Full Name: Nicole Lowen
Name on Ballot: Nicole Lowen
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: House
District: State House, District 6
Email Address: email@example.com
Current Job: State representative
Place of birth: Washington, D.C., raised abroad, resident of Hawaii for 20 years
Job history past 10 years:
State Representative, 2012-Present
Vice Chairwoman, Committee on Energy and Environment
Vice Chairwoman, Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs
Member, Committee on Finance
Member, Committee on Water and Land
Legislative researcher/committee clerk, state Legislature, 2012
Graduate research and teaching assistant, University of Hawaii Department of Urban and Regional Planning, 2011
Legislative liaison, University of Hawaii Environmental Center, 2009-2010
Teacher/office manager, Hawaii Montessori School at Kona, 1996—2007
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
In 2012, was elected to State House
Other civic experience or community service?
Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter Executive Committee member, 2012-2014
Sierra Club Capitol Watch volunteer, 2011-2012
Ke Kai Ola Advisory Board member
Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce member
AAUW Kona Chapter member
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
During my first four years in office, I have demonstrated my ability to be an effective leader for my community. My background is in education, urban planning, and environmental policy, all of which have helped to prepare me for this position.
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?
I have concerns about how an increase would affect those who need larger vehicles for their employment—construction workers, landscapers, small business owners, etc. If an increase is necessary, we should ensure that it is not regressive, and we should ensure accountability in how these funds are expended.
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?
I didn’t support the previous GET extension, which would have been a tax increase for my constituents. GET is regressive and disproportionately affects those who can least afford it. I support mass transit as part of urban development and traffic mitigation, but would prefer to find other funding sources.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Yes, illegal vacation rentals impact neighbors and take units out of the rental market, leading to higher rents. Although regulating this is primarily the county’s jurisdiction, if there is a way the state can act to reduce illegal vacation rentals, I would support that.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Possibly; data indicate that where these are used, police behavior is improved and complaints of misconduct are reduced.
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’m not sure. Individuals have a right to privacy, and if we require this of police officers, then why not every public employee? There are better ways to address employee misconduct than shaming people in the media. If a crime is committed, then our justice system should determine consequences.