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U.S. House - District 1 (Urban Honolulu)

Mark Takai (D)

Age: 47
Job: State representative; Pacific First Enterprises owner
Background: Hawaii Army National Guard lieutenant colonel

What makes you qualified to be a U.S. representative?

I believe that my 20 years of experience in the state House has prepared me to represent Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District. I have always fought hard for our seniors, veterans and working families and will take this same fighting spirit to Washington, D.C.

Should the United States recognize a Native Hawaiian government through an administrative rule rather than an act of Congress?

I believe federal recognition of Native Hawaiians is long overdue. I support the federal government’s recent announcement to seek public input. This process allows all stakeholders to participate in determining the best path towards self-determination. If elected, I will continue to support the Akaka Bill.

What changes, if any, would you make to the federal health care reform law?

I support the waiver request to allow businesses to buy insurance directly and allow individuals to purchase insurance through the federal exchanges. I will consider changes to the law that will provide better access to affordable health care; however, we must ensure that we protect Hawaii’s Prepaid Health Care Act.

Should Hawaii be exempt from the Jones Act, the federal maritime law that protects the domestic shipping industry from foreign competition?

The Jones Act remains important for America’s economy, national security and ensures all shipping and shipbuilding companies follow the same laws. With most of Hawaii’s goods brought in through ships, I agree with the Hawaii delegation that it is important for our state’s safety and Hawaii should not be exempt.

Would you repeal the Common Core curriculum standards for public schools?

While I believe that the Common Core curriculum standards were well intentioned, I believe portions of the standards, including how teachers are evaluated need to be adjusted. We should not solely focus on test scores in determining the effectiveness of the standards.