Suzanne Chun Oakland (2016)

State Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland is a longtime political advocate for social services to combat domestic violence and prevent child abuse. She has served in the Hawaii State Legislature for 26 years, 6 years in the State House of Representatives (1990-1996) and 20 years in the State Senate (1996-2016) where she was Senate Majority Whip from 2011-2013. She served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Human Services, a member of the Ways and Means, Transportation, Energy and Education Committees, and is the co-founder and co-convener of the Hawaii State Legislature’s Keiki and Kupuna Caucuses.  In her years at the Hawaii State Capitol, Chun Oakland developed a reputation based on her staunch advocacy of Hawaii’s underserved and marginalized populations. Starting with the Keiki Caucus, which she co-founded in 1991 alongside former State Rep. Dennis Arakaki, Chun Oakland went on to either chair or serve as a member of over one hundred caucuses, task forces, working groups, advisory committees, and boards. One in particular – the Deaf and Blind Task Force (DBTF) – carries great significance to many within the Deaf community.