Our district of Waimanalo and Kailua is socioeconomically diverse, but we are uniformly rich in that we live in a place of rare beauty, strong communities and deep cultural roots. Our good fortune has been threatened by aggressive marketing of our home for tourism. Our beaches, parks and trails are overrun. Traffic and parking are problems. Vacation rentals compete with residents for housing. Developers seek to change and push the boundaries on zoning protections. We also suffer from State-wide problems such as lack of affordable housing, substance abuse, and homelessness.
Fortunately, District 51 also has a wealth of talented and caring community members that lead the way to solving our problems through our neighborhood boards and associations, sports leagues, cultural organizations, non-profits and local businesses. I worked with many as a resident and now seek to support and collaborate with them as their Representative.
WORK AT THE LEGISLATURE
I co-introduced Bills we succeeded in passing on a variety of issues that I committed to when I ran. These include helping people with cost of living by raising minimum wage and making the earned income tax credit permanent, shutting down Red Hill, providing more affordable housing, reforms for incarcerated women, expanding access to health care, and moving towards universal pre-school.
I also wrote and passed bills that deal with a variety of issues important to residents of District 51 such as theft, environmental protection, agriculture, noise, miltary land and more.
I served on the following committees:
Energy and Environmental Protection, Vice Chair
- $8 million for additional Child Welfare Service staff, training, computer systems and a task force to recommend improvements.
- Strengthen Child Welfare Service support for homes of children whose adoptive parents or permanent guardians receive State payments.
- Permits composting and co-composting operations in agricultural districts.
- Funds DOH position to manage a simplified permit system for small green waste and food only compost operations
- Establishes HPD public database for stolen bikes and prohibits resale of listed bikes.
- Requires resell stores to electronically report goods sold/pawned to them for a new HPD database to be used to investigate theft.
OTHER DISTRICT INITIATIVES (selected)
- US Army Corps of Engineers FLOOD CONTROL study of the entire Waimānalo watershed. Federally Funded with collaboration from various State and City agencies.
- Restoration and management of the KAʻIWA RIDGE (Pill Box) trail. State funded, relationships established with community partners.
- Study to assess scope of work to clean munitions from 139 acres of BELLOWS that is slated to be released back to the State (DHHL will have first dibs), federally funded.
- HAWAIIAN IMMERSION program building at Blanche Pope Elementary, design funded.
- Outdoor learning and PERFORMANCE SPACE at Kaʻelepulu Elementary, additional construction funded.
- Upgrade of flood-damaged LIBRARY and of parking lot at Enchanted Lake Elementary, construction funded.
- Adventist Health Castle renovation of a space to install new PRIMARY CARE PROVIDERS in Kailua town funded.
- New building for DENTAL SERVICES at Waimānalo Health Center, share of construction funded.
- Conversations underway between governement agencies and community stakeholders for ENVIRONMENTAL RESTORATION AND MANAGEMENT of dunes by Hūnānāniho Beach Park, Kaʻohao Bay, Enchanted Lake, and Loʻi in Waimanalo.
- Conversations underway with key stakeholders for AFFORDABLE HOUSING on DOE and DLNR land.
- Conversations underway with key stakeholders to expance local placement and services for the HOMELESS through expansion of the Weinberg Village emergency shelter, improvements and security for Hui Mahiʻai ʻāina homeless shelter, and for coordinated response to mentally ill homeless by Adventist Health Castle, HPD and other service providers.