Port Allen resident JoAnne Georgi on Friday filed nomination papers for the District 7 state Senate seat, which represents Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau.
The filing deadline is tomorrow. As of yesterday, she is state Senate Majority Leader Gary Hooser’s sole opponent.
In a news release, Georgi says she would advocate for stronger laws against sexual predators, especially those who commit their crimes against children.
Hawai‘i is in the unenviable position of having some of the weakest laws against sexual predators in the nation, she says. Her top legislative priority is to introduce legislation to enact Jessica’s Law (which most states already have), mandating a minimum 25-year sentence for anyone convicted of raping a child under the age of 12.
Georgi says she would also do more for the state’s ailing infrastructure.
The Legislature has deferred critical maintenance and decisions on state highways, port facilities, schools, libraries, solid waste disposal facilities, sewers and water systems. If Hawai‘i is to have a decent quality of life, the state needs to do the necessary critical work, not hire consultants to conduct endless studies, she says.
As for business, Georgi says Hawai‘i is often listed as the worst state in the nation to do business. She wants to build a business climate to encourage the small businesses that are the backbone of a healthy economy.
Georgi has had 15 kids in Hawai‘i’s public schools. She says she has worked extensively with teachers and administrators to make up educational shortfalls (some of her foster kids missed years of schooling before coming into her home).
But even with the best efforts of some very able teachers, the state’s schools are failing many children, she says.
“We need to do a much better job of educating … not only for our children’s future, but also for our state’s future,” Georgi says.
Georgi, who has a business administration degree with a specialization in marketing, says she has worked extensively for major corporations such as IBM, Merrill-Lynch and Pitney-Bowes corporations.
She says she hears and agrees with Kaua‘i residents who voted against out of control taxation and wants the Legislature to pass strong ethics legislation.
Georgi has also managed a small business for many years and says she understands the problems small business owners face. She currently markets activities to island visitors.
She and her husband, Bill, also rehabilitate and rent affordable housing.
Georgi is a member of the Kauai County Commission on the Status of Women, serves as a foster parent and exchange student host, heads the Church Stewardship Committee and knits hats for orphanages and schools in South Dakota, South Africa, Romania and Russia.