2012 Candidate for U.S. Representative 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?
Absolutely. I would continue to work for congressional approval of federal recognition for Native Hawaiians, while also working with the White House, Interior, and Justice departments on an administrative process to move forward reconciliation between Native Hawaiians as called for under the Apology Resolution.
2. What are some examples of actions that you have personally taken to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians?
Key actions in Congress have included the Apology Resolution, the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act, the reclassification of Native Hawaiians under federal racial and ethnic data collecting; inclusion of Native Hawaiians in the U.S. position on the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the inclusion of Native Hawaiians in various federal programs or laws they otherwise would not be eligible for (language, education, health, VA home loans, historic preservation, housing). As chief advocate for OHA, my job oversaw programs that improved the conditions of Native Hawaiians.
3. How would you address the challenges of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act and the Native Hawaiian Education Act?
Work with the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that the president’s budget includes specific funding for the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act.
The NHEA is currently being reauthorized. My focus will be on strengthening the act through reprioritization of key issues and greater accountability of how and where funds are being awarded.
The opinions expressed here are those of the candidate and do not represent the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.