Maui County Council
Maui County Councilmember, Upcountry
Field Representative for U.S Senator Mazie Hirono
Small Business Owner, Connec, LLC
Maui County Councilmember, Upcountry, elected 2016
I seek re-election for the Maui County Council Upcountry seat with 25 years of community and public service is part of the foundation for my work. I worked for the people, as the Maui Field Representative for U.S. Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Mazie Hirono; Office of Economic Development, Mayor James Kimo Apana. I am a community connector and feel that my experience working with people and all levels of government will help find solutions for the people of Maui County.
Three top challenges for the people of Maui Nui are:
Balanced environment: There is a threat of climate change and sea level rise for our beach communities and it is our responsibility as policy makers to set long range plans and make decisions to protect our resources and safety of our residents. I believe we need to establish an Office of Climate Change and Sustainability to help direct the County of Maui’s overall plans.
Supporting working families with rental and market homes. We are now in a housing crisis with the median price of a home rising to $769,000 on Maui reported by the Maui Realtors Association in March 2018. We have a shortage of housing! There are currently 1,140 homes under construction and another 6,951 ongoing projects in Wailuku and West Maui with affordable and market units.
Upcountry Water Meter list. The water meter list has 1600 names, this list began in 1993 and ceased in 2014. The problem is an inadequate water storage and distribution system. For the past two years, I have added resources to the Water Department staff to work on customer demands for a water meter from the water meter list..
My highest priority is to do everything in my power to support our working families, to better their lives and support them into the future. Some of the ways that I have been and will continue to work towards this goal is by building affordable housing while protecting our precious ecosystem and supporting our local small businesses and non-profit organizations to create jobs and opportunities for our local residents.
Our local residents are the heart and soul of Maui County and make it the wonderful place that it is and as a member of the Council it is my heartfelt desire to work towards improving the quality of life for all. While in office I have helped gain funding for affordable housing development to help tackle parts of our housing shortage, but by itself this is not enough and I will continue to make sure that we create more affordable housing while not compromising our environment.
While our economy is closely tied to our visitor industry, we need to make sure that our infrastructure is able to handle our 160,000 local residents and the average of 40,000 visitors present at any given time. This means increasing the capacity of our main infrastructure like the Paia and Lahaina By-Pass roads to help alleviate some of the effects of large numbers of visitors.
Part of what makes Maui County very special is the large amount of agricultural and green space which must be protected and preserved. As I noted previously HC&S closing has left 36,000 acres of agricultural land and I have been involved in helping the county acquire portions of it and to turn this land over to our local farmers. This not only helps preserve our green spaces, but helps our local community produce more of its own food which not only gives us more access to locally grown produce, but also increases the food security of Maui County as a whole.
As a small business owner myself I know the hard work and dedication that goes into creating your own business. Because of this I have always been a supporter of small businesses and non-profits because of the good that they do in the community by creating jobs and serving worthwhile causes. As a Councilmember I have fought for small businesses by supporting funding of grants and social services, going forward I will continue to support our local small businesses and non-profit organizations.
Once a month I set up a booth at the Upcountry Farmers Market to talk to constituents and listen to their concerns. Please stop by to talk story with me. . My cell number is 808 870-8047 or email is YukiLei.Sugimura@gmail.com. Please contact me, I want to hear from you!