2012 Candidate for U.S. Representative District 2Representative District 2Representative District 2Representative District 2Representative District 2
1. Do you believe that the United States government should formally acknowledge the special legal and political status of Native Hawaiians, as it has done for Native American and Alaska Native Groups? If so, what would you do to secure such ackowledgment for Native Hawaiians? If not, why not?
I am a supporter of the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act that would recognize the legal and political status of Native Hawaiians. I believe that we need to make a serious push in Congress to obtain federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. If elected, I would take all steps necessary to make sure that the Native Hawaiian people are provided with the support they need, including health care and housing.
2. What are some examples of actions that you have personally taken to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians?
I have frequently supported Native Hawaiians through pro-bono legal work. I was recently endorsed by Ed Miranda, a Native Hawaiian homesteading in Keaukaha, former USDA employee and candidate for Hawai‘i County’s OHA seat. As an attorney for the last 30 years, I have spent countless hours representing the people of HI-02, including Native Hawaiians, ensuring they are treated fairly and equally under the law.
3. How would you address the challenges of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act and the Native Hawaiian Education Act?
As a nation, we need to recognize that discrimination against Native Hawaiians will occur unless we treat them the same way we treat other indigenous groups. Reauthorization of the Native Hawaiian Health Care and Education Acts is the first step in achieving the greater goal of federal recognition. We need to raise awareness about the challenges faced by Native Hawaiians to ensure that these bills are passed.
The opinions expressed here are those of the candidate and do not represent the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.