Full Name: Ann Kobayashi
Name on Ballot: Ann Kobayashi
District: District 5
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: Honolulu City Councilmember
Place of birth: Honolulu
Job history past 10 years:
Honolulu City Councilmember from 2002-2008 and 2009 to present.
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Hawaii state senator, 1980 — won.
Honolulu mayor, 1994 — lost
Honolulu City Council, 2002 — won
Honolulu mayor, 2008 — lost
Honolulu City Council, 2009 — won
Other civic experience or community service?
I previously served or currently serve on the board of many nonprofit organizations including the Japanese Women’s Society Foundation, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, American Red Cross, Hawaii Heart Association, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, Domestic Violence Clearinghouse & Legal Hotline, and the Hawaii Advisory Commission on Drug Abuse and Controlled Substances.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
My issue has been and continues to be the health and safety of our residents, especially for those who are struggling to make ends meet.
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
I have served the public for many years representing neighborhoods in Oahu’s urban core as a state senator and City Councilmember. In addition, I serve and have served on the board of many nonprofits and have served on the Manoa Neighborhood Board.
What is your one big idea?
My concern continues to be the welfare of those who are struggling. In 2005, I introduced and established the real property tax credit to low-income families whose home valuations continue to rise. This idea continues to evolve as I recently introduced bills providing the tax credit to more homeowners.
What steps should elected city officials take next regarding the rail project?
City officials must work with HART to consider all options, keeping in mind the financial burden this project has on our taxpayers. City officials and HART must continue to look at other alternatives. I have always supported a bus system which would utilize HART’s infrastructure at a lower cost.
Why has the city not been able to take more homeless off the street and what would you do to improve the situation?
It is difficult for government to establish laws which may impinge on civil rights. We are trying to build more affordable housing and establish a number of initiatives such as tiny houses, crisis centers, and partnering with the state and other nonprofits to provide more beds and social services.
What steps can elected officials take to ensure city employees behave ethically?
Education and training are key components in providing our employees with the knowledge of ethics laws. This past budget cycle we added funds to ensure that ethics training is provided to all city employees.
As an elected city official, what would you do to improve the city’s affordable housing supply?
I have and will continue to work with the public and private sectors to evaluate the city’s inventory of available land, and work with city officials on infrastructure improvements to minimize the cost to developers to increase the amount of affordable housing.