My operating style can be summed up by efficiency and effectiveness. I like things to run smoothly and I like to deliver results. I am interested in opposing views was a means to facilitate understanding from all sides of issues. And from that point, help others to understand those views as a platform to develop fair and sustainable ideas and results.
I may be old-fashioned but the current state of discourse in our country has become mean, rude and counterproductive. People screaming their issues at the top of their lungs does not convince me and many others that your idea is better. Let's talk - let's try to understand one another. Maybe through a conversation, I can find things about your issue that I can agree with. Maybe through an interaction where you respect my voice too, you can learn something from me and we can move forward with possibilities rather than being enemies. Courtesy and respect make finding common ground much easier and I will always show the proper respect as an example of what can be done through respect. Just ask around, you'll find out what I'm about.
Yes, you will find out that I ran for public office in 2008, as a Republican and 2018 as a Democrat. This is Hawaii. Republicans had the run of things up until the late 1950's. The establishment then, did not embrace the service and eventually, the activism of the Nisei warriors returned from WWII. It took two election cycles to clean out Republicans from Hawaii politics. It was a good thing! But "good things" get old and stinky if they are not polished and maintained. I found that after nearly 40 years, democrat rule had stagnated the system with inefficiency and bureaucracy. Hence, by running as a a republican, I could help oppose the status quo and infuse energy into the system. <Sigh> My due diligence was poor and let the ideology of an idea overrule my judgement. Consequently, I had my butt quietly handed to me with a pat on the head - "nice try little boy". Forty years of building a democrat wall isn't for looks - it's to keep the enemy from climbing it. So, I got hat tar dumped on me. Of course I could have continued running and building support but I wanted to impact issues that I found important now. Then, in 2017, someone pulled out some polishing wax and started to shine me up. "Mo, you need to run for the state house in 2018!" "You're perfect and exactly what's needed, except you have to run as a Democrat" I joined the Democratic party in 2018 and of course, felt like an outsider even though I was treated kindly. This time I was thankful for the volunteer support of many who liked my campaign, contributed and volunteered their time to help me. That was quite a change from the previous attempt.
So, I learned once again that asking for money is a huge part of this process. This is probably the biggest part of electioneering that I have a problem with. I am terrible at asking people for money. Because I do research on candidates, If I like you, I'll vote for you. You don't need my money that could be better spent, by me, directly donating to a cause that I think is important.
I appreciate the efforts and passions of party members but can see the huge difference in methods The Republicans seemed to be just holding on - with resources going to the races that "had a chance". There was uninteresting and petty power wrangling amongst some trying to vie for higher leadership positions in the organization. I stayed far away from it but its effects were organizationally toxic. Then, there were the kind, wonderful and normal people with whom I interacted. Probably the reason, I didn't quit the campaign outright.
The Democrats were quite different. Assured of their place on the top of that proverbial 40-year wall, the discussions were more strategic because the "clientele" was a given. Still, I was out of step with the platform on some issues and the advice I was given was simply, "don't focus on the things that which you don't agree." I understood that in principle but not in practice. You can't spend 30 years in the Navy and tell someone "don't focus on the regulations you don't like". So while I tried to work hard in the campaign, I knew I would never "love" the work. So, there it is.
Now, as a "civilian" I can care about the things I feel are important without party influence and here are some of those:
SOME OF MY ISSUES OF CONCERN
Excessive Windward Development
Our district is special to us and has been for hundreds of years. While modernization and improvements can certainly improve our quality of life, development plans created in a vacuum only strengthen a community's anger against them. Especially now, with COVID, meetings are held virtually and without the guidance and input of those concerned.
I support a cooperative approach to business development - Hear the community, develop ideas, consult and share, adjust if necessary, then develop plans. When all parties understand the process is win-win, projects will have a much better chance of sustainable success because of appreciative participation.
While completing my MBA at Hawaii Pacific University, it didn't take a professors lecture to understand supply and demand. That simple equation is what forces our ohana apart when faced with the high cost of a mortgage or rent in Hawaii and better options elsewhere. I believe developers should not be saddled with the duty of civic planning. County and State government should use their vast land holdings and resources and contract developers to build sustainable communities. I also believe that local residents should receive preference over overseas cash sales of real estate to ensure a larger property inventory for those families wishing to stay.
Diversity and Inclusion
From the Musical, South Pacific, there is a scene and a song about racisim and being "carefully taught". Think about the following:
Children have a sense of fairness born into them and it's from their environment and teachings that shape their perceptions and perspectives to either have a sense of fairness or to be mean and manipulative.
I would like to see Public Service Announcements on TV and other social media that re-introduce ethical decision making and show vignettes or role-modeled behaviors. Religions used to do this quite well, although heavy-handedly sometimes.
I 'd support pre-school and elementary education programs along with ethical decision-making training in secondary schools as it relates to acceptable behavior and diversity. I would support a keiki-based and delivered media campaign to remind those "on the edge" where pono behavior resides. I don't have the ultimate answer to this but what I do have is an endless flow of ideas and an absolute resolve to move EVERYONE forward with respect and basic human dignity.
Public & Personal Safety
The police protect and serve - we should show our thanks and respect for the job they do. Words do matter: "Defund the Police" are terrible words and it makes those in service feel less than.
"Defund the Police" overtly suggests that police are the problem and by "defunding" them we are somehow fighting back. I agree policing can use some innovation
There are creative solutions: On a test basis, transfer a number of social workers to "ride along" with police and allow the social worker to enter the situation with the police officer a few steps back as a protective measure. Doesn't this idea put the
I keep hearing police are not trained to solve or handle a number of socially-related incidents and I certainly can relate to that. The solution is not to We should feel safe in our homes and in our communities. This includes safe walkways, bikeways and roads. Also, Hawaii State Hospital Security, Haiku Stairs access and homeless encampments and individuals that seem to gravitate throughout our district. I will work closely with other elected city, state and federal officials and with state and city department directors to ensure that our safety and security is funded properly and will provide the necessary oversight to ensure we have the safety and security we deserve.
The homeless are still there and they are still visible. It's always been a surprise to me that there are so many compassionate people trying to do the right things and yet it still seems as if we're treading water. What would happen if we could track which local service providers are having great successes and then incrementally increase their manning and funding to establish measurable benchmarks for others to follow? The exact answer is elusive but the present scenario is pretty average. I will support a results-based initiative as it relates to both government agency's and non-profits.
Our isolation in the Pacific Ocean is a curse during disaster. Our isolation on the Windward side of Oahu adds even more difficulty. 2017's Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico is a good example of that. I support the efforts of our Emergency Management teams at the city and state level and will support enhancements to citizen training, shelter improvements and emergency equipment.
I come from a family of entertainers and know how import live entertainment is to round out a well-lived life. Community theater, dance programs, music programs are all necessary elements for our enjoyment as viewers and provide livelihoods for practitioners. I will support public school music, dance and theater programs along with cultural recognition and training and ensure our keiki have access to all their dreams of possibilities.
Our free U.S. education system is already one of the finest in the world. We can be even better! Building on the successes of the Castle complex redesign and adding in the inspired involvement of parents, teachers, keiki and experienced design-think facilitators, we can make sure the things we and our communities think are important, can be combined with other educational standards to create the most versatile and resilient learners. Additionally, I will introduce legislation to increase teacher salaries by a minimum of $25,000 per year.
Our isolation magnifies the absolute requirement of taking care of the land and protecting our resources. I support continued water conservation education in our schools along with an advertising campaign for adults. I also support rainwater capture technology as one means to reduce our water use footprint.
Being energy self-sufficient is a fantastic goal and I support continued efforts that recognize the most effective and innovative ideas and programs.
Food sustainability- I support government tuition assistance to students who complete a Farming Certificate. Additional incentives and support can be offered to help small business development for these students to start their own small farm businesses and help Hawaii become less dependent on outside food sources.