About Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa

State Representative Rida Cabanilla Arakawa was first elected to office in 2004. Since then, she has been a Symbol of leadership among women and as an inspiration of people with humble beginnings. She is a registered nurse, retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States army, businesswoman and legislator. She is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, the Army’s Combined Arms, Services, and Staff School, Command and General Staff College, and the Western Legislative Academy. She earned the title as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the United States and the World, Legislator of the Year, and as a recipient of various leadership awards as a nurse. In the House of Representatives, she held various chairmanships in the House of Representatives and as a Majority Floor Leader.

Representative Rida Cabanilla was first elected to the State House in 2005, and represents the residents of Ewa, Waipahu, Honouliuli, and West Loch.
A registered nurse and Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Reserves (Surgical Readiness Command, Fort Shafter) Rida’s legislative priorities include: the reduction of traffic congestion and expansion of highways and roads which serve the Ewa Plain; exploration of ways to reduce overcrowding at Campbell High School, and construction of an additional high school facility; the continued repair and maintenance of all district public educational facilities; revitalization of the economy for the creation of jobs and business opportunities; and the expansion of affordable healthcare services from birth and beyond, including alternatives to hospitalization such as home care facilities.

Representative Cabanilla was born in the Philippines and has been a resident of Hawaii since 1970. She attended the University of Hawaii and holds a BS in Nursing. And she is the mother of two adult children, Melanie and Christopher.


  • Representative, House District 42 (Ewa, Honouliuli, Waipahu & West Loch)
  • Chair, House Housing Committee
  • Partner, Hawaii Nurses Inc.
  • Critical Care Nurse, St. Francis Medical Center
  • Lieutenant Colonel, US Army Reserves Surgeon Section 9th Corps Readiness Command
  • Instructor, Kapiolani Community College
  • Radio Personality, KNDI Radio 1270AM


2006 Legislator of the Year, HI Dental Association


Consumer Protection & Commerce
Tourism & International Affairs