Passionate About Defending and Serving the Community
"Never cease to act because you fear you may fail." by Queen Liliʻuokalani, January 1917
Kauʻi Pratt-Aquino is a mom, a wife, an attorney, small business owner, front line advocate and active community member who has dedicated her life to helping some of the most vulnerable communities in Hawaiʻi.
Raised in Koʻolaupoko, she is a seventh generation Native Hawaiian of the area who brings over seventeen years of experience in community advocacy and development to the legislative arena. She was raised in Pūʻohala Village where she and her family have resided for nearly 40 years.
She comes from a strong working class ‘ohana. Her late father was a veteran and a civil servant of
Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for nearly 33 years and her mother, a manager for a local insurance
agency. Both parents worked incredibly hard and struggled to provide their family with resources
and opportunities they did not have.
As a first-generation college graduate and lawyer, Kauʻi understands whole heartedly the meaning
of navigating new territory and working hard. In 2005, she graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi
at Mānoa with a Bachelor of Art in Journalism with an emphasis in Business Marketing. In 2015,
she graduated from the William S. Richardson School of Law where she received a Juris Doctorate
and a certificate in Native Hawaiian Rights. She is a proud alumnus of the evening division of the
law school where she managed a full-time job, law school at night, raising a child as a single parent
and community service.
From 2017 to current, Kauʻi has been at the forefront of a grassroots coalition to save preservation
land in Pūʻohala Village from irresponsible development. The proposed development would harm
residents and the fragile ecosystem. She currently serves as the Chair of the Governing Board of
Hakipuʻu Academy, a public charter school where she and the board have invested a significant
amount of time to turn the school around. Through their collective efforts and strong leadership,
she anticipates the school will now be a leader in progressive education in the Koʻolaupoko area.
From 2006 to 2016, Kauʻi worked for the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture
("INPEACE"), a non-profit organization dedicated to serving some of the most high need areas in
Hawaiʻi where poverty and poor health have had a significant impact on the well-being of our keiki
and their families. She was involved in almost every aspect of nonprofit development from operations, grants, federal compliance, public policy, advocacy, programs, community outreach, partnerships, data development and evaluation to board communications. She facilitated private and public partnerships to build a seamless pipeline of services for all ages. She also represented INPEACE at the state sponsored Keiki Caucus Resource Group where community stakeholders collaborated to create viable policy solutions for children.
Through her community-based experience, she strongly believes communities have the inherent right to control their future, that their voices should be the center of any and all policy decisions and there is a need to restore integrity and respect to the legislative process. She humbly asks for your vote to represent our community.