Name on ballot:
Augusto E. (Augie T) Tulba
Honolulu city council – District 9
Small Business Owner & Sweeps Strategies
Previous job history:
Executive Assistant for Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi and State of Hawaii Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui; Entertainer
Previous elected office, if any:
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Oahu.
For 28 years I have entertained audiences throughout the State of Hawaii as a humorist. To be successful as a comedian I had to understand in detail how our local cultures act and react. My craft highlighted how we enjoy life, how we celebrate, how we grieve, and most of all, our core values. I will use my knowledge and understanding to ensure what I do as an elected public official keeps those cultural lifestyles and values intact.
What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent, and what can you do to address that need?
I began my Campaign for the Council in August 2019 and I have knocked on over 10,000 doors to talk with residents of my District. We found that the Number 1 issue in District 9 is Public Safety and more specifically the violent crime against our kupuna.
While the resident population of the West Side has soared in recent decades the number of police beats has not kept pace.
I am fortunate to have been endorsed by SHOPO and if elected I will work with other Councilmembers, the Mayor, Chief Ballard, and the HPD to increase the number of Police Beats in the District to allow our seniors the security to move about our community safely. Also, increased Police presence will reduce the crimes of opportunity that have recently been on the rise.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?
Science will provide the answer to Oahu residents learning how to live with COVID-19 as we now do with other airborne viruses. While the State and County are doing their due diligence in testing for the virus, I believe government can do more in aggressively seeking the best science available in screening large populations quickly so we can create safe zones in our airports, work places, entertainment venues and schools.
What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
First, we must find the balance between being a healthy community infected with COVID-19 and also allowing both our internal and external economies to fully open. It’s not an easy decision but one that must be made. Secondly, the county government should continue to use The Care Act federal funding to support and sustain individuals and small businesses. Finally, I believe Honolulu City and County can partner with the State in meeting many of the latter’s administrative needs to include assisting with the State’s backlog of Unemployment Insurance claims.
Should public worker furloughs, pay cuts or downsizing be used to help the county deal with lower tax revenues and higher expenses during the pandemic? Why or why not?
To the extent that the current FY21 budget includes City and County positions that are not currently filled those financial allocations need to be eliminated. With regard to worker furloughs, pay cuts, and downsizing being the quickest way to meet lower tax revenue projections, we should proceed with caution. When making such cuts one needs to realize the total impact of such actions in our greater community. More unemployed individuals is not a solution we should look to immediately. That being said our entire community is going to need to share in the economic pain and public workers should not be exempt from participation.
What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness?
There is no silver bullet answer or one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness. Each individual finds homelessness in their life along their own unique path. The specific solution I offer would be that all stakeholders need to come together and not adjourn until an Outcome Vision is agreed to by all parties. Once we understand the unified Outcome Vision we can begin to solve the individual problems with certainty.
Do you support or oppose stopping construction of the rail project at Middle Street? Please explain.
My staff and I first must look at the rail project with accountability on our mind for the past, and transparency as the watchword as we move forward. If I can not be assured that the balance of the project can be completed without more wasteful spending then I would support stopping the project at Middle Street. If a plan can be placed in front of me where I can be assured the project can be completed to Ala Moana Center on time and on a budget then I will support the completion. I am adamantly against additional cost overruns.
Do you support or oppose using new city funds to cover any shortfall in HART’s construction or operating costs? Please explain.
Changes orders are part of any large construction project and budgets should have set-asides anticipating that reality. I want city and county workers to do their job, contractors to finish their work on time, and project budgets to be met. Change orders must be justified. As to the operational costs of RAIL my staff and I will need to understand projected operational costs before I can forecast how shortfalls should best be handled. As to new or existing city funds being used it all impacts taxpayers so I see no difference.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
On any grand scale, I do not. I support the men and women that wear blue. My standard of accountibility and transparancy will apply to HPD as it will to all City and County workers and vendors.
What can county government do to mitigate the affects of sea-level rise on Oahu?
Seek the best advice we can summon, implementing actions that are prudent, common sense driven and with which we can afford.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I was raised in KAM IV housing with five brothers, our Mom, and Dad and we had nothing but each other. Early on a teacher saw something in me that my family had not and that spark led to my career in entertainment. The hard work ethic of my father’s Filipino Sakada heritage has served me well over the years. I have a heart for public service, leadership skills honed as a small business owner, and the passion at 52 to make Honolulu a better place for all of us to call home. I ask for your vote so that I now can serve you, who have supported me and my family for the past 28 years.
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