Name on ballot:
James Kunane Tokioka
State House – District 15
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State Representative & New Business Manager, Charter Communications
58 years old
Previous job history:
Restaurant Owner / Hotel Management
Previous elected office, if any:
Kauai County Council member 1996 – 2006
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.
I’ve been The State Representative since 2007 and prior to that served on the County Council from 1996 -2006
What will be your top priority if elected?
With the current pandemic creating severe health, safety and economic difficulties my focus will be on keeping our residents safe, continuing to help constituents navigate the government and reopen our State to tourist as safely as possible.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more can be done to protect residents’ health?
Kaua’i has done a great job keeping our residents and especially our Kaupena safe. As the State Representative I will continue to work with and assist Mayor Kawakami an his team with with the best practices and protocols.
What more can be done to help residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
As I said in what my priorities would be, I will continue to assist our constituents connecting with the government whether it be with the UI office, the resources at DBEDT, Hawaii Tourism Association, Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association and the Chamber of Commerce.
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?
During this worldwide pandemic everyone will be impacted. Any cuts that the I would support would be the last resort because the cuts that we would implement would also effect the economy negatively as well.
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 can’t see this State not dependent on tourism in my lifetime but some of the industries that the State and the business sectors are working on and putting resources in are teleworking jobs, niche farming, health tourism and the military, specifically supporting efforts at PMRF to name a few.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
Every sector should always be looking at best practices and being better at what they do. Having said that, if you compare our police departments to others around the country I think we should be proud of our men and women in blue that protect our lives and property every day. Do we have bad eggs in the basket? Yes. Is it systemic? I would say no. I think police departments around the country should look at our departments and use our models as best practices especially in areas of diversity of employment, police violence and beat coverage I would put our police forces at the top of any list.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?
I support the process, I believe TMT followed and complied with all of the necessary processes and permits so to deny them after the fact would make the State vulnerable to a law suit and that would not be good for tax payers who would ultimately be paying the bill. As a native Hawaiian, if TMT were to relocate to the Canary Islands or somewhere else on their own that would be the most peaceful solution.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I am honored to have been your State Representative since 2006. One of the things that people appreciate most about my office has been how responsive we are to calls, emails and texts that we receive. If re-elected I will continue to be your eyes and ears at the State Capitol. I believe that experience is critical especially during a pandemic. Being able to connect families to resources of the government and non-profits is paramount and I believe I am the right person for this job. Mahalo
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