The Council of State Governments West (CSG West), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization serving Western state legislators of both parties in 13 Western states, has selected Hawaii Representative Joy A. San Buenaventura as a participant in its prestigious training institute for lawmakers in their first four years of service. The purpose of the Western Legislative Academy is to build excellence and effectiveness in state legislators in the Western region.
Admission to the Western Legislative Academy is very competitive and is based on commitment to public service, desire to improve personal legislative effectiveness and interest in improving the legislative process. Out of 88 applicants from throughout the Western United States, 44 state legislators were selected as members of the Western Legislative Academy Class of 2016.
The Western Legislative Academy convenes from November 30 – December 3, 2016 in Colorado Springs, Colorado for three and a half days of intensive training in subjects such as legislative institutions, ethics, communications, negotiations, time management and leadership. Faculty is drawn from academia, former military and the private sector. A highlight of the training is an afternoon at the US Air Force Academy working on personal assessments and team building.
San Buenaventura is a 2nd term Hawaii State Representative for the District of Puna on the Big Island of Hawaii. She is vice-chair of the Judiciary Committee and is a member of Transportation and Housing committees. She is one of only two state representatives in the medical marijuana working group.
Prior to being a legislator, she has been a country attorney for more than 30 years specializing in appeals, litigation and family law. She has volunteered as a mediator with Kuikahi mediation, as an arbitrator with the Judiciary and as a lawyer with Volunteer Legal Services and with the Judiciary’s self-help clinic. Joy has had several jury trials and multiple bench trials, and 25 years ago, she was the first attorney in the state to pursue breast implant litigation. She has won all of her appeals to the Hawaii Supreme Court; is a former per diem District Court Judge from 1991-1995, the youngest judge then; and a former University of Hawaii lecturer.
The Council of State Governments West is the Western region of the national Council of State Governments, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky. Regional offices of CSG are located in Sacramento, Chicago, Atlanta and New York.
Funding for the Academy comes from the Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation, which is dedicated to excellence in nonprofit organizations, and from Western state legislatures and corporate sponsors. The El Pomar Foundation also donates the campus for the Western Legislative Academy.