Those who know retired Sen. Susie Chun Oakland are well aware of her passion for Hawai‘i’s ku¯ puna. As an original co-founder of the Ku¯ puna Caucus in early 2016, she served as lead facilitator of caucus meetings held at the State Capitol on the first Friday of every month. Participants in the caucus include legislators, and groups and individuals who are concerned about protecting Hawai‘i’s ku¯ puna.
Susie was honored after the Jan. 6 Ku¯ puna Caucus meeting. The room was packed with many well-wishers from government agencies and nonprofits, as well as individuals who appreciate her many years of service.
“She has always been and will always be remembered for her compassion and commitment to those that she gets engaged with,” said Gov. Ige, as he presented her with a commendation.
In Susie’s 22 years chairing the House or Senate Human Services Committee, she accomplished much—acquiring funding for the Ku¯ puna Care Program, the Aging & Disability Resource Center, senior centers and higher care payments for adult residential care homes; establishing the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging in Place that conducted needs assessments for family caregivers and the Long-Term Care Commission that identified long-term care policy goals and needed reforms; and protecting seniors through the adult protective services law, increasing penalties for financial abuse, requiring reports by financial institutions and requiring criminal background checks for services provided to vulnerable seniors.