Full Name: Katherine Toyoko Kupuka‘a
Name on Ballot: Katherine T. Kupuka‘a
Political Party: Republican
Running For: Hawaii House of Representatives
Email Address: Katherine4eversoy@yahoo.com
Current Job: Adult supervisor
Place of birth: Honolulu
Campaign website: www.katherine4hd37
Job history past 10 years:
Adult supervisor: October, 2011 to present
Social service assistant: October, 2006 to September, 2007
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
This is the first time I have run for public office.
Other civic experience or community service?
I have provided testimony at state Senate, House, and City Council hearings and my neighborhood board. I was active in the Stop Rail initiative. I care about my community and keeping our state out of bankruptcy.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I was born and raised in Hawaii. I have two children and have varied interests including participating in Okinawan dance and taking cooking classes.
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
I have been active in governance for decades. My children are grown and on their own. I have time to serve the community. I have had professional experience in providing social services and have worked in the schools. I have ideas for improving our state.
Gov. Ige says he will once again propose increases to the state gas tax, vehicle weight tax and state registration fees to help pay for state road projects. Do you support his proposal?
No, the federal and state taxes and fees are already excessive. There is no excuse for our government not being able to accomplish the mission with the current level of funding. There is gross mismanagement occurring. The availability of additional funds will just exacerbate the problem.
If the Legislature is again asked to extend Oahu’s half-percent excise tax surcharge to finance construction or operation of the rail system, would you support such an extension?
No, the rail system is a big mistake. Oahu does not need a rail system. To sustain rail, developers are encouraged to build high-density and high-cost condos along the route. These units are attracting out-of-state buyers, which adds to congestion and increases demand for limited resources.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
I expect the state to uphold the law. Vacation rentals may offer an opportunity to create jobs in Hawaii and showcase our state. We should allow private owners to operate vacation rentals where it does not negatively impact local residents.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
This is not something for the Legislature to decide. It is up to the Police Department hierarchy to decide what is best for their officers and when they should be used. This is government over-reach when inexperienced legislators think they know better than public safety professionals.
Dozens of police officers in Hawaii are disciplined each year for committing crimes or violating departmental policies, but little information is released about the officers or their cases. Do you think there needs to be greater public disclosure?
All crimes should be made public upon findings of guilt. Police officers should not be treated any differently from any other citizen. Americans are innocent until proven guilty. Violations of policies that are of an administrative nature can be held internally to the department.