U.S. House, Hawaii 1
Kaniela Ing comes from a mixed-race, working class family. Due to the tragic death of his father in his early life, Kaniela’s family relied on social programs, like subsidized school lunch, Medicaid, and social security supplemental income, throughout his childhood and adolescence in order to make ends meet. Kaniela has come a long way from the financial hardship that saw him working in the pineapple fields as a teenager to help support his family. Kaniela found his path through hard work and sacrifice and became the first to college graduate in his family, the youngest leader in the state legislature, and now a progressive candidate for Congress.
Kaniela was initially motivated to get involved in politics by politicians who were selling off the rights to public lands in Hawaii. He ran for the State House at the age of 23 against a corporate Democrat and a tea-party millionaire incumbent in what was then a Republican district. Despite being outspent 10-to-1, Kaniela had the support of the people on his side. He won by 26 percentage points. And Kaniela did it through small donations, organizing volunteers, and personally knocking on 15,000 doors.
But Kaniela understands that politics is more than just winning elections. It’s about actually getting things done for the people who put their trust in leaders. During his six years in the state legislature, Kaniela has risen up the ranks to become the Majority Policy Leader and successfully fought to pass marriage equality, raise the minimum wage, enact same-day voter registration, levy stricter gun control, regulate Super PACs, and set the nation’s first 100% renewable energy goal.
Kaniela is running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District of Hawaii to help the people and the state he loves at a higher capacity. He is running to show that young progressives with a vision have what it takes to win elections and create meaningful change regardless of the status quo agenda of the D.C. establishment.