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Tuesday, April 23, 2024 77° Today's Paper


2022 Election: Rachele Fernandez Lamosao

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Name on ballot:

Rachele Fernandez Lamosao

Running for:

State House – District 36

Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Office Manager



Previous job history:

Communications Director

Previous elected office, if any:


Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

As a single parent, I understand and am committed to supporting the needs of our working families. I also worked at the legislature and nonprofit sector for many years. These experiences have allowed me to understand the legislative process and pulse of our community.

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

While the issue of affordability in Hawaii is multi-faceted, I believe affordable housing and tax relief for working families are the most impactful ways to ease the burden on our Waipahu families. Many residents of our district live in multi-generational households and share the sentiment with other working families across the islands about the cost of living and whether their children and grandchildren will be able to afford to live and raise their families here too. If elected, I would be committed to working with the counties and private sectors to find appropriate spaces within our neighborhoods to provide affordable housing for our local families while maintaining the character of our district. Moreover, I would look for additional ways to provide tax relief to our working families to provide them with more money for basic necessities such as food, clothing, and childcare.

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?

As previously stated, we need to prioritize increasing the supply of affordable housing and working to provide additional tax relief for working families to have additional income for basic necessities.

As a young single mother, I empathize with many families who have to wake up every day and try to balance work and family life with the high cost of living. It is not an easy balance. One way the legislature can make that balance easier is to pass paid family leave. Paid family leave will allow many parents like me not to be in the unfortunate position of choosing to spend time with their children or go to work to make ends meet.

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 would be open to having a discussion to support both initiatives. I am in favor of assessing which would have the most positive impact on our working families.

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

I believe tourism can only exist if we have the support of our communities. I believe that the state has the responsibility to attract mindful visitors who appreciate our hospitality, culture, and natural resources. Fees at heavily visited tourist attractions will help with repair and maintenance of these areas and attract more mindful visitors. It also allows for these destinations to remain sustainable for future generations to experience.

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

Our district has many who work in tourism and rely on it as a financial means to provide for our families. However, those who choose to visit our islands need to pay their fair share in using our natural resources. I am open to additional fees on tourists for the use of our resources and using that revenue for the maintenance of our state parks, forests, and beaches.

One way to help diversify our economy is to tap into our agricultural industry. Hawaii-grown products are unique and well-desired all across the world. We need to capitalize on that demand by working alongside local farmers to expand exports of their products worldwide to bring in additional revenue to our State.

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

My plan to increase affordable housing in Hawaii is to invest in building infrastructure to increase our housing inventory. Additionally, I will fight for more affordable homes for our local families over foreign investors.

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

This pandemic has revealed to us that we need a more resilient food system that can feed our islands if there are shocks or disruptions in shipping operations. As someone who worked in the agriculture industry, I believe that creating a more resilient food system requires technology investments that increase greenhouses. Greenhouses will ensure that we keep all the operations of providing food here at home. In the long run, I believe such a system will save us more money, create jobs for local families, and move us into a more diversified economy that we have all sought for decades.

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?

I will prioritize increasing the supply of affordable housing and working to provide additional tax relief for working families to have additional income for basic necessities.

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

In response to the decision of the US Supreme Court, the state should continue to ensure and prioritize women’s health.

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

To improve public education in Hawaii, the state must work to retain teachers in hard-to-fill positions by providing opportunities for workforce housing, better pay, and adequate resources for them to teach students.

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

I am open to considering open records law that allows the public to know how each legislator voted on a bill and the reason behind their vote. Easy access to a legislator’s voting record and why they voted this way will allow the public to feel more engaged in the process.

If elected, I am also committed to speaking with my constituents and answering any questions they may have about my voting record and why I decided to vote a certain way. I believe having an open and honest dialogue with your constituents is the most effective way to gain and retain the public’s trust.

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

I support it. I believe that there can be a balance between recognizing the educational opportunities science offers, while respecting the Hawaiian culture.

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

I am a Filipino American born in Honolulu and raised in Waipahu and the youngest of two daughters. My parents immigrated from the Philippines in the early 80’s. They worked multiple jobs to provide for their family. Growing up, through my parents, I understood the meaning of hard work and perseverance, which motivates me to be in public service.

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