Full name: Zurishaddai Aki
Name on ballot: Zuri Aki (Z)
Political Party: Democrat
Running for: House
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current job: Curriculum developer, Myron B. Thompson Academy
Place of birth: Honolulu
Campaign website: www.zforhawaii.com
Job history past 10 years:
Columnist, Civil Beat
Research assistant, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Imagineer, Walt Disney Imagineering
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Other civic experience or community service?
Member of Na Wahine o Kunia
Member of Mililani Lions Club
Member of The ‘Aina Project
Chief constitution drafter and former participant of the Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha.
Task force member to an Energy Justice report for the North Shore community.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Juris Doctor from William S. Richardson School of Law.
What makes you qualified to be a state senator or representative?
I have the willingness to serve the best interests of our community and I have the expertise necessary to effectively serve those interests. I have a background in social justice, community support, and law — combined I am well-equipped with the ability to make our community’s desires a reality.
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?
Depends. If the purpose of increasing taxes and registration fees is to serve a necessary public good, then it is in our best interest. However, efficient government spending is a concern. If better management of state revenue would mean no tax hikes and no registration fees, then that option should be explored.
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?
Taxes are a pain, sometimes a necessary pain, but a pain nonetheless. Yet, an incomplete rail system comes with unfulfilled promises to potential riders and rail workers, who depend upon its completion. I could not support or reject without detailed information on the status of rail and its future cost and benefits.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
I believe the state is already playing a role in cracking down on illegal vacations rentals, specifically through municipal jurisdiction (counties). I do not think other state agencies, administrative offices or the Legislature need to increase their role unless further regulation is needed by the counties.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes. The use of body cameras worn by police officers has been proven to better protect both the public and police officers. Funding for body cameras needs no specific legislation if they can be purchased through the Police Department’s operating budget — awarded annually through the general and highway funds.
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?
I believe the Police Department should be more transparent and forthcoming with the public, however, not if it places police officers and their families in peril. I absolutely believe that there needs to be greater accountability for police officers who violate the law and breach public trust.