Gary Hooser

Policy & Politics

About Gary Hooser


If this is your first visit and we have not yet met or worked together, I invite you to “join with me” in a united effort to make our world a better place.

I am based on the island of Kauai but travel frequently through-out the archipelago and beyond, working with a wide and diverse network of individuals and organizations who share a common focus of putting people and the environment over profits.

Gary Hooser with his grandkids
Gary Hooser with his grandkids

My bio is here and a brief list of accomplishments and career highlights is here.

Prior to first entering politics at the County level in 1998 and then being elected to the Hawaii State Senate in 2002, my background was in small business. I understand the value of entrepreneurship and the need to build and maintain a strong economic base.

However it has become increasingly clear in recent years that our world is dangerously out of balance and that large corporate interests that put profits above all else combined with a dysfunctional political/government structure are to blame.

March for pesticide disclosure
Marching on Kauai in support of
pesticide/gmo regulation - Bill 2491.

Those elected to public office and responsible for protecting the public interest function instead as supporters and enablers or are stuck in an endless gridlock loop perpetuated intentionally by those that profit from the status quo.

Climate change, species depletion and massive environmental degradation of air, land and water is happening now, on our watch right before our eyes. The economic disparity that exists between the top 1% of the population and the bottom 99% is beyond the pale of simply sad and unjust.

My life and work is dedicated toward fighting back and reversing the environmental, social, economic and political degradation that is occurring in Hawaii and across the globe.

I believe we can and we must continue to fight back and take back what is our birthright - a healthy planet and a just world.

We can win but each of us must do our part. Some can do the constant and sometimes brutal heavy lifting, and some because of circumstances can help in smaller but important ways - together with all of us pitching in, we can win.

Hawaii can be a model for the change that is needed globally.

Please join with me today. We have a plan in place that can bring about significant positive change but we need your help - Please donate if you can, join with us, and/or email me directly at

Gary Hooser
“El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!”

Note: I am President of the Board of Directors for the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) and Executive Director for the Pono Hawaii Initiative (P.H.I.) - Both play important but distinctly different roles in bringing forth positive change in Hawaii and both need your help and support.

H.A.P.A. is a 501c3 charitable educational and advocacy organization that is building strong networks among the environmental, economic and social justice communities through-out Hawaii and identifying and training new emerging political leadership via the Kuleana Academy. Financial contributions to H.A.P.A. are fully tax deductible.

P.H.I. is a 501c4 policy and political advocacy organization that aggressively promotes changes in public policy and is actively involved in changing the electoral landscape by identifying and endorsing progressive candidates for public office. Financial contributions to P.H.I. are not tax deductible.

Hooser Speaks to Syngenta Shareholders in Basel Switzerland

Gary Hooser: Bio

Gary Hooser

Gary Hooser is presently the executive director for the Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI), and volunteer board president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.). He is the former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party for the State of Hawaii (DPH) and a past member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

In 2002/2010 he represented Kauai and Niihau in the Hawaii State Senate (2002/2010) where he served as Majority Leader. He also previously served for 8 years on the Kauai County Council and was Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii (2011/2012).

He is a graduate of Radford High School, the University of Hawaii (B.A. Public Administration) and Kauai Community College (A.A.).

Gary moved to Hawaii 1970 and then to Kauai in 1980. Prior to entering politics he owned and operated a residential real estate office as well as a small publishing company. He is married to Claudette, has two children (Dylan and Kelli-Rose), two grandchildren (Rixon and Isabella) and a dog named Max (Maximus Aurelius).

More: Gary Hooser's Wikipedia entry.


2018 - Played a leadership role in a statewide collaborative effort that resulted in the passing “first in the nation” pesticide regulations, banning the use of chlorpyrifos and requiring full disclosure of all Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) applied in the State of Hawaii. Read here a little about the background and how it happened.

  • 1982-2002
    • Founded and operated with partners Reef Cleaning and Maintenance and H&S Publishing.
    • Founded and operated Waioli Properties Inc.
  • 1992 U.S. SBA – Kaua`i Media Advocate of the Year
  • 1995 Chamber of Commerce – Entrepreneur of the Year
  • 1997 Rotary Club – Business Person of the Year
  • Former Board Member Island School - Chair of the Board Committee that created existing High School
  • Community member - helped save Makaleha Springs
    Nonprofit Advocacy
  • Founded the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A)
  • Founded the Pono Hawaii Initiative (P.H.I.)
    Elected Office
  • 2019 - Played a leadership role in a statewide collaborative effort resulting in the defeat of HB1326 (corporate water theft bill). For context, read The Hooser Blog.
  • Was the leading advocate for equality in the Hawaii State Senate during Civil Unions debates.
  • Introduced and passed into law first in the nation requirement that all new single family homes in Hawaii have solar or other highly efficient water heaters
  • Was the leading advocate in the Hawaii State Senate requesting appropriate environmental review of the Hawaii Superferry which was later required by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
  • Introduced and passed into law Bill 2491 which became Ordinance 960. This was a “first in the nation” County law putting into place buffer zones, pesticide disclosure requirement for users of Restricted Use Pesticides and the disclosure of genetically modified crops. This law was overturned in Federal court but the process and discussion has resulted in significant improvements statewide in the management of pesticide use by the large agrochemical companies in Hawaii. See “An almost complete history of Bill 2491".
  • Introduced and passed into law County lobbying and lobbyist regulation, making Kauai Counties lobbyist disclosure requirements the strongest of any County in the State of Hawaii.
  • Introduced and passed the first State law in Hawaii that made blocking public beach access a criminal offense
  • Exposed unlawful grading at Pila`a Beach resulting in one of the largest pollution fines in Hawaii history.
  • Introduced and passed into law a measure prohibiting the placement of restrictions on legitimate farming in new “gentlemen estate” agricultural subdivisions
  • Introduced charter amendment creating permanent funding for beach access and open space.
  • Preserved 24/7 public coastal access from Kealia to Donkey Beach.
  • Introduced charter amendment establishing performance audits of county operations.
  • Successfully fought to require air quality testing and reduction in cruise ship emissions at Niumalu.


Your generous help and support is much needed and greatly appreciated. NOTE: Both of these organizations are a priority for me. Both are doing important valuable work but in different capacities (thus the need for two different organizations).

Hawai'i Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.)

The Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.)

Gary Hooser is the volunteer board president for H.A.P.A. The Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) is a public non-profit under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.HAPA was incorporated on March 31, 2014 in the State of Hawaiʻi.

Your tax-deductible contribution will help fund grassroots initiatives and activism across Hawai`i!

The Pono Hawaii Initiative (P.H.I.)

Gary Hooser is presently the executive director for P.H.I.

PHI Vision: Empower people-driven political leadership to achieve economic, social, and environmental justice.

PHI Mission: Activate and mobilize communities to improve quality of life for the people of Hawaii through political action.

The Pono Hawaii Initiative is a 501(c)(4) entity and is required to clearly disclose to donors and potential donors that contributions are *not* deductible as charitable contributions. Contributions or gifts to Pono Hawaii Initiative are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

Contact Gary Hooser

Phone: 808-652-4279

Be part of the 130,000 Hawaii voters needed to take back our democracy and change the world of Hawaii politics!

Please join myself and many others from across all Hawaii in our common quest to put people and the planet first, and to take ownership of our own local government - by voting AND supporting candidates who pledge to fight hard for economic, social, and environmental justice.

Sign up here for regular email updates - I promise not to flood your inbox with meaningless pap. Truly…I promise. In addition to regular updates on policy and politics, I will be highlighting various candidates as they announce their candidacy. In addition, I will be featuring endorsements from various organizations who are community based, and put people and the planet above greed and corporate profits. Occasionally, there will be “calls to action”. As always - I am available to reach directly anytime by telephone at 808-652-4279 or my direct email