bill providing an additional $46 million.

Chris was recently named national “Best Policymaker” by the US Green Building Council Center for Green Schools for two laws he passed making Hawaii the first state to direct all public schools and universities to produce 100% of their own power from renewables by 2035. School and university power bills are expected to exceed $2 billion over the next two decades. By generating their own renewable power this money can be better spent on teachers and students in classrooms rather than paying utilities. To this end Chris also passed a law establishing a green revolving fund to allow the University of Hawaii to recycle energy savings into new energy saving projects.

When state highway funds ran short, Chris passed a bill providing $37m in emergency funding for sorely needed highway maintenance and repairs.

Prioritizing Education

Chris believes a good education is everyone’s right and has worked hard to improve our schools, protect funding for students and teachers, and ensure a solid curriculum that will prepare students to be productive citizens in the 21st century.

Chris has worked to engage parents and communities in public schools, while working alongside Parents for Public Schools Hawaii and other non-profit organizations in his spare time.

Empowering Women

Chris has always supported action to ensure that women have every opportunity available to men, beginning with equal pay for equal work at any job. Chris has championed access to emergency contraception in the emergency room for victims of sexual assault, and stood against attacks on a women’s right to choose, the loss of which would only risk additional lives by driving those in need of an abortion toward the black market medical care and dangerous home procedures prevalent prior to Roe v. Wade.

Chris has introduced and championed legislation to prevent crisis pregnancy centers from providing false medical information to the public which has needlessly endangered lives.

Expanding Local Agriculture And Food Production

Modern sustainable agriculture can feed communities, create jobs, and empower a new generation of small farmers. After speaking with farmers around the state as a member of the Agricultural Leadership Program, Chris passed the nation’s first tax break to help small farmers produce more organic food.

He also passed a bill establishing a process for carbon certification to allow local farmers to qualify for carbon credits and be paid for agricultural practices that sequester carbon dioxide.  

Clean Energy & Climate Change

Equality & Fighting Discrimination

Protecting Our Environment

Taking Money Out Of Politics

Preventing Gun Violence

Prioritizing Education

Fixing Schools & Public Infrastructure

Protecting Retirees; Better Healthcare

Empowering Women

Expanding Local Food Production

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Creating Change