2018 Primary Election Candidates

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Kelly Puamailani Kitashima
Name on ballot:

Kelly Puamailani Kitashima

Running for:

Honolulu City Council

District (if applicable):


Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Consultant / Realtor



Previous job history:

Kahala Hotel & Resort - Account Director
Hyatt Hotels - Director of Sales & Marketing
Expedia - Market Manager, Hawaii
The MODERN Honolulu - Director of Group Sales

Previous elected office, if any:


What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

Choice, Chance & Change. We must make the Choice, to take the Chance, if we want anything in life to Change. My personal life experiences and professional resume make me uniquely qualified to serve as a conduit for a better Honolulu.

I hear you - the struggle is real. As a working mother of two keiki, my husband and I can deeply empathize with every local middle-class family. After the birth of our first child, we took advantage of career advancement and the ability to afford a home of our own by relocating to the mainland for five years. Fast forward today, from our daily commute in traffic, juggling activities/doctor appointments, finding reliable day care or balancing the monthly check book - we completely 100% understand what it takes simply to make it through the day. Thus, the decisions we make today will affect generations to come, and we must put families at the forefront of policy!

Professionally, I am an effective, open-hearted communicator with a results-oriented management style. As a hospitality leader for the last 18+ years, my kuleana required me to manage up and generate revenue for ownership, manage laterally with internal colleagues and manage external vendors relations for accountability while simultaneously mentoring the staff so they could springboard their careers into management. It was truly a delicate balance and key metrics for success = Teamwork & Collaboration!

Additionally, I am a proud member of Mana Loa - Nimitz Lions Club (Aiea) - 18 members strong completed 113 projects and 2070 service hours this last year. In order to lead you must first serve. Our Lion motto is 'We Serve'!

What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

Specially in Council District 8 the most common concerns residents express at neighborhood board meetings or when I simply knock on their doors are:
● Affordability: the day-to-day cost of living is pricing local hardworking families out of paradise. I will strongly oppose property tax or fee increases and will work to create other revenue streams.
● Safety - homelessness, crime and violence has risen over the last years and I will address community safety concerns with enhanced coordination with law enforcement. This starts by ensuring the women & men in blue are fully staffed and equip with the resources / training.
● Rail Costs - I am pro-rail however the frame work of our community has drastically changed over the last decade and it breaks my heart to see small businesses negatively impacted or eventually close up shop. The out of control cost of the mismanaged project is just another headline on the front page. I have the will power to ask the tough questions and urge full transparency of the project moving forward including post construction.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

Since I am not the incumbent and don't have access to the vital information needed to make informed decisions - my top priority would be asking the tough questions hardworking taxpayers of Honolulu deserve to know. Starting with fiscal accountability & transparency in the budgeting process and streamlining outdated processes.

If elected, what can you do to improve the lives of your constituents?

If elected, I will most importantly LISTEN to our community's concerns, respond timely and offer solutions.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

The Honolulu City & Council affects our daily lives from the time we wake up until we tuck our keiki or loved ones into bed. City Core services include roads, to rubbish, infrastructure to pot holes and sewer to water main breaks - this job is certainly not glamorous, shiny or made for opportunist. If elected, I am committed to Putting Families First, having the will power to ask the tough questions and ensure the voices of our community will always be heard at Honolulu Hale!

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