2018 Primary Election Candidates

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ARAKAKI, Tracy Aaron
Name on ballot:

ARAKAKI, Tracy Aaron

Running for:

State House

District (if applicable):

HD 33

Political party:


Campaign website:


Current occupation:

Small Business Owner



Previous job history:

Current Aiea Neighborhood Board member, News Video Journalist (over 10 years), small business owner, TV show producer, General Laborer

Previous elected office, if any:

Aiea Neighborhood Board (over 19 years)

What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

As a life-long resident serving on the neighborhood board for over 19 years, this experience has really prepared me to understand the issues my community face, and how to work with and through government and stakeholders to collaboratively find solutions that move the community forward. I am committed to listening to my constituents and engaging them in the process, to ensure that all the legislative policies I push are driven by the needs of the people in my district and the state. I have also built many working relationships with policy makers at the city and state level and know the legislative process intimately - which would help me as a State Representative to get things done.

During my time as an award winning news video journalist, I spent over ten years covering issues at the federal, state, and local level. That commitment to finding the truth and the facts, and informing the public with objective information, is the same integrity and passion that I bring as a legislator. I can approach issues from multiple sides and listen to varying viewpoints, and work with others to come to solutions that move everyone forward.

Because of my combined experience of being a union member as well as owning a small business, I have a truly unique perspective in this race when it comes to improving economic development. We need good paying local jobs for locals and we also need to support our mom and pops stores- many of which the Aiea community is famous for. Together with my knowledge, relationships, and skill-set I know that we can get the job done to pass a responsible state budget, invest in the future of our community and our kids, and help provide even more opportunities in our districts and throughout the state.

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

Number one would absolutely be the cost of living. Too many of our people are working only one paycheck away from financial disaster. We have a lot of hard working families in Aiea, and our government must absolutely do better to ensure that they can stay in Hawaii through better wages and jobs, reducing cost of living such as looking into expanding food tax credits, medicine credits, etc. I support better paying jobs for local people, being an IBEW member myself for over 10 years as a news cameraman, I understand the importance to improving wages, working conditions, and job security.

The next issue would be addressing the housing crisis. Lot of local folks move out of Hawaii because they cannot simply afford to buy or rent, and decide to move out of state. We need to take decisive action now and work with the city and developers to increase the number of affordable rentals and purchases. We also need to find incentives to have these types of rentals units being built through possibly giving additional tax relief or permit waivers. Increasing our affordable housing rental inventory with TRULY affordable units is absolutely necessary, if we want our kids and their kids, to be able to live and work in Hawaii.

With such an enormous aging population our state must continue on caring for our kupuna. Many have family members who must stay home to care for them, and thus they are unable to work. I support expanding the family care-taker tax credit to help support many of our people taking care of their aging parents and relatives, and give them financial relief. We must look at food and medicine tax credits for our Kupuna and other ways to alleviate financial burdens for those that are qualified- no one should have to choose between their food and their medicine. I also support additional funding for the state long-term care ombudsman who helps to investigate claims of abuse and malpractice of care home operators and caretaker professionals.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?

My highest legislative priority would be to look at ways to lessen the cost of living on our taxpayers by finding more ways to give tax relief, eliminate duplicate services and wasteful spending, and reinvesting tax dollars to important drivers in our community such as our schools, our public infrastructure, and programs that improve safety.

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

Far too long have issues gone unanswered in the district. If elected I pledge to the residents of Aiea that I will have my ear to the ground and engage with them to bring their voice back to the table. Now more than ever, people feel disconnected from their government. I want to close that divide by constantly being in dialogue with my neighbors, and always staying true to my promise to them as I seek this office: always listen, always be their voice. By having a proactive fighter at the capitol that is focused on getting the job done, constituents will see that I can fight for them to get their share of state funding, I can fight for their families to improve services like education and health as a legislator, and that I can fight for them against special interests- I will fight for Aiea interests.

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

My grandparents came to Hawaii from Japan to work hard and achieve a better life for their family. Now in 2018, those values are still held strongly by my family and that is core to why I believe I can represent this district. The community has given so much to me, that I know it is time to give back and work for the people of Aiea, to help those who work hard and want the best for their families.

I humbly ask Aiea voters, to place their confidence with me, and help me get to work for them and move our district forward in the right direction.

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