District Priorities

Elect Shannon Matson

1) Support Working Families 

As Hawaiʻi has one of the highest cost of living in the nation, many families struggle to get by and live one pay check at a time. Our current regressive tax policies add to our income inequality and disproportionately impact our service workers and families. Due to low wages and high cost of living parents must work multiple jobs just to get by. Housing costs keep increasing, job opportunities in high-paying and specialized fields are limited. This results in our youth leaving the islands to make their living elsewhere which also contributes to a stagnant economy based primarily on only one unstable and highly fluctuating (as hurricanes, lava eruptions, and global pandemics have demonstrated) tourism industry.

We must put people first. Shannon will work to end regressive taxation, and ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share. We need to shift our priorities so that a Living Wage, Paid Family Leave, Universal Healthcare and Universal Pre-school are available for all.

2) Create a Thriving Economy with More Sustainable Opportunities
As our current economic crisis is demonstrating, it is crucial that we sustainably diversify away from tourism. To create a more resilient and sustainable Hawaiʻi we need to create/support green technology/remote access jobs as well as build our alternative energy infrastructure. Shannon will be focusing on legislation that supports small-scale agricultural options that can help keep our community fed and our people working within our district to reduce commuting and increase our resiliency and self-reliance. We need food-hubs and co-op markets for local farmers to reduce the amount of travel and time it takes for them to find markets for their food- this will also make access to food easier for communities that are otherwise “food deserts” and relying solely on fast food options. We must increase education and opportunities to get our youth interested in growing and creating their own food. Shannon will be introducing and encouraging legislation that encourages farm-to-table opportunities in the schools to enable children to participate in school gardening, where the fruits of their labor will end up in their own meals.

3) Environmental Responsibility

Hawaiʻi has and will continue to be hard hit by climate change. With rising tides, and increasing invasive species, and unprecedented weather pattern changes we need to be a leader in environmental responsibility and sustainable living. We have been mismanaging our waste for decades- in the form of cesspools, lack of recycling and composting options, importation of excessive packaging, and reliance on single use plastics. There are alternatives for all of these wasteful practices and as an island community we absolutely need to prioritize reclaiming our waste-to-wealth. Shannon will be introducing and supporting legislation that incentivizes sustainable waste reclamation and reduction while discouraging those corporate entities that are adding to our global carbon emissions and local waste.

Most of our district relies on water catchment. Providing and preserving access to clean water now in the form of increasing infrastructure and affordable/reliable access is imperative to our rural community’s health, and our ability to encourage and sustain small-scale agriculture.

Representing YOUR Views and Values
Shannon Matson vows to always be available to listen to our communities ever fluctuating needs and priorities. From talking to community members she knows how important our traffic and road issues are, as well as invasive species control, theft/crime reduction, and access to affordable health services. These will all be top priorities as well. Please keep the lines of communication open about anything else that is important to you. Shannon’s goal is truly to be a representative for the people. We need to work together to make that happen- please donate to help our district get the representation it deserves!

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District Priorities

Government Accountability

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Police Reform

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Short Term Vacation Rentals

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TMT – Thirty Meter Telescope

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Youth Advocacy

We need safe-haven shelters for homeless unaccompanied youth and this would be a priority of mine- funding and support to these sorts of shelters needs to happen. Youth access to mental health services without parental consent is crucial for those

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Worker’s Rights

We need a living wage in Hawaii. Our current cost of living continues to climb here and our workers deserve a living wage. I participated in the “Fight for $15!” campaign and believe that we need to do even better.

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Sustainability & Climate Change

Hawaiʻi’s revenue is primarily based on tourism, which is primarily driven by our precious natural and cultural resources which require and demand our protection and preservation. We need an overhaul of our economic system that takes the environment into account

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State and Local Budgets

Our financial recovery is going to take awhile. I think there are numerous ideas on the table that don’t result in taking a 20% pay cut away from State Workers that need to be examined first and I would support

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Reproductive Healthcare & Family Planning

Our district is severely underserved in this capacity and has limited to no access to these services. I hope to update the current sexual education curriculum for Hawaii. I hope to help fundraise and support Planned Parenthood while doing outreach

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Native Hawaiian Advocacy

As I was born and raised on the Big Island, I have witnessed the cultural and environmental injustice towards the Native Hawaiian community here my entire life. I will continue to work hard to right these wrongs and help co-create

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LGBTQ+ Advocacy

We need to do more to ensure equality for all, and this is another much needed step in the direction of advancing and supporting LGBTQ+ rights and tracking discrimination and harassment. I am opposed to any law or policy that

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Income Inequality

Regarding income inequality and our housing shortage, this is a huge issue and one that will require a variety of different options. I will be working to help Hawaii diversify away from tourism as it’s primarily source of income as

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Family Advocacy

We need to mandate that all new housing projects have a percentage of their units set aside as affordable housing options, or possibly increase additional tax incentives to encourage developers to include a portion of affordable rentals within their developments.

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Diverse Communities

I have had a lot of experience connecting with folks from all different backgrounds and I am confident in my ability to relate to people on these and other challenging topics. The State Leg has a responsibility to set a

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Shannon Matson Shows Up for Our Community

Born in Honoka’a and raised on Hawai’i Island, Shannon Lopeka Matson, is grateful to call Hawaiian Acres her home. As an alumni of U.H. Hilo, she has been an active community leader in the Hilo and Puna area for over 15 years.