On the Issues
Housing is one of the most pressing issues facing Hawaii.
As Chair of the Housing Committee, solving our state’s housing shortage has been my top priority.
In fact, in the 2019 legislative session, I proposed my “A.L.O.H.A. Homes” bill. Modeled after many of the components of Singapore’s housing system, this bill would take existing lands that the state owns near rail stations, and build high density housing. Units would be sold for as little as $300,000, which means a monthly mortgage payment of $1,500. There would be no cost to taxpayers, and only Hawaii residents who own no other real property could buy them.
While the bill did not ultimately pass, I promise to work this next legislative session to achieve a different result and better house Hawaii’s future generations.
There are several promising economic sectors that the State should grow to diversify Hawaii’s economy. Two sectors offer the lowest hanging fruit.
- First, the demand for affordable housing has only grown with the downturn in the economy. The production of homes for every generation of local people would provide a steady construction job pipeline for years and decades to come.
- Second, Hawaii can replace the fossil fuels that currently supply the large majority of our electricity with renewable sources. Hawaii’s abundance of wind, solar, biofuel, and other clean energy sources could make us the Saudi Arabia of clean energy.
I am dedicated to fostering both.
Although our race and policing issues are different from those in our sister states, we have serious issues of our own, including open racism against the Micronesian community, hostility to immigrants and new residents from the American continent, and lingering tension among our existing ethnic groups.
I support reforms that strengthen oversight over our law enforcement and address police misconduct. I support universal body cam use. And I believe in an empowered, fully funded police commission to enhance accountability.
Combating climate change is among my top priorities as State Senator.
Hawaii’s first in the nation 100 percent renewable energy goal has a target date of 2045, and I support accelerating that timeline to reduce carbon emissions even more quickly. I believe in a fundamentally different approach to urban planning — high density mixed use developments near rail stations, all emphasizing walkability — that would essentially eliminate car transportation, the only other major local source of carbon emissions. This approach would be integrated into our “ALOHA Homes” proposal.
I also have consistently supported taxes on carbon emissions, real estate disclosures of inundation risk due to sea level rise, and other bills designed to address climate change’s impacts on our communities.
If re-elected, I will continue to fight for similar legislation.