Jessica Wooley lives in Ka`alaea, which is nestled between Wai`ahole, and Kahalu`u. Jessica is running to represent State House District 48 because she believes that all families — regardless of how much money they make, what they do, or where they come from — deserve a bright future. As the former representative of this district for three terms, she brings with her leadership experience, legislative accomplishments, and a can-do work ethic.
While growing up, Jessica had to move around a lot while her mom pursued an education. Times weren’t easy for Jessica and her mom, they received Food Stamps and learned how to get by without much. However, Jessica has fond memories as a kid because she was able to raise chickens and take care of horses. Eventually, her mom earned a PhD and Jessica went on to graduate from law school.
Jessica worked her way through college and earned a degree In Economics with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz (U.C., Santa Cruz). While earning her degree, Jessica spent a year at the University of Flinders in Australia studying Environmental Science. Jessica earned a Master’s of Science in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley (U.C., Berkeley) and then went on to earn her Law degree from U.C., Berkeley.
After graduating from law school in 1997, Jessica was admitted to practice law in Hawai`i. She began her professional commitment to public service as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i under the AmeriCorps program. She created Access to Justice programs throughout the state making legal services, and the court system itself, more accessible to people in need. For example, she led the effort and organized programs to prevent evictions and fight consumer fraud.
In 2000, Jessica began a new chapter as Deputy Attorney General, representing the Clean Water, Drinking Water, and Wastewater Branches for the Department of Health. To protect our oceans, streams, and drinking water, Jessica spent much of her time on law enforcement, shifting the focus of the AG’s office and prosecuting the state’s biggest environmental administrative enforcement case at the time. Jessica also worked to improve communication with the regulated community and agency coordination to benefit the private sector and reduce government waste.
In 2003, after her second child, Jessica took time off to be a stay-at-home mom and became more focused on community issues. She participated in Keiki `O Ka `Aina with her kids, volunteered for AARP and served on the board of directors for Life of the Land and the Hawai`i Bicycling League. She also served as a member of the advisory group for the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (now part of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument) where she continues to sit as a Conservation member.
In 2008, Jessica first ran for office. Against all expectations, she won and became a Hawai`i State House Representative. After serving three terms as a representative, Governor Abercrombie asked Jessica to be Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control (OEQC). She was approved by the State Senate and served as Director until the end of 2015.
Jessica then moved to the private sector and started her own small business,`Āina Aloha Consulting. Now, with valuable experience as a Deputy Attorney General, a State Representative, Director of QEQC and as a small business owner, Jessica hopes to again be the State House Representative for District 48, serving Kāne`ohe to Wai`ahole.