comscore 2022 Election: James Logue | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Election

2022 Election: James Logue

  • James Logue
Name on ballot:

James Logue

Running for:

State House – District 20

Political party:

Democrat

Campaign website:

www.votelogue.com

Current occupation:

Eligibility Worker III

Age:

36

Previous job history:

US Army combat veteran, construction industry, restaurant industry, English language teacher (Brazil), Legislative Aid (State House), Legal Assistant

Previous elected office, if any:

N/A

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I would say that my qualifications for representing the people of Hawaii are my background, experience, community service, and a willingness to listen. I believe that no one will 100% agree on everything but we can still find common ground for the greater good and move forward to create opportunities for residents that enhance our lives and quality of life.

What is the most pressing issue facing residents in your district and how would you address the problem?

As with most of the state, homelessness is the most pressing issue we face. Homelessness is a complex problem with many layers. I believe that we can not get rid of homelessness so I do not ever promise to “end” homelessness. There has always been homeless folks and always will be. However, we can reduce & prevent homelessness by focusing on economic policies that benefit our residents and small businesses. By expanding long term care facilities for the mentally ill because the reality is that many of them will never be able to care for themselves. They deserve to be treated like humans and not left out on the streets defecating and urinating on themselves. I believe that by tackling homelessness with economic policies and creating more long term care facilities we can reduce the amount of people who are living on the streets.

We also need to increase wages for our workers as most positions in the state pay well below the national average. We can offset cost burdens on small businesses with tax relief and incentives. But, the current way our lawmakers seem to think to handle the wage situation seems as if it was not well thought out. We are raising minimum wage but not assisting small businesses. This will result in reductions in workforce and hours for many. This will cause more residents and families to fall behind on their rent or mortgage and risk ending up on the streets. There has to be a balance so we can all thrive.

Rising inflation has significantly worsened Hawaii’s already high cost of living. What can be done at the state level to help Hawaii residents cope with high consumer prices?

1) End the tax on foods.

2) Cut government waste by consolidating properties we are renting/leasing and instead of paying massive amounts for utilities to be running all day with very few staff in the buildings. We can save money and use those savings to put towards other programs and possibly be able to give tax payers a break so we can all have more money in our pockets and for emergencies. For example, the state has a $13 Billion backlog for maintenance of their properties. Yet, many of these properties are large buildings with few staff. It seems smarter to save tax dollars by shutting down offices and consolidating space.

Hawaii’s rising gasoline prices are among the highest in the nation. Should Hawaii lower or temporarily suspend state taxes on gasoline to help ease the pain at the pump?

Yes, 100%. As a Democrat I believe in aiding & assisting the working class. Suspending the state taxes on gasoline would directly and positively impact our working class residents who drive to work every single day.

Do you support or oppose efforts to slow or limit the number of tourists to Hawaii? Please explain.

Tourism is a difficult issue to deal with. For decades people have called for diversification of our economy but those calls fell on deaf ears. As does much of what residents need. But, tourism as it stands today is the main economic driver for the state. Putting limitations on tourism right now would only translate into local workers getting reduced hours or losing their jobs.

I do feel that in the long term once (if ever) we get new industries to support our economy that tourism should be slowed to give the environment a chance to heal itself much like we saw with the COVID shut downs.

Can Hawaii’s tourism-dependent economy be diversified, and, if so, what can state government do to support the effort?


It can. The state can reduce regulations on various industries and encourage companies to operate here with a competitive tax rate. At the same time, the state needs to put protections in place to prevent housing costs to skyrocket faster than they are like we see in San Francisco and other cities that are tech industry hubs.

What is your plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii, and to help the counties deal with homelessness?

The truth is that “affordable housing” is a burnt out phrase. With more and more luxury condo towers being built we are building our families and neighbors off of the islands.

The state could help with housing by giving developers state lands and reducing the construction costs by taking care of infrastructure upgrades such as sewer lines, power lines, and other utilities. Developers are required to upgrade infrastructure which drive up construction costs which then get incorporated into the cost of housing which residents are unable to afford.

To help other counties with homelessness would be as I mentioned above: Economic policies that are geared towards lifting up residents and small businesses to keep more money in our pockets and long term & permanent care facilities for the mentally ill and addicts.

I would go a step further and say that we should have services for inmates who have served their time and are being released. Currently, prisoners are released and do not have a state ID card or assistance with seeking shelters or temporary housing. Thus, most of them end up living on the streets and falling back into crime & drugs. I’ve witnessed this first hand so many times because I work at the SNAP office where I help clients apply for food stamp and financial benefits.

What would you propose to help protect Hawaii residents’ health during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic?

I simply propose that people take the necessary precautions based on their health needs.

Hawaii isn’t likely to see a repeat of this year’s $2 billion revenue surplus which allowed higher-than-normal spending on state programs and projects. If elected, what will your top spending priorities be?

1) Mental health treatment & facilities
2) Early childhood education
3) Refilling the state’s emergency fund before it’s too late.

What, if anything, should state government do in response to the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade?

Being that the Supreme Court has kicked the topic of abortion back to the individual states I feel that the state should put women’s healthcare and choice in to law.

What should state government do to support and improve public education in Hawaii?

1) The state needs to focus on keeping our teachers. We need to pay our teachers a salary that they can live off of and not have to flee to the mainland because they can not afford rent or housing here.

2) The state needs to start constructing 21st century schools that will enhance the education of our students and prepare them for a life in a globalized and competitive world.

3) Nutrition. While this may not seem like such a big deal, it is in fact one of the most important aspects of a child’s day. The current meals being served in our schools is appalling. Prisoners receive better food. How can we expect our students to sit in hot classrooms for 8 hours a day learning math, science, and other subjects when we are feeding them nothing but carbohydrates, trans fats, and sodium? Their brains need healthier foods to enhance their cognitive abilities.

What reforms, if any, would you propose to make local government more transparent to the public?

All meetings should be open to the public at all times. There should be no backdoor or closed door meetings. All votes that legislators cast should be recorded online for constituents to review much like other states and congress has in place.

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

I support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope with the caveat that all other unused telescopes and structures be removed first. I support the telescope because I see it as a vital piece of our human story. To peer out into the universe and possibly discover secrets that thrust our species into the next age.

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

I would like voters to know that as someone who grew up on government assistance with a mother who was raising two kids on her own, and working two jobs, I completely understand what many people are going through. I know what it’s like to need help but your calls fall on deaf ears. I’ve lived around the world and met a lot of amazing people which has helped make me the person I am today. I do not believe that our current path is the only path we have to take. I’m running for office because I do not feel like the residents and small businesses are being heard. We only get pandered to during campaign season. We deserve strong, dedicated, and transparent leadership.


View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
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