Name on ballot:
State House – District 42
Affordable Housing Developer
Previous job history:
Attorney-at-Law specializing in land use and construction litigation.
Previous elected office, if any:
I have had the honor of representing our Second City since 2006.
Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.
Since first being elected to the House of Representatives, I have secured millions of dollars in infrastructure funding for Kapolei projects including monies for UH West Oahu, Hookele Elementary School, Kualakai Parkway, Kapolei Interchange, Ft. Barrette Road, Kapolei Elementary, Middle and High Schools, and Makakilo Elementary, to name a few. I have authored and passed numerous bills including the ignition interlock which requires anyone arrested for drunk driving to install a breathalyzer in their vehicle. My staff and I have helped thousands of residents with various community issues. I am passionate, well-versed in state government and truly love the people of the Second City. It has been a privilege for me to serve the residents of District 42 in the Hawaii State House of Representatives.
What will be your top priority if elected?
I have three top priorities: (1) A healthy recovery from COVID-19; (2) Affordable Housing for all; and (3) Affordable and reliable childcare for keiki of all ages as parents return to work.
As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more can be done to protect residents’ health?
If we intend to open up tourism again, we must increase COVID-19 testing and the number of contact tracers in the State.
What more can be done to help residents who have been economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We need to diversify the economy. The fallout from 911, the Great Recession and now COVID-19, have taught us that being so reliant upon one industry can be devastating to the State’s economy. By creating new job industries, we create new jobs for Hawaii’s people. The State must also look at investing in our workforce to teach people additional skills that will help them secure jobs in various industries.
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?
As we did during 911 and the Great Recession, we should cut government services. We were the laughing stock of the nation when we implemented Furlough Fridays so going down that road again does not behoove us. Instead, we must get back to basics and implement only core government services which are health/human services, education and public safety.
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?
While tourism will always be the bread and butter for our economy, we should learn from this pandemic and quickly diversify the economy by incentivizing businesses that specialize in industries such as biotechnology, manufacturing and creative media. Government should provide financial and other incentives that will help these types of industries succeed in Hawaii.
Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.
In the State of Hawaii, we are blessed by the spirit of aloha. Moreover, we live in a multicultural, multi-ethnic society so we fortunately do not experience many of the problems of the mainland. The Legislature recently passed HB285 which attempted to enact “police reform.” This bill was replete with many problems as it not only infringes upon an officer’s due process rights but interferes with collective bargaining. What this bill does is adjudicates a police officer guilty when any allegations are raised without providing that officer with due process. What is dangerous about this bill is that an officer’s name will now be released before he/she has actually been found guilty and exposes that officer and his/her family to any personal vendettas of former perpetrators who that officer may have been in contact with.
Do you support or oppose the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on the Big Island and why?
I support construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope as legally, TMT has the right to be built upon Mauna Kea. I understand the cultural sensitivity of the project and the right of the protesters to peacefully protest. Unfortunately, however, the protesters have presented a “zero sum game” in which there is no room for compromise. TMT went through all of the necessary permits and prevailed in all of the lawsuits even before the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?
I am the proud mother of 2 1/2 year old twin girls who have changed my life in every way imaginable. They have made me a better legislator because I want to create a better Hawaii for their future. I also recently changed careers and now build affordable housing which is truly my passion. I understand why we do not have enough affordable housing in Hawaii and am in a position to address the barriers as a state legislator. I am considered a “fighter,” as I represent the people of the Second City with zeal, candor and integrity. It has been an honor serving the people of District 42 since 2006.
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