comscore District 49 - Ken Ito (D)

District 49 – Ken Ito (D)

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Full name: Kenneth Ito

Name on ballot: Ken Ito

Age: 72

Political Party: Democrat

Running for: House

District: 49

Email address:

Current job: Full-time legislator

Place of birth: Honolulu

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years:

U.S. Air Force veteran, honorable discharge

Teacher, state Department of Education

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?

State representative 1994-present

Other civic experience or community service?

>> Windward Oahu Democratic Party

>> Civil Air Patrol, major

>> Ehime-Hawaii Goodwill Youth Baseball Tournament Committee, member

>> Hawaii Youth Baseball Exchange Committee, member

>> Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce

>> Kaneohe Christmas Parade Committee

>> Kaneohe Neighborhood Board #30, 1989-93 Planning and Development Committee chairman

>> Kaneohe Senior Hui

>> Koolaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, member

>> Soto Mission of Hawaii, board member

Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

I enjoy dancing.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

My experiences in the military, educational, legislative field and involvement in community activities gives me the knowledge and motivation to help serve our Windward residents, our state and our nation.

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?

We need a hearing on this issue and all parties involved justify the need for a increase and we need to ask if the federal government can also help with monies for our critical infrastructure needs.

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?

This is a City and County of Honolulu project and it’s up to the City Council and city administration to find funds for the rail system. We have until December 2027 to decide if we need to extend the half-percent excise tax surcharge.

Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?

Yes, it affects housing for our residents and the illegal vacation rentals do not pay Transient Accommodations Tax.

Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?

I feel it’s a home rule issue, and the police chief, the police commission, police union and the mayor should address this issue. The city can also ask the federal government for assistance and the state Legislature for 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?

The Internal Affairs Division investigates any crimes that are committed or violations of departmental policies. It is responsible for the integrity of the police officers and due process if the case goes forward. If a violation is a criminal offense, public disclosure is essential.

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