Representative Cynthia Thielen was elected to the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives, Windward District in 1990, and has been overwhelmingly re-elected every two years since that time. She is supported by Republicans, Independents and Democrats, all of whom recognize and respect her bi-partisan nature and effectiveness in getting legislation passed.
Serving as Assistant Minority Floor Leader, Representative Thielen is a ranking member of the Judiciary and Energy & Environmental Protection Committees and a member of the Agricultural Committee. She also served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus and is a member of the Keiki, as well as Kupuna, Caucuses.
In her 29 years in office, Representative Thielen has successfully advocated for countless bills that have become law. In the last five years alone, she successfully sponsored or cosponsored approximately 70 pieces of legislation that passed, including the landmark renewable energy package. This is an unprecedented record of accomplishment for a minority member in the House of Representatives.
She co-sponsored legislation which enables the State to aggressively pursue the goals set forth in the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative, sponsors bills to protect Hawaii’s environment as well as improve the quality of life for Hawaii’s families.
Representative Thielen created the Legislative Road Show, which many schools in her District have adopted into their curriculum. This interactive program provides students the opportunity to prepare testimony on current legislation which is presented in a mock committee hearing chaired by Rep. Thielen and her staff members.
For almost three decades, the Representative has worked diligently to legalize industrial hemp as a viable agricultural product to boost Hawaii’s struggling economy. Through her efforts, hemp was reintroduced to our country after a fifty-year ban with Hawaii’s first industrial hemp research project in 1999. Since then, she has been instrumental in launching hemp nationally as a profitable and sustainable crop.
Representative Thielen also served nationally as State Chair of National Conference of Environmental Legislators (NCSL), as NCSL Western Regional Board Member, as well as the NCSL Agriculture Task Force, NCSL Natural Resources & Infrastructure Committee, and NCSL Law, Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.
She has been recognized by a variety of organizations for her outstanding contributions to the people of Hawai‘i. Included in these awards are:
- Common Cause Hawaii: Award for Exemplary Public Service
- Surfrider Foundation: John Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award
- EnergyOcean International: Ocean Energy Pioneer
- Equality Hawaii: Voice of Equality Award – Legislative Leadership
- Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans & Kokua Council: Shining Light Award
- Hawaii Audubon Society: President’s Award
- The Hawaii Children’s Museum of Arts, Science and Technology: President, 1987-88
- Hawaii Ophthalmological Society: Legislator of the Year
- Hawaii Psychological Association: Legislator of the Year
- Hawaii Women Lawyers: President’s Award
- Hawaii’s Thousand Friends: Unsung Hero
- Hemp Pages: Hempy Award for Political Action Leading to Hemp Cultivation in the Great State of Hawaii
- Republicans for Environmental Protection: Green Elephant Spotlight
- Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter: Legislative Lifetime Achievement Award
- Small Business Hawaii: Outstanding Lawmaker of the Year
Representative Cynthia Thielen attended Stanford University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Hawai‘i, graduating with a degree in law. She is a founding member of the UH Law Review.