comscore 2020 Election: Jackie Kahookele Burke | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Jackie Kahookele Burke

  • Jackie Burke
Name on ballot:

Jackie Kahookele Burke

Running for:

OHA At-Large Trustee

Political party:

Non Partisan

Campaign website:

Current occupation:




Previous job history:

Artist/Designer – 2000 to present
Planner/Consultant – Free Lance 2000 to 2020
Independent Publisher – The Oiwi Files Hawaiian Newspaper 2003-2006
Alcohol Drug Abuse Division, Dept of Health. Project Assistant 2001-2003
Harbors Division, Dept of Transportation, Planner (Super Ferry) 2007
Western Pacific Fisheries – Contractor Consultant 2007-2009
Media- Radio, TV, Print – KCCN, K-FIVE , others1980- 1990
Travel Industry – Tour Director 1970-1980
Breakfast In Bed Catering Co. 1985-1990

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I have a diverse background and skillsets and experiences. I have been a small business owner and entrepreneur. After graduating from Kamehameha Schools in 1970, I worked ten years in travel throughout the islands and have changed over the last 40 years. I then worked in media: radio, TV, film, and print which increase by creative production, public relations, and on-air talent skills. I then returned to college and took ten years in academia to achieve my Masters in Public Health and Masters in Urban and Regional Planning. I am a business owner with a catering and PR company and an independent publisher. I have done over 50 years in community service starting as a JPO in the 4th grade, a Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol as a youth. I am currently serving as Chair on the Social Justice Committee for the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu as well as a recent board member. I also sit on the non -profit board of the Hawaii Community Development Council and am a member of the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and past Treasurer. and currently an officer of Waikiki Elks Lodge, at the Lodge Organist.
I am a well-recognized artist int the Hawaiian community and my painting “Papa and Wakea Procreation, I currently give copies free with an educational license and curriculum to Hawaiian schools and classes.

What will be your top priority if elected?

HOUSING THROUGH AFFORDABLE RENTALS – RENT TO OWN – HOME OWNERSHIP. Through a partnership with DHLL, a non-profit board I serve on, the Hawaii Community Development Board (HCDB) started 10 years ago planning for the Nanakuli Village Center on Nanakuli Homestead land. It first completed 40 affordable rental units, taking a few families off the beach, reached into the community to offer a grandmother raising her grandkids a place to live and listened to the community needs. Next, a multi-purpose community center was built and finally a commercial and health center. Lead by Kali Watson, a former DHHL Director, who developed the concept of Kupuna Housing in Waimanalo, HCDB continues to support affordable housing options.
The model can be replicated and HCDB is in the planning stages for more projects with DHHL and other agencies. However, this model can work for all Hawaiians and everyone, when land can be put into a Trust. This model can help the 49.99% blood quantum Hawaiians and the 50% as well!

The model is
1) Basic land ownership by land purchased and placed in a perpetual Trust
2) Funds made available through federal sources, i.e. HUD, state and federal grants and loans, tax credits, and private donors.
3) Working with a non-profit developer to keep costs down. While the land remains in a Trusts, the house and improvements can be rented, rent-to-own or ownership options can be designed to meet the needs of each community.

What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent and what can the Office of Hawaiian Affairs do to address that need?

We need a OHA DECOLONIZATION TASK FORCE to address the systematic political abuse that has erased or eradicated cultural strength, economic stability and political leadership.
Addressing social-economic issues is recognizing a brutal American capitalism through plantation era structure and political debasing of Hawaiians inherent rights. In opposition to plantations, UNIONS were created, and MORE is needed! (Unions representation 90% Iceland and 0.5% USA out of 71 nations.) We need a tourist tax for affordable housing.
We can take heed of “BLM” racism, in the plantation created wealth and oppression and white supremacy values in action in the illegal annexation of Hawaii and in statehood plebiscite, that forgot the box for independence and allowed military to vote!
We need to demand and receive fair compensation for military use of our lands, and compensate us for the “War Machine” that puts us all at ground zero.
Why wasn’t Barber’s Point returned to the Hawaiian ceded land base, with housing and infrastructure already in place?
Decolonization means a citizen base who are HAWAIIAN NATIONALS, descendants of citizens of the Hawaiian Kingdom, not American citizens living in Hawaii, as being Hawaiians.
Decolonization is not about taking away private lands or rights, it’s replacing “McKinley and Dole” names, the colonizers.

What is one specific change you would like to see in OHA’s operations and what would you do to make it happen?

The operational system depends on the strength of elected leaders, who know how to lead, but the entire set up to select these leaders, unless the change will not affect the operation, such as following the AUDIT RECOMMENDATIONS, RELEASE THE LLC RECORDS AND PROCEEDING WITH A FORENSIC AUDIT.
Changing the “run” of OHA goes to the root cause, the “LOW TALENT POOL” of leadership, elected by the horrible election model that is directly responsible for helping to keep the “TLP’ going.

The election model guidelines for failure.
1) Statewide election, as compared to the governor.
2) Public Funding limited to $1500, not 10% of spending limits
3) No accountability to a voter base such as Representative and Senatorial districts. Your supporters are faceless and unknown.
4) Oahu elects every trustee because it can and poor Molokai doesn’t have a choice, because Oahu made it for them!
5) If your last name starts with “A”, have name recognition such as being an entertainer, or related to a politician, you’re in the door! Voter ignorance can’t be overcome because raising a “statewide campaign budget” is unreachable by most OHA candidates and with no political party support either.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and what should OHA’s role be in the process?

TMT is outdated and highly efficient satellites will be in deep space and will do an incredibly better job then TMT or any telescopes can do!
NO, I do not support this unnecessary science in our community today. Is anyone doing a reality check on the kind of science we need to survive on this planet called earth. a more benefical science to urgent solutions to climate change.
Here again, is a perfect example of “colonization” pushing the necessity of a science with no benefit to our community regarding the decline of our oceans, the life of our planet and our Hawaiian islands.
Money and politics rule the TMT project. You need construction jobs then dismantle the telescopes. You need more science economy driven jobs, there are diseases and health care, food supply, ocean farming, global banking and energy production. And perhaps hidden is the expansion of military venues.
For us, our cultural sacredness of Maunakea called out to us, to make us aware that there may be a “dark truth” that is hidden behind the science facade. We hear the voices of our ancestors, warning us, that TMT is a huge disturbance of our sacred space with nor real direct benefit to Hawaiians and everyone.

What is OHA’s role in easing the overrepresentation of Native Hawaiians in prisons?

Hawaiian data matches data of black and colored people, that once they reach adulthood, the plantation white-supremacy prison system takes over. The highly lucrative prison business, the judicial system, and lack of rehab programs addressing socio-economic-mental health issues are not provided are inter-related reasons for high population of Hawaiians. In fact, the relocation of inmates costs is skyrocketing and that money could be used to rehab programs.
I have always believed that an after-school program for “MIDDLE SCHOOLS, CAN HELP PREVENT JUVENILES GROW INTO ADULT OFFENDERS.” Kamehameha Schools reaches out to communities and provides services regardless of ethnicity. Having partnerships with programs such as Kamehamahe in Middle Schools I believe can break these patterns by intervening in positive ways during the developmental years for youth.
Many adult offenders come from backgrounds of serious parental abuse, drug use, neglect, poverty and/or foster care. Instability in a child’s formative years can increase the likelihood that they are lacking skills and aren’t making it in the regular realm of a secure family or social support system. Hawaiian children are in need of good foster care homes and seriously need help after they age out of foster care. I would like to see OHA put efforts into Foster youth -young adults, this is a major area that I see putting effort into as an OHA trustee.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

I want voters to know that I am deeply concerned about non-Hawaiian voters and the cause and effect of this “everyone can vote”. I see this scenario in a bad dream unfolding in terms of a tribal chief seeking election, and whose other tribal brothers and sisters don’t want to elect him. So he calls out to all the non-tribal voters to vote him in, because everyone can vote. It scares me and sends chills down my spine because it is happening right here in front of me!

The sitting OHA trustee Akina, seems to have reclassified who he represents, and it isn’t the original intention of OHA, is it? It appears to me as a tactic to suppress the Hawaiian vote! It is a form of “Gerrymandering” in a sense, by redrawing the lines of voter divisions, dealing a smaller minority a major set-back.
How is this helping Hawaiians? It is not!
Some may say they are being “used”! However, to vote to support this type of thinking works for some, then nothing can stop it. I just ask, f you have a conscious, you might stop and think about it.!

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2020 Hawaii elections coverage.

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