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Local Boy -- Born and Raised in Wahiawā 


Donovan M. Dela Cruz, is a state senator from District 22, and a proud Leilehua Mule. He is a local boy, born and raised in Wahiawā who pursued politics because he cared deeply about his community and knew if he wanted to see a change, he would have to make it.

On top of his usual senate duties, Donovan is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and a Member on the Committee on Education. This means that Donovan ensures the State can fund key support services (like unemployment, education, and non-profit funding), and helps plan, program, and budget government structure and finance. If you have received services from a State agency, it is because Donovan has made sure that the State department’s had adequate funds to provide critical programs and services.

He was the youngest chair in the history of the Honolulu City Council, at age 30 and served for eight years. 

When the pandemic began, Donovan and his colleagues knew that the public needed more transparency, decisive action, and access to the decision making process. In response, the Senate Special Committee was formed, with Donovan as its Chair.

All in all, Donovan is working to change the trajectory of Hawai'i. He firmly believes that you should only seek office because of what you can do for your community. From his offices, Donovan has been improving access to quality education, creating jobs, diversifying our local economy, and improving our infrastructure. If you have been keeping an eye on the news, you'll know that Donovan is bringing real hope to our keiki and community. 




Public Experience

Professional Experience

  • Parents:  Hilario “Loddy” and Patricia Dela Cruz

  • Sibling:  Donalyn Dela Cruz

  • Residence:  Wahiawā, O`ahu

  • Paternal Grandparents:  Rodrigo and Feliciana Dela Cruz, came to Hawai'i from Philippines in 1940

  • Maternal Grandmother:  Carmela “Carmen” Guiterres Bargas, from Kohala, Hawai'i


  • Hawai'i State Senate

  • Chair, Committee on Ways and Means



  • Member, Transit Oriented Task Force

  • Member, State Land Use Task Force

  • Member, State Capitol Management Task Force

  • Board Member, Hawai'i Asia Pacific Association (HAPA) Young Leaders

  • Member, National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO)

  • Member, Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs (BHCC)

  • Member, Urban Land Institute

  • Member, Clean and Safe Energy Coalition

  • Chair, NHCSL Business & Economic Development Task Force

  • Co-Chair, Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs Annual Conference in Hawai'i, 2013



  • Honolulu City Council (2003-2010)

  • Chair, 2003-2007

  • Chair, Committee on Executive Matters

  • Chair, Committee on Public Safety & Services

  • Chair, Committee on Public Health, Safety & Welfare

  • Vice-Chair, Committee on Executive Matters

  • Vice-Chair, Committee on Affordable Housing & Economic Development

  • Vice-Chair, Committee on Transportation & Planning

  • Vice-Chair, Committee on Public Infrastructure

  • Member, Committee on Planning

  • Member, Committee on Transportation  


  • Vice President for Communications, DTL Hawai'i



  • Director of Marketing, Watermark Publishing

  • Account Supervisor, Stryker Weiner & Yokota Public Relations

  • Account Executive, McNeil Wilson Communications

  • Public Relations Coordinator, Hilton Hawaiian Village

  • Co-Author, The Okazu Guide, The Puka Guide, The Omiyage Guide

Volunteer Experiences & Causes

Public Service

  • State Commission on National and Community Service - 2010

  • Governor’s Working Group on the Purchase of Turtle Bay - 2009

  • Board of Directors, National Association of Counties (NACo) – 2003-2009

  • NACo Annual Conference Advisory Committee - 2005

  • Chair, NACo 2005 Annual Conference and Exposition Steering Committee

  • Secretary, Hawai'i State Association of Counties - 2003-2004

  • Chair, Wahiawā Neighborhood Board, 2000-2002

Community Service

  • President, Leilehua High School Education Foundation

  • Member, Leilehua Alumni and Community Association

  • Member, Advisory Council, Leeward Community College

  • Member, Leeward Community College Culinary Institute Board

  • Vice-President (2001-2002), Filipino Chamber of Commerce

  • Member, Wahiawā Lions Club

  • Member, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish



  • Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO) - 2015

  • National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Gettysburg Leadership Experience - 2015

  • American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Exchange Program to Australia - 2013

  • American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Educational Seminar in Israel – 2013

  • Young Elected Officials (YEO) 2013 National Convening, Washington, D. C.

  • Council of State Governments (CSG), Western Legislative Academy for Legislators - 2012

  • Emerging Leaders Program, University of Virginia - 2013

  • Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs Leadership Workshop, Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education – 2013


Honors and Awards

  • Hawai'i Farm Bureau Federation Inaugural Champion of Agriculture Award - 2013

  • Filipino Community Council of Hawai'i Progress Award for Excellence in Government Service, 2007

  • Pacific Century Fellow, 2004

  • Pacific Business News Forty and Under 40 Award, 2001

  • Public Relations Society of America Koa Anvil Award, 2001



  • U. S. Department of Homeland Security – Incident Command System (ICS-402) - 2013

  • Leilehua High School - Class of 1991

  • University of Oregon:  BA in Journalism, BA in Communications Studies, 1995

  • Argosy University:  Masters in Organizational Leadership, 2015

  • University of Hawai'i - Manoa: Doctorate of Architecture, Present

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