LIHUE — For over 40 years, Shirley-Simbre-Medeiros has called Kekaha home, but in that time, she said she has seen little change in some of the problems on the Westside, which is why she’s running for Kauai County Council.
“I’ve been waiting for a moment like this so I can have a chance to help better serve the community,” Simbre-Medeiros said. “There’s a call for help.”
Finding the source of the problems, working together and good communication is how she plans on improving things, said Simbre-Medeiros.
“We need a huge uplift on the Westside, like the south, east and north of Kauai,” she said.
One of the biggest issues facing Kauai is the drug crisis, she said. Just over a year ago, her 18-year-old grandson died of an overdose.
“Something’s wrong,” she said. “Drugs and the promotion of drugs need cleaning up. It’s a killer. Enough is enough.”
She’ll focus on preserving cultural places because they are sacred grounds that shouldn’t be touched.
Supporting youth through education is another goal.
“There’s a lot of students that needs help because parents are on drugs or just they live with family members or grandparents especially,” she said. “Being active in any school activity, teaching to be positive and how important it is to have a diploma, which isn’t even enough in today’s society.”
Having a college degree, Simbre-Medeiros said, makes a difference.
“Or even joining the military that can provide an opportunity to go to college is a plus and not to mention, they can even travel and retire at an early age,” she said.
If elected, Simbre-Medeiros said it will be an exciting journey.
“I know that I can make a big difference if I’m one of the chosen,” she said. “I have helped at Kolohana Canoe Club be stewards of the land at the river mouth. Nothing is impossible. All I can say is that I’m a fighter for what I know is right and what is wrong.”