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Co-Chair

Will Caron was born in Honolulu but grew up in Kahaluʻu on Oʻahu's windward side. He is a graduate of ʻIolani School and the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. After 8 years as an editor and journalist (Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi, The Honolulu Weekly, Mana Magazine, The Hawaii Independent, Summit), he recently took a position as the communications director for the Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law & Economic Justice. He is a member of the Palolo Neighborhood Board and serves as the chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi's 20th House District.


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Co-Chair

Three years ago, Erynn Fernandez was inspired by the Bernie Sanders Campaign and got involved phone-banking for Sanders, as well as Pramila Jayapal and Tim Canova. She is working toward making universal healthcare a reality in Hawai‘i and helped add that as a priority to the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i’s legislative agenda. She is currently the Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i’s Health Committee, the Co-Chair of Progressive Democrats of Hawai‘i and a member of the local Our Revolution steering committee.


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Co-Secretary

Charessa Fryc is currently a student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa studying political science and dance. In the past, she has been involved with the Hawaiʻi Bernie Sanders Campaign, Citizen's Climate Lobby Honolulu, and has worked with the the Sierra Club Hawaiʻi Capitol Watch team. While she focuses on fighting for Environmental justice, she looks forward to learning more about other issues such as Affordable Housing, Universal Healthcare, Education, and Indigenous Rights and progressing forward through advocating for legislation.


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Co-Secretary

Ross Villiger is a graduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa studying molecular biology and is currently co-secretary for YPDA Hawaiʻi. Ross strives to continue to build our movement to pursue the progressive ideals we share of social, economic, and environmental justice for all; the many, not the few.


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Co-Treasurer

Grant Okazaki was born and raised in Kalihi, Oʻahu, and is a graduate of Moanalua High School and Chaminade University where he studied Mass Media Communications. He currently works at ʻOlelo Community Media in Mapunapuna. Interest in politics and the economy started at a young age. Growing up with a large family, it was necessary to fulfill everyone's needs with limited resources. 


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Co-Treasurer

Hannah Liebreich is a PhD candidate in sociology and a teaching assistant in women’s studies at the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) and has served as treasurer and vice president of the Graduate Student Organization at UH Manoa in the past. Hannah is interested in issues related to gender, unions and Native Hawaiian rights. Her organizing experience is related to campaigns for equal pay and graduate student unionization.


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Economic Justice Action Committee Chair

Landon Li is currently a Junior at UHM majoring in Economics and Psychology. Born and raised on Oʻahu, his parents immigrated from China and raised Landon to hold their values while embracing the new lifestyle of Hawaiʻi. Landon likes to read, watch films, play music, go to the beach and help out. The community and people in his life have given so much to Landon, and he wants to give back through participating in community organizing.


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Social Justice Action Committee Chair

Destiny Brown is a poet and activist who has lived in Hawaiʻi for the past six years and who wants to give back to place that has given her so much. Destiny uses her art as activism and, while that is powerful, she feels driven to speak directly to the lawmakers in our community to advocate for social justice policies that benefit our most vulnerable populations, as well as against those that may target or disadvantage them further. She is currently studying social work at Hawaiʻi Pacific University and will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the spring of 2019. Her goal is to get a master’s degree in social work and put her knowledge, skills and values into practice to further advocate for sound social justice policy. Destiny is currently doing advocacy work with Drug Policy Forum of Hawaiʻi.


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Environmental Justice Action Committee Chair

Jun Shin is a freshman at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa double majoring in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. He chose to get involved in politics after being inspired by the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders and its message of hope and solutions. Jun has spent time volunteering at the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi, YPDA and the Pono Hawaiʻi Initiative, and for various progressive candidates during the 2018 election cycle. Working on getting more of his generation involved, he helped to advocate for HB1716, the establishment of a youth commission, in 2018. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i’s Health Committee. He hopes to gain a more intricate understanding of the issues and to make his voice heard in the political process as he continues along in his journey as a young, progressive community advocate.


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President of the Board

Natalia Hussey-Burdick recently graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa with a BA in biology. Her focus is on connecting scientists with lawmakers, and she works with a variety of environmental and social justice organizations to promote positive change in Hawaiʻi. Born and raised on Windward Oʻahu, Natalia has been a strong advocate for environmental & social justice for the last 10 years. With years of experience working and testifying at the legislature, Natalia can help streamline testimony for other board members, and demystify the legislative process for newcomers. She has worked for multiple legislators at the Capitol and ran a competitive race for State House in her home district (49).


At-Large Board Member

Natalie Toma is a sophomore at ʻIolani School looking for various opportunities to give back and help her community. As a member of Generation Z, Natalie’s priority as a board member is to fight for environmental change that will preserve the environment and the climate for future generations.


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At-Large Board Member

Jeanné Kapela was born in Kona and graduated from Konawaena High School in 2012. She is pursuing a graduate certificate in social justice from Harvard University. In 2015, Jeanné won the Miss Hawaiʻi crown and founded UNITE Hawaiʻi, an organization devoted to ending sexual exploitation through the power of education. Jeanné ran a competitive race for State House in her home district to protect West Hawaiʻi’s iconic agricultural  industries, to ensure a quality education for our keiki and to be a champion for working families.


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At-Large Board Member

Adrian Tam was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. A graduate of Penn State with a degree in history, he is also an ordained minister and licensed realtor and has worked for Senator Stanley Chang at the Capitol. He is particularly interested in addressing Hawaiʻi’s doctor shortages, in social justice issues, and in solving our affordable housing crisis.


At-Large Board Member

Rhiannon Talbert is a junior at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, slated to graduate in the fall of 2019 with a BA in Political Science. Originally from the D.C. suburbs of Maryland, she moved to Washington state five years ago before coming to Hawaiʻi for college. Rhiannon was elected, first at the district level and subsequently at the county level, as a delegate for Bernie Sanders in Washington state during the 2016 Primaries. Rhiannon wants to work on actively engaging other young people in politics. Climate change is a global threat that needs to actively be combated. She would like to see an increased focus on this issue as it may be the single greatest threat to humanity, both in terms of ethics and survival.


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At-Large Board Member

Randy Gonce is a U.S. Air Force veteran and graduate of the Community College of the Air Force with an AA in mechanical and electrical systems, and of Hawaiʻi Pacific University with a BA in Applied Linguistics. He is currently a graduate student in HPU's Global Leadership in Sustainable Development program. He is employed as a policy researcher and legislative aide to Rep. Matt LoPresti and he serves on the Drug Policy Forum of Hawaiʻi and as a cannabis advocate for military veterans. Randy ran a competitive race for State House in District 48.


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At-Large Board Member

Eileen Lacaden is a fairly recent graduate of Virginia Tech, where she studied industrial and systems engineering and minored in green engineering. For the last few years, she has worked at the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA working on an affordable housing project, and then as a full-time communications and fundraising systems coordinator. As a YPDA board member, Eileen would like to grow the list of opportunities for the organization to partner and members to get involved with the local nonprofits who share our progressive ideals. Strengthening the relationships between our members and our nonprofit community will help further social, economic, and environmental justice and the respective missions of our local nonprofits. She is interested in exploring the idea of a structured mentoring program between seasoned community advocates and YPDA members.


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At-Large Board Member

Nathalie Rita was born in Finland and raised in South Florida. She moved to Honolulu four years ago to attend the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, where she is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology. Her research and social activism focuses on issues related to migration, racism and globalization.


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At-Large Board Member

Piʻilani Akina was born and raised on Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. She studied Environmental Studies and Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. She recently moved back home from New Zealand, where she lived for nine years on the South Island. All aspects of environmental conservation and natural medicine are of interest to her. She believes that if you can get people back on the land to Malama ‘Aina, they will naturally build awareness of the importance of community and holistic health, and likewise be driven to make the world a better place. 


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At-Large Board Member

Kimiko LaHaela Walter is a mother, an environmentalist and a community activist. Her educational background is in environmental science, with an MSc in Forest and Wildlife Ecology. She is also a feminist, an advocate for equal rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights and is passionate about civic engagement. She is currently the Conservation Program Coordinator for Sierra Club of Hawaiʻi.


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At-Large Board Member

Hunter Heaivilin is currently pursuing his PhD at UH Mānoa researching the impacts of climate change on agriculture across the state. As a member of the Sierra Club Oʻahu Group's Executive Committee, he focuses on agricultural policy and watchdogs the consumptive use of our productive lands. He works as the market manager for Farm Link Hawaiʻi, helping Oʻahu’s organic farmers connect with local buyers.


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AT-LARGE BOARD MEMBER

Nate Hix is a former teacher at Castle High School currently working toward creating a higher living standard for all of Hawai‘i’s residents. After learning that poverty was an issue due to resource distribution rather than resource scarcity, he knew he needed to act. Nate is the founder of Living Wage Hawaiʻi.