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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Island attorney excited about being delegate

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By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

Honolulu attorney Rai Saint Chu recently conceded with a chuckle that she's not a "Democratic Party junkie."

"But I get involved for the right issues and the right times," Chu said.

For the 56-year-old Kahala resident, this year is one of those times. Motivated by concerns about the Iraq war and the Bush administration, Chu will — for the first time — be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

"I thought ... this is the year to get involved and do something about the war and the economy that is robbing money from the more important issues like education and healthcare and taking care of our own people," Chu said. "So I thought I'd better get involved or nothing's ever going to change."

Chu, who was an alternate delegate to the 1980 Democratic National Convention, is one of 12 Hawai'i delegates pledged to vote for John Kerry. She hopes to leave the convention enlightened with more ideas and knowledge about addressing problems in education, healthcare and housing.

Chu also plans to attend forums focusing on drawing more Asian Americans and women into the political process.

"There might be something that I go to that sparks a little idea in my mind as solutions to various problems," she said. "Since I'm not in elected office, it's hard to say how I will end up using it, but just as a very informed citizen, maybe it would be a big help," she said.

"I'm very excited, very excited," she said. "Part of it is just getting everybody psyched up to volunteer and to work for Democratic victory in September and November in Hawai'i.

"I think the whole coming together of all these different ideas and inspirational people, the leaders past and present, is just wonderful, and we all go back to our home states and hometowns with a renewed commitment to make the process work."

Reach Lynda Arakawa at larakawa@honoluluadvertiser.com or at 525-8070.