Full Name: Beth Fukumoto Chang
Name on Ballot: Fukumoto Chang, Beth
Political Party: Republican
Running For: House
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: State representative
Place of birth: Honolulu
Campaign website: www.bethfukumoto.com
Job history past 10 years:
2012-2016: State representative
2011-2012: Director of House Minority Research
2010-2011: Administrative Services Manager for Minority Leader
2009-2010: Office manager, Rep. Gene Ward
2009: Legislative Analyst – House Minority Research
2009: File clerk, House Minority Research
2006-2008: Georgetown University Graduate Student
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Yes, 2010 – Lost to Ryan Yamane (Incumbent), 2012 – Won against Marilyn Lee (Incumbent), 2014 – Won re-election against Marilyn Lee
Other civic experience or community service?
I’ve served as a recruiter for Cub Scouts, a teach for the About Face program and a tutor at Georgetown University. I also worked for the University of Hawaii student newspaper, Ka Leo O Hawaii.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
As the youngest woman in the country to serve as a state caucus leader from 2014-2016, I’ve worked hard to get young people excited about changing politics. In 2014, I was awarded a James Madison Fellowship by the Millennial Action Project for “demonstrated success in transcending partisan lines.”
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
I’ve served the Legislature in both elected and staff leadership capacities — often as the youngest to ever hold the position. In each position, I’ve earned recognition from my colleagues and the public for working across the aisle and getting things done for our community regardless of political barriers.
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. Vehicle taxes and fees disproportionately impact my constituents who, in many cases, feel that they pay too much for gas and other vehicle costs. The Department of Transportation already receives a significant amount of funding, and we should focus on ensuring that money is allocated to traffic-fixing projects.
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 don’t think my community can support another GET extension until we’re sure that the money authorized is utilized well. The city shouldn’t stop the project. They need to figure out how to deliver what was promised to the public by better managing their existing funds.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
I think it is for individual counties to decide how to handle illegal vacation rentals. It is a big problem for many communities on Oahu and elsewhere, and the city should be taking action to balance the interests between the stakeholders.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Counties are taking initiatives to purchase body cameras for officers. Body cameras protect both our law enforcement officers and the public, and I think more counties are recognizing that. A state mandate with funding doesn’t seem necessary if counties are working with officers to move forward with pilot projects.
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?
Yes. The vast majority of our law enforcement officers are brave, public servants, and increased disclosure of improper conduct among the few bad actors would allow us to provide a better working environment for officers and a better service to the public.