comscore Kokua Line: Deadline looms for jobless inspired to political action | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Deadline looms for jobless inspired to political action

Question: Is it too late to run for office? My whole situation with unemployment is getting to be too much — they still haven’t processed my claim and it’s been over two months. … Why does Laura Thielen seem to be the only one talking about this (

Answer: Kokua Line continues to hear from many workers like you, who lost their jobs when the state shut down to thwart the coronavirus and are still waiting for unemployment benefits. About 66,000 claims remained unresolved as of Thursday, according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.

The lack of income in the meantime fuels a downward spiral as the rent or mortgage comes due, the car payment comes due, the credit card reaches its limit. State Sen. Thielen (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua) articulated the tragedy unfolding in the private sector and urged fellow lawmakers to tap federal funding for emergency loans to tide people over until their state unemployment insurance or enhanced federal benefits come through.

Her plan was rebuffed; the Legislature adjourned without taking such action.

All the while, dislocated workers reach out, many in despair. Others are worried but striving to be optimistic.

Some, like you, are angry and want to channel their outrage into political action. There is time for you to do so by running for office, but you’ll have to hurry.

The candidate filing deadline is 4:30 p.m. June 2, according to the state Office of Elections. To get on the ballot for the primary election, candidates must complete an application for a nomination paper, then submit the nomination paper with a filing fee and the written support of enough valid voters to qualify for the race. Find all the requirements on the election office website, at

If you want to run for the state House or Senate, for example, you’ll find the list of districts with races this cycle, and the basic requirements to run — which include living in Hawaii for at least three years, being a registered voter in the district, and submitting a nomination paper signed by at least 15 registered voters from the district.

Potential candidates have enough time to complete the process by June 2, an elections staffer said Friday.

The pandemic may have affected hours of operation at candidate filing locations statewide, so contact your preferred location in advance. Their contact information is listed on the website.


I live in a part of Manoa with many single-lane streets with no sidewalks and cars parked on one side, leaving only about a 10-foot thoroughfare. Everybody must walk on the street, there are no alternatives. During my daily COVID-19 power walk a car was rapidly approaching in a particularly narrow part of the roadway and I motioned to the driver to slow down. He pulled over and shouted angrily at me that he was driving the speed limit. I started to explain the speed limit is only a guideline and other factors also need to be taken into consideration. He angrily cut me off mid-sentence and shouted, “You shouldn’t do that! Drivers will get mad at sassy little pedestrians like you!” I suppose he was threatening to run me over? We are living in times when we should be kinder to one another, not meaner. Auwe. — Sassy Little Pedestrian in Manoa


Here’s a shout-out to the city’s Customer Services Department. I’m a senior who prefers not to go out during the COVID-19 emergency quarantine and chose to renew my two-year driver’s license by mail. Following the clear and complete instructions on the city website (, I emailed CSD on May 1, received an immediate response that the request had been received and forms would be sent as soon as they could get to it. The forms were emailed to me on May 10. I filled them out and sent them to the CSD by mail same day with the requested $10 check. On May 21, I received a personal phone call letting me know that my application for renewal had been approved and that my new license would be mailed shortly. Great service with a three-week turnaround — really reasonable considering the added volume of such requests they must be dealing with. Mahalo! — Kailua senior

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

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