Name on ballot:
Maui county council – Lanai
Previous job history:
Invasive species technician, teacher,
Previous elected office, if any:
Kyushu representative for the Association of the Japan Exchange Teaching Program (AJET)
Please describe your qualifications to represent the voters of your county.
I worked as a commissioner for Americans with Disabilities Act for Maui County. I went door to door in 2016 and 2018 and listened to the voters concerns. My platform reflects the progressive values that Maui county voters have been demanding for from their representatives.
What will be your top priority if elected?
Creating a Green New Deal on a local level. We need more buses, better agriculture, and homes for our workers.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?
The County must use the Federal and State funds to keep our people safe and prevent the spread of Covid. A Covid relief program should be set up to make sure our local families do not bear the brunt of the economic burden. Our first priority should be our people. A program that organizes Food banks, faith based organizations, businesses, and volunteers all willing to provide relief for those who need it.
What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?
We recently worked with a farmer on Maui who donated 20,000 pounds of ‘Ulala (Okinawa sweet potato). On Lāna’i, we have partnered up with small farmers and the County, to have weekly food giveaways. The County can expand on these types of food drives. The success we have had shows that there is a need. The farm to table model can help our residents who must eat healthy during this pandemic.
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?
No furloughs. No pay cuts. No downsizing. The workers are what keep the economy going. It would be very unwise to and expensive to cut labor costs in the time of a pandemic. Workers spend money and generate the economy. We still must be wise with our Covid Relief funds so I expect we there to be a lively discussion as to how to spend the federal funds.
What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness?
Focus on the three basic needs of human beings first: food, clothing, and shelter. The County can help in all of these departments. When partnerships are needed the county can call upon them. Faith based groups, non profits, volunteers, and boards and commissions can all work together to get homeless people what they need.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
I support a more transparent police department as well as a police commission. I do not like forfeit laws which allow police to seize property then sell it for a profit.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I am a single father. I am a farmer. I am passionate about issues that will effect our children and future generations. Please check out my website at www.gabe4council.com
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