Full Name: Gabriel Johnson
Name on Ballot: Gabe Johnson
District: Maui County Council Lana’i District
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Invasive species technician
Place of birth: Miami
Campaign website: gabe4council.com
Job history past 10 years:
2006-2008: ferry boat bellman for the Four Seasons Manele Bay
2008-2012: lead wrangler for the Stables at Koele, Lanai City.
2012-2016: crew for Expeditions Maui-Lanai Passenger Ferry, Manele Boat Harbor
2016-Present: Invasive species technician, Pulama Lana’i
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
While a teacher in Japan on the Japan Exchange Teaching Program, I successfully ran for the Southern Japan AJET (Association for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program) position.
Other civic experience or community service?
I served on the Maui County Commission on Persons with Disabilities as the Lanai commissioner for the past two years. During that time we focused on the underemployment of persons with disabilities.
I have worked on Lanai to create a Community Based Subsistence Fishing Area modeled after Haena in Kauai and Momimomi on Molokai.
I collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to make a Mauka to Makai Community Action Plan that would help create a sustainable fishery around Lanai’s reefs.
I have participated in numerous Stewardship days with Pulama Lana’i working to restore Wai’opae Fish Pond on the eastern edge of Lanai.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Single father of a 13-year-old daughter named Momoe Johnson
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
I believe that I have a wide world view that is inclusive of all types of cultures, beliefs, and life experiences. Throughout my life I have learned to empathize with others, and that has made me a good reader of people. I am a strong listener.
What are your top five priorities for the county?
1. Restore Water to East Maui Farms
2. Stop the spraying of chemicals near schools and homes
3. Affordable housing by partnering with land trusts and working with nonprofit developers such as Habitat for Humanity
4. Recycle water out of the injection wells on Maui
5. Prevent invasive species.
What is your one big idea?
I am a strong advocate of district voting. As it stands our city centers decide who gets elected. This is not very democratic. The people of Lanai should be able to vote who represents them. This is gerrymandering in our very own county and I am against it.
What do you think about the proposal to go from a mayor/council form of government to a manager/council form?
I am for a city manager. I don’t believe it is financially sound to change heads of departments each time a new mayor is elected. Heads of departments then worry about re-election rather than doing their jobs.
What can the Council do to deal with the economic impact from the end of sugar on Maui?
Maui is too dependent on importing our food. We need small local farms that will provide us healthy non-GMO food. I believe in commercial hemp fields, however a balance must be made to prevent simply switching from one style of mono-crop farming to the next.
Affordable housing is in short supply on Maui. How would you suggest increasing the inventory of affordable housing?
Public land trusts in which the land is owned by a trust, and the house may be bought and sold by the individual. Habitat for Humanity has done outstanding work on Lanai and I would make it a top priority to see Affordable Housing throughout the county.