I have strong political, legal and financial background and I believe I am qualified for the office. I have a B.A. in Economics, B.S. in Accounting, and a law degree. I’m barred in the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Tax Court, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts and U.S. District Courts for the District of Maryland and D.C. I was inspired by President Barack Obama and I became a member of the Hawaii Delegation to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in 2008 to elect President Barack Obama. Like President Obama, I also worked as a Community Organizer for 10 years here, while at the same time, familiarizing myself with the problems and concerns of the community and Hawaii. I was the District Chair for the Democratic Party District 40 for eight years and I have encouraged people in my community to register to vote, get out and vote, get involve with the Democratic party and community issues, support the candidates, attend the County and State Conventions, and try to make a difference in their community. I operated my own Law Firm for over six years in Maryland and gravitated to areas of the law that helped my community with Bankruptcies, Landlord/Tenant, Real Estate Settlements, Taxes, Contracts, Non-Profits, Corporations, Partnerships, and Estates and Trusts. I also worked in the financial industry as an auditor, accountant, analyst, and banker. I am a problem solver with a diverse background. I’m the kind of person needed in the legislature because I can see a problem from different angles and help make various recommendations in efforts to resolve them.
I believe the top three priorities in my district are education, housing, and infrastructure. Most of the classrooms in the schools in our district are lacking air conditioning. We are one of the hottest areas on this island, and the children are forced to take classes without air conditioning. Some classes are lucky to have it. But others may start out having it and then it’ll breakdown, leaving them without air conditioning for months until they are repaired. The classes are also overcrowded. The schools are underfunded. There are not enough schoolbooks for all of the students. The equipment is damaged. The classes lack basic supplies. Teachers are underpaid. We need funding for our schools. I understand these problems since my son has been going to public school all his life in Ewa Beach ever since he was in Kindergarten at Holomua. He was fortunate enough to go to middle school in Ewa Makai which had air conditioning because it was relatively new. However, it was like night and day once he started at James Campbell H.S. where most classes lacked air conditioning. Since James Campbell have a wide range of outstanding programs like their International Baccalaureate program, it is important to maintain a good learning environment there for our children and other schools in our community so they can all grow up and become positive contributors in our community.
Housing is another big problem in Ewa Beach, because the average price points for most homes are difficult to afford for first time homebuyers, so we have multi-generations living in the same home. We have children living with their parents and grandparents until they can move out and afford something on their own. This leads to a chain reaction of overcrowding in the street because then we’ll have four or five cars parked in front of one home. We need more affordable housing with apply space to park in the streets.
Our third priority is infrastructure. We need to repair our streets and fill up the potholes timely. We need to work on traffic congestion. We also need traffic light and speed bumps to reduce the speeding on the residential streets. We also need to widen some of the streets. There are two way streets designed for cars to travel in both directions. However, because of the overcrowding in the streets, it becomes difficult to maneuvered your car, and consequently, only one car can drive up and down at a time. Plus, since we’ll be having the Rail close to our Ewa Beach community, we need to build infrastructure and “park and ride” facilities to accommodate these cars. We also need to also maintain safe and clean beaches and parks in our community to attract tourism and to have an enjoyable place for our families to go.
How are we going to resolve these issues? We need to find creative and innovative ways to generate various streams of revenue so we can funnel that money back to our schools, homes, infrastructure, and the community.
I believe the top priorities/issues for the state are homelessness, increasing a minimum or living wage, and climate change or the environment. To focus on homelessness we need to look into providing affordable and low income homes so everyone can purchase and maintain their own homes. We need shelters for the homeless that will also cater to mental health consultation, job training, job placements, and affordable health care. This brings up the issue that we may also need universal or single payer health care.
We not only need to increase our minimum wage, but we also need to introduce a living wage, because Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live in the country. We need to have equal pay for equal work for women. We need affordable daycare and family leave. We also need to protect individuals against sexual harassment in the workplace.
Our third priority on the state level is climate change or the environment. We have to take drastic initiatives to ensure we’re doing everything we can to fight against climate change. We need to introduce emission tests to reduce harmful exhaust into our airs. We need try to fight against releasing carbon dioxide and other toxins that add to the warming of our oceans and the destruction of our reefs. We need to try to move towards more affordable hybrid and electric cars. We need to do our part to clean up our beaches, parks and oceans. We need to protect our environment so that our children can enjoy these beautiful islands for generations to come.
How are we going to resolve these issues? Again, we need to find creative and innovative ways to generate various streams of revenue so we can funnel that money back to our housing market, government and community. We can also try to offer incentives for companies to invest in changes that will help fight climate changes.
I can bring new ideas to introduce well needed additional revenue streams to this state that will help address our issues of affordable and low income housing, homelessness, underfunded and overcrowded schools, underpaid teachers, increasing a minimum and living wage, providing equal pay for equal work, damaged infrastructure, combating climate change and environmental issues, and other needed changes in this state.
I was inspired by President Barack Obama in 2008 to get involved and yes, I just like him, I am a Community Organizer. I also represent the kind of change needed in the Ewa Beach Community. The residents of Ewa Beach are tired of politicians who are slow to act or don’t act at all, especially since it finally took the efforts of the Students from James Campbell High School to conduct peaceful sit-ins at the Capitol before something about the lack of any air conditioning system in some of the hottest schools on this island were finally approved to be funded. But we still have other serious problems within our schools, such as:
• torn, old, or not enough school books for all of our students to take home,
• damaged school equipment,
• lack of basic supplies, and
• underpaid teachers.
There are other unaddressed issues within our community, such as:
• potholes throughout our streets,
• traffic congestion,
• damaged infrastructure,
• lack of adequate traffic lights and speed bumps to reduce speed and potential deaths, and
• maintaining clean and safe parks and beaches in our community.
We also need to work on issues dealing with:
• helping to reduce the homeless on our streets,
• creating job training and mental health counseling for the homeless.
• ensuring that after school programs are properly funded,
• creating low income and affordable housing,
• fighting for DACA and other immigration issues,
• focusing on ways how to address and improve environmental concerns,
• combating climate change,
• working towards universal health insurance coverage,
• increasing of our minimum wage,
• providing equal pay for equal work for women,
• protecting women’s rights to choose and other health issues,
• repealing Citizens United, and
• finding creative and alternative ways to bring about additional revenue to the islands.
I am a supporter of women’s, veterans’, health, educational, and environmental rights. My family has strong roots in the law enforcement community. I am a fighter, and I will represent the kind of leadership needed to help promote the Democratic principles that will bring about the positive changes needed in our community and Hawaii. Thank you for your Consideration. And Yes, I’m Fired Up and Ready to Go!