Who is Dustin Barca?
“I was so lucky to grow up on Kauaʻi, learning from my elders about our sacred and unique ʻaina (land, “that which feeds us”). When I returned home from a traveling surf career, I started becoming aware of the issues our island is facing, and how they are compromising the health of our community and land. It’s time to move in a different direction, we can’t let things continue as they are.”
Dustin Barca is a professional surfer, environmental activist, MMA fighter, father and Kaua’i Boy who attended Hanalei School and Kapaʻa High School.
While this is Barca’s first bid at political office he has been involved in local politics for much of his young adult life. Driven by a strong sense of kuleana (responsibility and privilege) to Kauaʻi and its people, he sees local government as a way to deepen his service.
Barca may be best known for his activism related to environmental justice and the impacts of the agrochemical industry on Kauaʻi, however, he is also passionately committed to:
- Democratic participation
- Local agricultural food production and access to healthy foods
- Cultural revival
- Protecting Kauaʻi’s most vital water resources
- Sustainable energy and transportation
- Waste reduction
- Better solutions to address crystal meth and illegal pharmaceutical drugs
“We need innovative ideas, rooted in our historical and cultural knowledge, to ensure that our economy is delivering a high quality of life and not compromising the things we value. We need to bring tourism and development into alignment with the values and priorities of residents, ensuring that tourism serves Kauaʻi instead of Kauaʻi serving tourism. ”
For Barca, this means moving towards greater economic self-reliance and regenerative agriculture especially; addressing land-use policies that have driven kama`aina families from their homes and blocked local access to important cultural and recreational areas; as well as policies to stabilize growth while ensuring that Government dollars are spent wisely to benefit local families. Barca emphasizes that the true wealth of Kauaʻi lies in our water, land and people, and that we are stewards of this `aina for many generations to come.