Honolulu City Council
Does not apply/Nonpartisan race
I have worked in the Office of Council Chair Martin for the past 8 years. Before that I worked for the Department of Education at Leilehua High School as a Behavioral Health Specialist for 4 years. I conducted the first ever parenting class in the women
This is my first time running for elected office.
I am the only candidate with the unique and invaluable experience of working for the current Councilmember for District 2, Council Chair Ernie Martin for the past 8 years. I currently serve as his Senior Advisor and have current, in depth knowledge of the issues facing our communities and our City. I have developed strong working relationships with the City Administration and community leaders which has enabled me to play an instrumental role in completing improvement projects and addressing issues in our communities. I regularly attend meetings in the community and meet with constituents in the district and have always focused on being hands-on and accessible. I have worked on setting the groundwork for continued improvements in District 2 which is the largest district geographically, covering 40% of the island from Mililani Mauka, through Wahiawa and the North Shore and ending in Kahalu’u. Representing District 2 requires energy, commitment and time and an understanding of the diverse needs of such a vast area. I have spent the last 8 years serving District 2 and am confident that my professional experience and knowledge make me the best candidate to hit the ground running and begin working on day one. My personal characteristics such my passion and dedication to our communities and future generations make me the best candidate to keep working hard and be a voice for the community every day after that.
As noted, District 2 covers a vast area with very different demographics and unique needs in each community. However, 3 common priorities/issues for the district and how I would address them are;
* High cost of living and lack of affordable housing that has caused many residents to move away and provides little hope for future generations to live and raise their families here. I would address this issue by focusing on true fiscal responsibility within City government and fight against any tax or fee increases. I would also work for the development of true affordable housing options both for sale and for rent for our residents.
* Concerns for public safety which include concerns related to our homeless crisis. I would work with our first responders which include; the Honolulu Police Department, the Honolulu Fire Department and our Emergency Management Services to ensure that they have the funding and support needed for adequate staffing and equipment. With our growing population and potential for manmade and natural disasters, it is critical that our first responders be ready and plans are in place to ensure the general well-being of the people. Our first responders are also being challenged in dealing with the growing homeless population for which our communities need increased presence to consistently address issues that arise and provide needed enforcement to ensure our communities are safe for all.
* Traffic congestion both locally on the freeways which keeps drivers in their cars for hours and takes away from time with family and overall quality of life. One way to alleviate traffic congestion is to encourage the development of livable communities where residents have the opportunity to live, work and play. I believe we can do more to encourage the development of Kapolei as the “second City” and would encourage shifting and developing job opportunities not only in that area but also in our communities across Oahu so residents have the opportunity to work closer to home. This would not only help address the traffic congestion but also help in creating vibrant communities. I would also support improvements to our roadway infrastructure and looking at options like contraflow lanes and opening the zipper land westbound in the afternoon to alleviate traffic congestion. I would also support the further growth of the University of Hawaii West Oahu as residents see a dramatic increase in traffic when the University of Hawaii at Manoa is in session. I would also evaluate specific local traffic congestion in communities that have only one way in and one way out and support efforts to create an alternate access route to alleviate congestion and provide additional access routes in case of an emergency.
My highest legislative priority will be to draft legislation to provide property tax relief for residents who have seen continually increases in their property taxes and vote against any increases in taxes or fees for residents. To be able to accomplish this I will be focused on true fiscal responsibility in City government. I believe government can do a much better job of managing City revenues that are generated primarily through real property taxes. Reigning in spending can be accomplished by strong leadership and proper planning so that decisions and actions are taken proactively instead of reactively. I look forward to working closely with the City Administration, HART and stakeholders in turning things around in our City by showing strong leadership and results that residents can trust and put their confidence in.
I believe our City is in need of strong leadership that puts people before politics. Many residents have given up hope on things getting better and have already moved away due to the high cost of living. I decided to run for the Honolulu City Council to work for the people as a public servant, not a politician as I understand the real frustration over politics as usual. I will be open and accessible and be a true voice for the people. I will work to improve the lives of my constituents by truly working for them and taking action to address the many issues that we face. I will remain focused on the work of the people and identify common sense and creative solutions to the issues we face. I will also work collaboratively with my counterparts at the State and Federal level to work collaboratively to decrease the cost of living for residents, readjust the affordable housing formula which does not work for residents, develop true affordable housing options both for sale and rent, address our homelessness crisis and develop plans to address climate change and shoreline erosion which is a big issue in my district.
I am a mother of two daughters, ages 20 and 18. My older daughter will graduate next year from a college in Washington State and has told me that she is not planning to come home after college because she does not feel there are opportunities for her to get a good paying job, find a house and make a living here. My younger daughter will be leaving this summer for college in Washington State as well and I am hoping she will find a way back home but am prepared for the reality that she may also end up on the mainland.
I am not opposed to our younger generation moving for opportunities but am truly sadden that so many of our young leaders do not feel they are able to come home to live and raise a family here. As a mom I decided to run for the Honolulu City Council to do my part to ensure that we turn things around for our next generation and for our kupuna who are also moving away because they cannot afford to live here on their fixed incomes. I will work hard everyday to start turning things around for residents and future generations so they have the opportunity to live and raise their families here as I was blessed to do. Our people and our island home are so important to me and will do everything I can to ensure a brighter future and create a place we can all be proud to call home.