Creating Her Legacy in Kawaii | JoAnn Yukimura

JoAnn Yukimura (2)

It's the Greatest Joy to See Things Work!

Ep. 45 - JoAnn Yukimura has devoted much of her life to the mission of preserving Kauai. She has a law degree and has been Mayor of Kauai, as well as county councilperson. In this episode, JoAnn talks about her contributions to the development and preservation of her hometown Kauai. Listen in to learn about the ups and downs of being in an elective office. You will also learn the importance of serving your community with everything you’ve got, to make it a safe place for residents and future generations.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to serve your country before thinking of serving ones
  • The importance of having a voice to advocate and execute changes in your community
  • The importance of support, especially when running for a public office
  • How to discover and develop your gifts by believing in yourself

"It's our purpose to use our gifts to serve the community." -JoAnn Yukimura

In this episode you’ll discover:


JoAnn describes her very safe and secure childhood in Kauai [2:08]

She explains how she developed a passion for preserving her hometown of Kauai [5:56]

The many contributions JoAnn made in Kauai as the Mayor and County Councilperson [10:04]

How she made Kauai Electric a member-owned utility making power affordable [13:18]

Why running for office was JoAnn’s greatest leap of faith [16:21]

The loses she experienced running for office and how she overcame the fear of running again [19:56]

The many aspects of developing and preserving Kauai that motivates JoAnn [22:48]

JoAnn advises young people to learn and believe in themselves to develop their gifts [25:43]

JoAnn Yukimura explains her love of Kauai, her early years on the island, and her efforts to preserve and protect her island home. As Mayor and County Councilperson for Kauai, she learned to use her voice to influence policy including restrictions on development for setbacks and height limitations. One of her most significant contributions was the development of public transportation which made it easier to get to work because of the high cost of living. She founded a cooperative for electricity which kept rates under control and provided a renewable source. Her administration started recycling and composting on the island. They even recycled hurricane debris and received an award from EPA. She championed a bill for solar water heating on multifamily buildings and an energy self-sufficiency plan in 1978, very innovative for the time. She describes the up's and down's of elective office - a "must listen" for all prospective politicians!


Zero Waste Kauai

First Female Mayor of Kauai

Voice of Kauai


Christine Davenport

Tammi Davis 

Lisa Kleissner

Sharon Hirota

Verna Jones Rodwell


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