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2022 Election: John Mizuno

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  • John Mizuno State House Dist. 29
Name on ballot:

John Mizuno

Running for:

State House – District 29

Political party:

Democratic Party

Campaign website:

John Mizuno Facebook Pages

Current occupation:

Full Time Legislator



Previous job history:

16 years as a State Representative. 6 Years as a Hearing Officer at the Department of Human Services & 5 years as a Special Investigator at the Department of Human Services. 1 year at the Judiciary as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Donald Tsukiyama of the First Circuit Court of Hawaii. 1 year as both a Mediator & Investigator for the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission – I was hired during the grand opening of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission back in 1990-1991.

Previous elected office, if any:

State Representative for 16 years.

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Hawaii.

For my education I have a Doctorate in Law from Willamette University, College of Law, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Sociology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. For my legislative experience I have been awarded the Legislator of the Year five times. I serve as the Vice Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is the second highest ranking member of the 51 member House. I am also a graduate of the Henry Toll Fellows Class of 2015, which is the top Legislative Program in the United States in preparing Legislators to become top Leaders in the nation. Many Toll Fellows continue on to Congress, U.S. Senate, or become Mayors as well as Governors.

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

Crime & the high cost of living in Hawaii. For crime, I will continue to work with community members, Adult Friends for Youth which is the top agency for our state in transitioning youth gang members back to school, a trade, job skill, farming, or the military. In addition, I will coordinate with both the City and State as well as the Police Department and the Sheriff’s office and Public Safety to reduce recidivism (meaning criminals once released going back to crime – We need to rehabilitate our people in the corrections system and partner them with a strong foundation and support group to improve their ability to secure gainful employment and contribute to society. For the high cost of living in Hawaii, we need a revolutionary movement to invest in agricultural, aquaculture, farming, smart tourism to protect our environment and infrastructure while providing a world class vacation. We need a Blue Ribbon panel to determine the best ways to secure the high technology industry to invest in Hawaii and offer jobs to local residents.We need to use the Veterans Administration Healthcare model to reduce prescription drug prices while also offering quality, affordable, healthcare. Finally, we need to invest to building more affordable housing to keep our local residents in Hawaii.

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?

Reduce taxes – Just a few months ago we at the Legislature provided a $300 tax refund to all wage earners who make under $100,000 a year. This was the first significant tax refund to the people of Hawaii since 2007. For a family of four with dependent children that tax refund could amount to $1,200 for a family of four. Moreover, we must secure any and all federal funding to reduce the significant high cost of living and taxes in Hawaii.

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 – I will draft a bill now and ready it for introduction at the start of the 2023 Legislative session to suspend the gasoline tax for one year to help our people struggling as they move out of this once in a century COVID-19 pandemic which has hurt so many Hawaii families.

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

Support smart tourism where we limit the mass crowds to ensure protection of our environment and infrastructure, while also allowing for a peaceful and beautiful experience for the traveler. Work to make a Hawaii vacation a world class destination and experience which will be valued and remembered, thereby securing many return visitors.

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

Yes, absolutely. We need to ensure a great foundation and future for Hawaii by diversifying our economy such as: 1. New Aloha Stadium attract major sporting events, football, MMA events, basketball, soccer, working to make Hawaii a world class sports destination which will generate millions of dollars to the state. 2. We need to invest in agriculture and aquaculture which will help Hawaii with food security as well as exporting such products. We need to continue to support our Military which is the second largest economic driver behind tourism. We need to bring high tech businesses and jobs to Hawaii.

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

2022 was a historic year, perhaps the greatest year at the Legislature ever – with $1 billion going toward affordable housing, $1 billion going to secure homes and housing lots for the 28,000 wait listed native Hawaiians. We also funded $15 million for the homeless through “Ohana Zones” which I wrote the first bill to pass into law on Ohana Zones for the homeless.

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

Continue to heal the community as people are still devastated from the pandemic. Ensure the best healthcare practices to protect our people from COVID or any other disease or virus circulating through Hawaii.

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. Affordable Housing
2. Invest in the Economy – jobs, jobs, jobs for the people of Hawaii.
3. Introduce a bill to exempt the small Mom and Pop businesses with 10 or less employees from the minimum wage increases.

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

The 10 Amendment provides powers of the State. Therefore, if it’s the will of the Majority Caucus I anticipate a bill will be introduced to guarantee a woman’s right to choice her medical procedure, similar in the Roe vs. Wade case.

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

1. Invest more funding for teachers.
2. Build affordable rental units for public school teachers.
3. Make significant repairs to all schools in the State.

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

Sunshine law – continue to ensure that all hearings and conferences are open to the public

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

Yes, however I worked with the House leadership team to craft the bill we just passed to ensure the correct protocol is in place. The purpose of the Mauna Kea Stewardship Oversight Authority is to protect the Mauna for future generations, manage the lands, making sure the environment, culture, education and science are in balance with synergy and many voices at the table. In addition, the bill we passed has wording to eliminate certain telescopes no longer in use. This policy supports astronomy so long as it is consistent with the mutual stewardship of Mauna Kea.

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

I Listen – I have never turned anyone away. I am for the people.

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