WHERE I STAND
"Common sense politics backed by experienced, collaborative leadership is what I bring to the table."
Hawaii’s need for affordable housing
affects all of us. With the shortage of public funds, the high cost of construction, and the lack of available land, more vertical development in areas where such developm-ent is permitted must occur in order to build housing that is truly affordable for both sale and rent. Our legislature can do more to support increased government subsidies and incentives for the private sector to build more affordable housing. I believe the solutions are there, but strong and coope-rative legislative leadership is required.
Hawaiʻi has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation and requires solutions that build bridges between our Federal, State, and City governments, housing and social service providers, as well as community and faith based organizations. I strongly
support implementing research-based best practices such as "Housing First" that house homeless individuals and their families with the appropriate level of support services as soon as possible.
Tourism is Hawaii’s leading economic engine with Waikīkī as the epicenter of it all. As one of the world’s premier travel destinations,
Wakīkī is unique in that it serves as both a resort and residential area. With that in
mind, as our annual count of tourists coming to Hawaiʻi reaches record-breaking numbers, resident satisfaction with the industry has
decreased. We must heed the concerns of our residents all the while forging a new sustainable form of tourism. It is my continued belief that authentic Hawaiian culture serve as the foundation of the future tourism model.
JOBS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Intellectually challenging and good paying jobs are essential for residents, especially young people, to be able to live in Hawaiʻi. I fully support funding workforce pipelines in our public high school and university systems that aid in the development of a highly-trained workforce for a diversified economy. I have advocated for increasing business opportunities for small business entrepreneurs by providing set asides in large state government contracts, creating incentives for innovation and start-ups, and increasing training and technical assistance for them.
Our kūpuna have earned the right to live their "golden years" in security, comfort, and happiness. I have never wavered in my support for our seniors: I created the Kūpuna Power program to empower, entertain, and inform kūpuna at the State Capitol for the last six years; sponsored legislation and appropriations to expand the health, wellness, and housing for kūpuna;
and acquired funding to establish the Nā Kū-puna Makamae Center, a senior center and gathering place for kūpuna at the historic pump station in Kakaʻako. My support will continue for as long as I am privileged to be in elected office.
I have made education a priority in the lives of my own children and grandchildren, as the products of Hawaii’s public and private school systems. Every elected official needs to be engaged in the well-being of our state’s keiki by ensuring that we develop students with strong academic and life skills that will carry forth into adulthood. I am committed to supporting the needs of education from pre-K through the university level.
Access to quality healthcare is a basic need of all of Hawaii's citizens and one of my top priorities. I support programs that provide a healthcare safety net for all of our citizens, including children, kūpuna, and the disabled. I support expansion of community-based mental health services to ensure that our community members suffering from mental health issues are able to safely live and be productive within our community.
Senate District 12 is home to some of Hawaii’s most important natural landscapes, from the beaches of Waikīkī and the Kakaʻako waterfront to the harbors and reefs of the kai that front the District. I am committed to protecting open spaces, supporting efforts to preserve and rehabilitate Hawaii’s fragile ecosystems, and developing real solutions that balance progress with the need to preserve our treas-ured landscapes.
The safety and security of our communities is a fundamental quality of life issue. Although Honolulu ranks as one of the safest cities in the United States with a relatively low rate of crime,
we will continue our efforts to reduce crime.
Within the urban and residential areas, I endorse community policing approaches, increased partnerships and collaborations between and amongst the State, City, private businesses, community groups, associations, and the general public to ensure an immediate and proportional response to safety issues as soon as they arise.
In Honolulu, and Oʻahu in general, our commute times are amongst the worse in the nation. This is due to many factors, including the increased ownership of personal vehicles, the lack of
alternative mass transit options, and the centralization of jobs in urban Honolulu. As the most urban and densest of all senate districts in the state, it is important that we lead the way in making Honolulu a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly city. These concepts must be
incorporated into all phases of public and private development planning. At the end of the day, the less time people spend in traffic and the more
time they spend with their families, we all win.