Honolulu City Councilwoman Kym Pine joined Spotlight Hawaii to lay out why she believes she is the best person to be Honolulu’s next mayor.
“I deeply respect all the candidates running for office, but this is not their time,” Pine said.
Now in her second term at the City Council, Pine brings political experience to the race, having also served four terms in the State House, representing Ewa Beach, Iroquois Point, and Pu’uloa. She says those years in government mean she can hit the ground running.
“Rick Blangiardi admitted he hasn’t even looked at the city budget. He doesn’t know how it works. Doesn’t that scare you, that your daughter’s future is going be in the hands of someone who gives great pep talks?” she asked. “And then you have Keith who is controlled by people in power for 40 years who are fighting to keep that power. If either of them get elected, there’s gonna be 14 mayors controlling this city.”
Pine continued, “Then you have these older leaders who I respect because they’ve certainly paved the way for my generation of leaders, but when we talk about this crisis, they’re using old ideas. You have Mufi Hannemann saying the solution to our crisis that we’re in now is more tourism, and it’s this over-reliance on this one economy where we went all-in, and we didn’t diversify our economy, that got us into this station.”
“I feel that I’m that candidate that’s somewhere in between of the other candidates. I’m the new face with the fresh vision, but I have experience to make decisions on day one to keep you safe, to keep you healthy, and to make us have a resilient, ethical city.”
On the issue of rail, Pine says she would support building the project as far as the funding will allow. That could be beyond Middle Street, but not likely all the way to Ala Moana.
“We just don’t have the money any more. The new funding formula that the state legislature put together to finish the project depends on TAT tax. As we know there’s no tourism right now,” she said. “As a leader, it’s my obligation to continue to fight to get it to Ala Moana — but if there’s money in the future.”
Pine also answered questions on homelessness, diversifying the city’s economy and her political affiliation, given that she has been both a Republican and a Democrat.
“It is my hope being a part of both parties, where I found great people in both and I found some really bad people in both, that I can be the mayor that finally stops the conflict and brings us all together.”
Spotlight Hawaii, which shines a light on issues affecting Hawaii, airs live 10:30 a.m. every Monday and Wednesday on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Facebook page. This month, Yunji de Nies and Ryan Kalei Tsuji conduct one-on-one interviews with Honolulu mayoral candidates. Here is the lineup:
July 6 – Colleen Hanabusa
July 8 – Mufi Hannemann
July 13 – Rick Blangiardi
July 15 – Choon James
July 20 – Keith Amemiya
July 22 – Kym Pine
July 27 – Gov. David Ige
July 29 – Scott Nago, chief elections officer for the Hawaii Office of Elections