Name on ballot:
Aaron James Kaleo Agsalda
State House – District 46
General Contractor, Real Estate Broker
Previous job history:
Landscape/Irrigation Contractor, Musician
Previous elected office, if any:
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.
As a licensed General Contractor and Real Estate Broker, I have experience working with people from all walks of life in high stakes situations to achieve real, tangible results. Being born and raised in Hawaii, I am well acquainted with the history and nuances of our multi-cultural society. My diverse work background has given me a valuable perspective on the unique relationships between industries that affect our local economy.
What will be your top priority if elected?
Earning and maintaining the trust of my community to effectively act on their behalf.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more can be done to protect residents’ health?
Our government has not yet emphasized the importance of strengthening one’s immune system to increase an individual’s chances of survival. In addition to social distancing and sanitation (which are efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus), there are certain behaviors (for example: changes to diet, exercise, and environment) that are known to improve the body’s natural response to disease and infections. While minimizing exposure, one might also consider: “What measures can I take to improve my immune system?”
What more can be done to help residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Government aid is helpful, but will not last forever. In order to rebuild, the government must begin to trust our citizens to act with caution, care and aloha as they get back to their jobs.
Should public worker furloughs, pay cuts or downsizing be used to help the state deal with lower tax revenues and higher expenses during the pandemic? Why or why not?
These are unique times that will call for creative solutions. I’m not a politician, but I know that in business, sacrifices need to be made in order to weather the storm.
Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy has suffered greatly due to the pandemic. If elected, what would you propose to support and diversify the state’s economy?
I would advocate for tech-based economic development.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
While there is room for improvement in every organization, I’m grateful for HPD’s dedication to keeping Hawaii safe.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?
Being born and raised in Hawaii, I have a deep respect for Hawaiian culture and believe that Native Hawaiian rights must be upheld. I am deeply saddened by what I have heard about the mismanagement of the lands and want what is best for the people of Hawaii.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I learned the value of hard work here in Wahiawa from my Dad, Renie. Over the last 30 years, our family business has contributed to hundreds of projects that improved the state and gave men – many of them immigrants – the dignity of work, which allowed them to provide for their households and offer a better life to their children. Wahiawa deserves a representative who knows how to get things done and I hope to use my skill sets to work for the good of my hometown and the state of Hawaii.
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