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?
I have been a longtime supporter of federal recognition and have testified in Washington, D.C., for the Akaka bill. My proven ability to work across the aisle will be an asset to ensure that future legislation recognizing Native Hawaiians passes the House. I will reach out across the aisle, as I have successfully done in the past to support jobs and secure federal funding for infrastructure.
2. What are some examples of actions that you have personally taken to better the conditions of Native Hawaiians?
My strong track record with the Native Hawaiian community includes my first official act as mayor repealing the city’s mandatory leasehold-conversion law to protect trust lands; transferring stewardship to protect sacred lands like Waimea Valley and Kawainui Marsh; creating the 21st Century Ahupua‘a Program, an award-winning sustainability plan to protect our ‘äina; supporting for Native Hawaiian culture, arts and festivals; and establishing the Leeward Coast Community Benefits Program, which provided grants to Native Hawaiian organizations.
3. How would you address the challenges of the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act and the Native Hawaiian Education Act?
I will first consult with Native Hawaiian organizations to see if amendments need to be made. Hawai‘i’s delegation must also be vocal in educating colleagues from both parties about the special educational and health needs of Native Hawaiians. I will reach out in a bipartisan way to ensure that vital programs like these receive proper reauthorization hearings and funding.
The opinions expressed here are those of the candidate and do not represent the views of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.