Jessica Wooley lives in Ka`alaea, which is nestled between Wai`ahole, and Kahalu`u.
Jessica moved around a lot as a kid as her mom went from GED and food stamps to PhD. She has roots in the military, with Brigadier General Wooley as a grandfather, but grew up knowing how to get by without much, working hard, raising chickens and riding horses.
Jessica worked her way through the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics with honors. While at university, she spent a semester at the UC, Berkeley and a year at Flinders University, Australia, focusing on Environmental Science. She went on to earn a Master of Science degree in Agriculture and Resource Economics and a law degree from the UC, Berkeley.
After Graduating from law school in 1997, Jessica was admitted to practice law in Hawai`i. She continued her commitment to public service as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i under an AmeriCorps program. For two years, she created Access to Justice programs throughout the state, making legal issues and the court system itself more accessible for people most in need. She brought legal services to, and justice for families, everything from preventing evictions to fighting 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 Attorney General’s office at the time. She prosecuted the state’s biggest environmental administrative enforcement cases. Jessica also worked to improve communication with the regulated community and agency coordination to benefit the private sector and reduce government waste.
Both in work and on the personal side, Jessica became more rooted in the Windward side. She relocated from Palolo to Ka`alaea and, in 2000 and then, after her second child in 2003, Jessica took time off to be a stay-at-home mom, a privilege she enjoyed for about five years. Jessica became more focused on community issues, participated in Keiki O Ka Aina with her kids, volunteered for AARP, served on the board of organizations such as Life of the Land and Hawai`i Bicycling League, and served as a member of the advisory group (RAC) for the Papahanauumokuakea Marine National Monument (where she continues to sit as a Conservation member).
As the Obama v. Hillary Clinton election loomed in 2008, Jessica first ran for office. Against all expectations, she won. Jessica served as a representative until Governor Abercrombie asker her, and she was approved by the Senate, to be Director of the Office of Environmental Quality Control. She served as Director until the end of 2015. Jessica then jumped into the private sector and started her own consulting business, `Aina Aloha Consulting. Now, with valuable experience under her belt and three fierce elections behind her, Jessica hopes to again be the State House Representative for District 48, serving Kane`ohe to Wai`ahole.
Jessica is known for resolving tough community challenges, for her support of civil and Hawaiian rights and language and environmental protection as well as her critical opinions on tax policies benefiting the corporate elite. Land, water and people have always been Jessica’s issues, and her focus has been on agriculture, water resources and environmental stewardship to benefit the people of Hawai`i, in particular.