Land in Hawaii is precious and there is not a consensus over who has rights to it or how it should be used. As I represent Hawaii to the United States government at the federal level, I will advocate for the needs of Hawaii and its people.
In order to best represent the unique needs of Hawaii, I will consult with kumu, teachers, who know more than I. With the knowledge they impart to me, I will advocate on behalf of Native Hawaiians and residents of Hawaii. The more I learn about the injustices endured by the Native Hawaiians at the hands of the US government, the more I am compelled to act and right the wrongs of the past. I have begun and will continue to consult with experts and those recognized by Native Hawaiians and their advocacy groups so that I can best represent and support them and their efforts.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has virtually decimated tourism in Hawaii; it has become even more clear that such heavy reliance on tourism is a liability. Hawaii’s current unemployment rates are extremely high and many people and families are affected. We must seek to diversify industry in Hawaii, and one way that I believe that can happen is through agriculture.
As more and more land is developed, there is less and less agricultural production. This is another liability for Hawaii as we depend so heavily on imported foods. I will advocate for sustainable land usage to include restoring streams and waterways which once provided irrigation, but have been disrupted by agricultural development as in the case of the sugar cane fields in Central Maui. This is where, once again, I will consult with advocacy groups with expertise in cultural water and land use so that what generation after generation of indigenous Hawaiians cultivated can be restored.
To contribute to the health and well-being of Hawaii’s keiki, I will work to use more local produce in meals served to students in public schools. In addition to reducing greenhouse gasses by avoiding trans-pacific shipping, this will help support local farmers and will keep money in Hawaii’s local economy.
Residents of Hawaii have a high cost of living. Land is limited, and for many, the dream of homeownership seems to be increasingly unattainable. Part of what drives up the cost of property in Hawaii is the big money that comes from overseas investors. These investors are concerned about their businesses, but not necessarily the well-being and fair contribution to Hawaii’s local economy or the quality of life afforded to residents. I will seek to place limits on purchases of land and property to non-residents. This will keep more property on the market for residents and regulate the price of land to a market value that is within reach of local residents.
I oppose the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) on Mauna Kea for a number of reasons. Primarily, I believe in the freedom of religious expression as laid out in the first amendment rights of the US Constitution and Article 2 of the 1864 Hawaiian Constitution. I will seek to uphold these rights for whom the Mauna holds spiritual significance by supporting the efforts of leaders on the Mauna.
I also believe that we need to take care of the land as best as possible. I believe it is a person and public responsibility. Through local education, and federal funding I'd like to see a zero waste Hawaii, which means each county would need a advance recycling facility. Banning plastic bags is just a start, we need facilities, not landfills that can address our waste issues.