comscore 2020 Election: Jay Ishibashi | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Jay Ishibashi

  • Jay Ishibashi
Name on ballot:

Jay Ishibashi

Running for:

State House – District 20

Political party:


Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Program Specialist – State of Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Workforce Development Division



Previous job history:

Employee Representative – HGEA
Special Assistant to the Mayor – City and County of Honolulu
Budget Analyst – State of Hawaii Senate Ways and Means
Executive Aide – State of Hawaii Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Contract Specialist – State of Hawaii Department of Human Services
Planner/Operations Manager – State of Hawaii Department of Health

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

Having worked in the different government jurisdictions (executive branch and legislative branch) I believe has given me a truer understandIng of the many issues we face in shaping our island state. In addition, I have learned workings of state and county government and the need for collaboration to further our efforts to improve our way of life.

What will be your top priority if elected?

Given Hawaii’s dire economic situation, my/our legislative priority will have to involve stabilizing our economy and building a stronger base first while we help our current lead industry recover.

As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more can be done to protect residents’ health?

Faced with the balancing of opening up our state to trans pacific travel for economic solvency and the need to protect the health of our residents, we must look to the means (pre and post flight testing, contact tracing, facility sanitation, quarantine etc. in addition to social distancing and wearing masks) to help all parties (visitors, workers and residents) be comfortable with return of visitors to our state.

What more can be done to help residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

After the Cares Act, we need to apply and lobby for additional federal aid to help individuals and businesses affected by the economic meltdown. Funding for unemployment is being depleted exponentially by the rising number of unemployed and with businesses continuing to shut down.

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?

No, with one hundred fifty thousand plus of our residents currently unemployed we cannot have thousands more of our residents lose or have reduced purchasing capability. Our businesses and job resources are failing by the week.

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?

Hawaii has been trying to diversify its economy for decades. With the economic crisis Hawaii is experiencing with its lead industry in shutdown, new cries for a more diversified economy have surfaced. Diversification will require an infusion of funds and will take some time to be fully realized, so it is imperative that we explore and implement plans to diversify Hawaii’s economy now while we try to stabilize the existing crisis.
Areas that I would like to pursue and/or fortify as potential major diversifiers include agriculture; high tech “clean” industries; expansion on the film industry; sports training facilities; and health research and resort industries.

Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.

I believe Hawaii’s policing policies may need some tweaking but in comparison to our mainland counterparts is relatively benign. There will never be absolute freedom from wrong doing but measures such as the use of police cams will help to insure that all parties in a situation are protected to the largest degree.

Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?

I am cognizant of the opposition by members of our community toward the construction of the Thirty Meter telescope and I respect their beliefs but I generally support (as long as all protocols are followed and their is proper oversight) the building of the telescope.

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

No answer submitted

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