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Hawaii State Representative, Dist 33

Duties: The Hawaii State House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the Hawaii State Legislature. The Hawaii House of Representatives is a part-time body.Area Represented: Portion of Halawa, a portion of Aiea, WaimaluHow Elected: The house consists of 51 members elected from an equal number of respective representative districts. A Representative must be a Hawaii resident not less than three years, is at least 18 years old, and is a qualified voter of the representative district from which the person seeks to be elected. Candidates for state legislative offices who are nominated in the primary election and are unopposed in the general election will be deemed elected to the office sought after the primary election regardless of the number of votes received by that candidate (Hawaii State Constitution, Article III, Section 4).Term: Two years, not subject to term limits.Base Salary (FY2022): $62,604 plus $225/day if living outside Oahu, $10/day for members living on Oahu; Speaker of the House - $70,104

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  • Candidate picture

    Tracy Aaron ARAKAKI
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Sam Satoru KONG
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

Please provide a brief Candidate Statement describing your qualifications and why you are running for this office.

How would you stop corruption or the appearance of corruption as a State Legislator?

What, if any, actions would you work towards in your first 100 days to address the threats facing Hawaii due to climate change?

Do you believe the response to the COVID-19 crisis could have been improved, and if so, how?

My family has called Aiea home since 1960, 3 generations. I am a former award winning news cameraman where I was a union member and as a small home based business owner for over 35 so I understand both very well. I have served on the Aiea Neighborhood board for over 23 years and understand our Aiea's communities needs. As a former petroleum industry worker I know the threat facing our water source in our Aiea that supplies the island. I will fight for transparency and accountability from the Navy as we move forward. Speeding and homeless are issues that will be high on my list too.
The legislature addressing fundraising during session and special session is a start. Term limits may be another way to address career politicians so new ideas will be allowed from a fresh candidates. An over sight commission like with the police departments to over see the city and states ethics commissions to better investigate cases. I believe a lot of these ethics cases are not properly vetted due to loop holes in their internal interpretations. It seems every where the feds investigate some form of corruption is found and is proving to be widespread.
It would be impossible to address this complex topic in a mere 100 days as this requires a world solving multi pronged solutions. I do believe that we must work to see how alternatives that have been implemented and is working whether it be small or large. It is a topic I will definitely look to learn more about. As a former oil industry worker I understand the problems with the Navy discharging petroleum products that has contaminated our limited water sources. As a Aiea neighborhood board member for over 23 years I have asked the Navy the hard questions and will fight for straight answers.
I do understand our leaders were acting on what was best for the public but I believe a more measured approach instead of the sledge hammer one should have been explored. Hawaii lost many businesses, icons like Loves, some 30% gone forever. Allocating more of the federal covid funds to address the needs of small businesses to have kept more of them afloat. Also as the tourist industry ramped up after the covid restrictions these hotel corporations didn't bring back the hotel workers sooner but were asking tourists to accept less services. This short sighted corporate approach needed to be addressed. Also the states unemployment system and other service programs need to be upgraded.
Having been a local businessman for over twenty years, I understand the unique challenges that small businesses experience, from government regulations, taxes, to employee benefits.As a US Air Force veteran, I understand the problems and concerns of military members as they are stationed home, particularly since many live in my district of Aiea, which is home to Camp Smith and Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

In addition, my commitment to volunteerism spans more than 25 years and continues through today. I dedicate myself to community projects that improve the community, such as being a member of the Mana-Loa Lions Club, Gus Webling’s Community Representative, and more.
It is unfortunate that there have been so many corrupt cases in Hawaii, however, that is what happens when there is no accountability and transparency from the government. I have and will always support legislation to implement more accountability measures from government officials and state agencies.
Hawaii has passed great measures to combat climate change. One effort that I would support highly is erosion control and creating better mitigation plans for Hawaii’s coastal areas. We’ve seen many residents lose their homes due to chronic eroding.
Hawaii has actually done well in responding to the pandemic. The State just needs to continue what they are already doing, but I would like to change the terminology of “social distancing” into “physical distancing,” to clarify that it is physical distance. Mental health is also an important issue that needs to be addressed. We need to fund programs that address the mental and psychological health implications Covid-19 has had on our residents.