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2022 Election: Lorene Godfrey

Lorene Godfrey
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Name on ballot:

Lorene Godfrey

Running for:

State Senate – District 15

Political party:


Campaign website:

Godfrey4Hawaii.com (under construction)

Current occupation:

Administrative Assistant


confidentially senior

Previous job history:

Radio Station Manager, Office Manager for a construction company

Previous elected office, if any:

Neighborhood Board 18 member

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

I was born and raised in Kakaako, urban Honolulu. I went through public schools and graduated from the University of Hawaii West Oahu (when it was located next to Leeward Community College).
I became seriously interested in politics in 2013 when the legislature passed the Hawaii Marriage Equality Act, allowing for same-sex marriages. It seemed to me that the large public rejection of the law was not heard. I began to question the process of lawmaking in Hawaii.
Several election cycles ago, I helped a friend campaign for a House of Representatives position.It was a lot of work, and I discovered how little the general public knows about our government and how our legislators will often have personal motives for their actions rather than being accountable to their constituents. This has been very hurtful.
The management skills in office work and public relations work at the radio station have provided me with decades of experience in problem solving and working together with others.

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

Senate District 15 is a diverse collection of residents and businesses.What I’ve been hearing more and more about is the incidences of theft and break-ins.Certainly, the police are doing the best they can, and I would hope to be able to work with them to establish more neighborhood watch groups and call for educational meetings where homeowners can learn how they can help in their neighborhoods and how they can best secure their buildings and vehicles.

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?

I would be in favor of eliminating the sales tax on food. I would want to encourage new businesses by providing training for business ownership, providing start-up loans for viable businesses, and generally making it easier to start their businesses.

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?

I am in favor of lowering the state tax on gasoline.I do not think a temporary solution is enough of an answer to a long-term problem.

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

I do not favor slowing or limiting the number of tourists to Hawaii. However, I do believe that we can mitigate overcrowding in areas with stronger guidance from the state. This could mean having additional fees at visitor sites or having a limited number of visitors at any given time.

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

I am convinced that with all the cultural families in the islands, Hawaii could benefit from developing a food destination.The state could subsidize farmers and invest in new restaurants and culinary events.

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

The idea of increasing affordable housing is almost a joke.The state should try to better use the land areas that they already have to create communities instead of waiting for developers to come around.
I strongly support the transit-oriented development areas around the rail stations that the city is undertaking at the Aloha Stadium, Pearl Harbor, Airport, and Lagoon Drive stations.

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

I believe the state has been doing its best to protect everyone’s health. I would have liked to see sanctions raised earlier to allow people to open their businesses and schools where life is productive and robust.

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/I would like to reform our election process and go back to walk-in voting.
2/I would like to see a major audit of several departments for wasteful spending. This would include upgrading computer systems and discarding antiquated software and procedures.
3/I would review the pension packages received by lawmakers.

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

The state will need to make that decision at that time.

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

Every child should be able to receive a solid education. One improvement I would strive for is the reintroduction of classical music and the fine arts in elementary schools. The loss of these areas of study has limited the opportunities for expression and imagination, cooperation and discipline, and self-exploration. The elementary schools have lost enrichment as a value.

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

I believe that the public would care about their government if it were easier to understand. I am in favor of town halls and direct communication to residents by mail. People need to understand that the government cares about them.

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

No comment at this time.I need to know more about the particulars before I can answer. Thank you.

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

No answer submitted

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