A Brighter Future for Generations to Come
This coming election is important. The future of Hawai‘i is at stake. We’ve made great progress, but there is still more to do to provide a brighter future for generations to come.
Over the past four years, Hawai‘i has persevered through the most challenging economic period since the Great Depression. We’re now better off, and this turnaround was made possible by the sacrifices and hard work of the people of Hawai‘i. We’ve had to make tough choices amid challenging circumstances, but through it all, we’ve never lost sight of our goal to restore hope to Hawai‘i.
Today, I’m happy to report we’re on the right track. We’ve ended furloughs, our state’s fiscal health is restored, and we have a positive budget balance. All of this was accomplished with no layoffs and no labor disruptions. It was accomplished through shared sacrifice and the cooperative effort of our public workers, from department directors to clerks and the newly hired.
Since taking office, our Administration has also made it a priority to create jobs and strengthen our economy. To do that, we’ve invested roughly $1 billion per year to improve our infrastructure. Nearly 800 projects across the state have been undertaken — including modernizing airports to support interisland travel and tourism, rebuilding highways to improve traffic and safety, and renovating and building new education facilities for our children. With our investments and those of businesses across the state, Hawaii’s unemployment rate is at a new low of 4.4 percent — among the lowest in the country. In turn, we’ve been able to lower the cost of unemployment insurance for Hawai‘i businesses by nearly 35 percent.
We’ve come a long way since 2010 when the state couldn’t meet its obligations and communities were suffering. Gone are the days of recession, high unemployment, a yawning state budget deficit, and “Furlough Fridays.”
Together, we now have an opportunity to continue the course that we’ve charted. We can’t go back. I hope you’ll support my campaign to provide a brighter future for generations to come. We’re focusing on three vital areas — Economy, Education and the Environment.
ECONOMY: A healthy economy is the key to ensuring future generations can afford to stay in the islands.
We’ve developed a multi-year sustainable financial plan.
We’re fixing the state’s unfunded liability.
We’re going to continue to invest in upgrading our infrastructure and creating jobs.
We’re creating economic and rehabilitation opportunities by reopening Kulani Prison.
These steps ensure we never go back to a deficit that burdens future generations.
EDUCATION: There is no greater investment we can make in our future than education.
I’m supporting preschool for all Hawai‘i’s children.
All children deserve a head start — not just those who can afford it.
Preschool for all will improve K-12 education by ensuring kids are better prepared to learn. It helps kids start learning when brain development is at its peak.
Our test scores for 4th and 8th graders have improved by among the highest rates in the country, thanks to hardworking teachers and administrators. We must continue this progress.
We must also continue to invest in the expansion and improvement of our university system. We’ve already begun by funding the construction of the Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo and the expansion of UH West Hawai‘i.
ENVIRONMENT: One of the many things that make Hawai‘i so special is our environment.
We’re going green at many of our state facilities, including our airports where we’ll reduce energy use by 49 percent and save $518 million over the next 20 years.
We’ve made financing available to homeowners for clean energy so you can pay for photovoltaic systems through your utility bill.
We’re going to work even harder to ensure our local utilities do more to advance clean energy and exceed Hawaii’s current renewable energy portfolio goals.
With your support, we can create a Hawai‘i for future generations that will be even better than what we inherited from our küpuna We must keep moving Hawai‘i forward. Let’s do this together. I know we can succeed.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words in Politics
Honolulu City Councilmember Carol Fukunaga can point to a long list of accomplishments as she continues her campaign for reelection to the City Council representing District 6.
She has spent more than 20 years serving the people of Hawaii as a State Senator and as a current member of the City Council. Today, the work she is most proud of is that which has touched peoples’ lives.
As a legislator, Carol worked to secure state funding for the Healthy Hawaii program, making prescription drugs affordable to more than 220,000 residents, including seniors on fixed incomes. She also supported programs created to protect elderly residents in community care, assisted living and nursing homes.
As a City Councilmember, Carol has been a staunch advocate for the Honolulu “Complete Streets” law championed by Councilmember Breene Harimoto. This year, with traffic accidents involving elderly pedestrians at an all time high, she obtained funding to bring pedestrian safety improvements to hazardous streets in her district with seniors in mind.
Carol also supported substantial increases in city funds for the Meals on Wheels program so seniors can maintain their independence, in their homes, with dignity.
A strong believer that actions speak louder than words, Carol worked for more than a year to make funds available to repair a broken heater in the Moanalua District Park pool. As a result, seniors could be doing their therapeutic exercise in warm water by this winter.
Carol encourages all her supporters to be sure to vote by absentee ballot or in person on Aug. 9. Actions speak louder than words, and your votes for Carol Fukunaga speak loudest of all.
Colleen Hanabusa is a proven, experienced leader, now running for the United States Senate and the seat held for 49 years by Daniel Inouye.
Despite her position as a Democrat in a Republican-controlled House, since joining the Congress in 2011 Colleen has helped steer more than $2 billion to Hawai‘i to help create jobs, improve our schools, build infrastructure, preserve the environment, support our military, expand care for Veterans and protect Social Security and Medicare.
Hanabusa brings a collaborative, bipartisan approach to delivering federal resources and finding solutions to meet the unique needs of Hawai‘i’s diverse communities.
Colleen was born in Honolulu and raised on O‘ahu’s Wai‘anae Coast, where her parents, Isao and June Hanabusa, ran a gas station next to their home. As a little girl, she worked at the gas station cleaning windshields while standing on a little stool her grandfather made for her.
Her maternal grandmother helped raise her while her parents worked, and Colleen developed a keen sensitivity and understanding of the needs of Hawai‘i’s hardworking families and vowed to do all she can to support them.
A yonsei, Colleen’s maternal great-grandparents emigrated from Japan to Hawai‘i to work on the sugar plantations. Her grandparents were born on the Waianae Plantation where her Grandpa Muroda worked as a carpenter, building and maintaining the water flumes. Colleens’ paternal great grandparents sold tofu to the workers and her Grandpa Hanabusa also fished and sold his catch on the plantation.
During World War II, both of her grandfathers were sent to internment camps; Grandpa Muroda went to Honouliuli and Grandpa Hanabusa to a camp on the Mainland. They were interred for their work as co-founders of the Waianae Hongwanji Mission. Listening to her grandfathers’ experiences, Colleen was inspired at an early age to end discrimination and fight for equality.
She attended Waianae Elementary, graduated from St. Andrew’s Priory, and attended the University of Hawai‘i at Mänoa, earning Bachelor’s degrees in economics and sociology and a Master of Arts in sociology. She received her law degree from the UH’s William S. Richardson School of Law in 1977.
Before entering public service, Colleen spent nearly three decades as an attorney, specializing in labor law, environmental preservation and protection, and representing communities who needed a champion to defend against the bullying of private interests. She was recognized by Honolulu Magazine as “One of Hawaii’s A+ Attorneys, and received the prestigious “AV Rating” by Martindale-Hubble, the highest rating any attorney can receive.
In 1998, Colleen was elected to represent the 21st District in the Hawai‘i State Senate. Her legal experience, strategic thinking, and collaborative approach quickly earned the trust of her colleagues, who named Colleen to numerous leadership positions.
She served as Vice-President of the State Senate, Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Chair of the Hawaiian Affairs and Judiciary Committees, and Majority Leader. In 2007, her colleagues elected Colleen to serve as President of the Hawai‘i State Senate, the first woman to named leader of either chamber of the Hawai‘i legislature, and the first Asian-American woman in the nation to lead a state house or senate.
In 2010 she was elected to represent Hawai‘i’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Colleen is a member of the House Armed Services and Natural Resources Committees, and is ranking member of the Natural resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.
A fearless and innovative legislator, Colleen fights hard for the out state, and, like her political mentors Dan Inouye and Daniel Akaka, has always cast her votes under the principle of “Hawai‘i First.”
She is committed and passionate about job creation, fighting for equality, providing for our kupuna, supporting our men and women in uniform, creating a clean energy economy and preserving the culture and traditions that define our Hawai‘i.
Colleen and her husband, Honolulu businessman John Souza, live in Nu‘uanu with their beloved Border Collie, Little, who enjoys a farm fresh egg for breakfast every morning, specially prepared by John. Colleen enjoys cooking, and is famous for hosting local-style potlucks for friends and staffers from Hawai‘i at her Washington home.
Colleen Hanabusa has proven to be an effective, caring leader who serves the people well.
For almost 30 years, State Senator David Ige has earned a reputation as a thoughtful, honest, humble legislator. Appointed in 1985 by then-Governor George Ariyoshi to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives, David would serve in the House eight years before beginning his 21-year tenure as state senator from District 16 (Pearl Harbor-Pearl City-Aiea). Recognized for his unassuming intelligence and inclusive style, David has been selected by his peers to chair a wide variety of committees for 28 of his 29 years serving the public.
Senator Ige’s story of becoming a decisive legislative leader is rooted in strong, yet humble role models. His late father, Tokio Ige, was born in Hawaii after David’s grandparents immigrated from Okinawa. Tokio’s father worked on the Ewa Plantation. David’s mother, Tsurue Miota Ige, was also born in Hawaii after her parents came to the islands from Japan. Her father worked at the Kahuku Plantation, and her mother ran a tofuya from home.
Motivated by the desire to serve, Senator Ige’s father volunteered for the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT in World War II and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. David’s father never spoke of his wartime experiences. David and his five brothers knew about the Purple Heart because they could see the scar from their father’s wound. But the Ige boys never knew about their father’s Bronze Star until after he passed away and the medal was found among his papers.
After the war, David’s father was a steelworker and his mother worked in the health field.
David was the fifth of six Ige boys, all raised in Pearl City. David graduated from Pearl City High School and then attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and later, while working as an electrical engineer, a Master of Business Administration in Decision Sciences.
With a successful 34-year career as an electrical engineer and business manager, Senator Ige is dedicated to information technology, telecommunications and data networks. This year he was named one of the nation’s 13 tech savviest legislators by Government Technology. He is currently Program/Project Manager with Robert A. Ige and Associates, Inc.
Senator Ige is a devoted family man. He and his wife Dawn have been married for 32 years. Dawn is the vice principal at Kanoelani Elementary School in Waipio. They have three children: Lauren, who just completed her first year of law school, Amy, who just graduated from college, and Matthew, a college student.
Donna Mercado Kim
Donna has been a strong, effective voice and advocate for the people of Hawaii for the past 31 years, earning their trust and respect as a State Representative, City Councilmember, State Senator, and current Senate President.
Her record speaks for itself. As the Senate’s Ways and Means chair, she managed and balanced a $20 billion State budget, a tremendous responsibility few legislators have been accorded by their colleagues. She led the revamping of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which oversees our leading industry; investigated procurement troubles at the airport; and held the University of Hawaii accountable for its administrative and financial policies.
Donna has been a champion for the people in making government accountable, transparent, and efficient. She listens, does her homework, has the courage to ask the tough questions, and is consistently at the forefront in raising key concerns so they can be addressed.
Donna is a strong, experienced leader who understands local and state government and, who, above all, can work with others to get things done.
This campaign is about sending a person to Washington, D.C., who can effectively represent you, now. Hawaii needs a Representative who will be effective from day one and who has the record to be taken seriously on Capitol Hill.
“I am prepared. I bring a perspective and the leadership that none of my opponents have – City, House, Senate, Senate President, and small business. But most importantly, I bring the perspective of being a mom.”
“I will protect Social Security and Medicaid, work for a growing economy with jobs to keep our children home, and advocate for a greener Hawaii. I will fight for our veterans and assure that we keep our promises to them and our senior citizens. No one will work harder for you in Congress!”
Senator Donna Mercado Kim is currently the 13th President of the Senate. Her dedication to serve the people of Hawaii is unparalleled.
- Senator – Hawaii State Senate from 2000-Present
- State Representative – House of Representatives from 1982-1985
- Councilmember – Honolulu City Council from 1985-2000
Chaired the Task Force on Reinventing Government, which searched for ways to eliminate government waste and save money without cutting core services.
- Chair of the Committee on Tourism
- Chair of the Committee on Accountability
- Chair of the Ways and Means Committee
State House of Representatives, #19
Bertrand (Bert) Kobayashi, State Representative from Diamond Head, Kahala, Kaimuki, Kapahulu (District #19), “returned” to the State House of Representatives in 2012 after serving in the State House and State Senate from 1978 to 1994.
Bert’s family has lived in Kaimuki since 1915, where he grew up. Bert graduated from Kaimuki High, UH-Manoa (B.A., Honors), and Michigan State University (Ph.D.). In the Legislature, Bert is known for work particularly in health and author of laws for “nursing homes without walls,” the first living will for terminally ill, school/community-based management, Hawai‘i hospital corporation, and HIV confidentiality, among others.
Aloha! Like many here in Hawaii, I come from a family of immigrants and planation laborers. When my grandfather immigrated from Japan to Hawaii as a child with his family, Hawai‘i was truly the land of opportunity.
All throughout my school-aged years, grandpa lived with us and directly imparted his experiences and real-life lessons that made me the person that I am today. Grandpa’s work ethic built a solid foundation for my family, and it is this legacy that I am proud to carry on.
My wife and I have two young children, Matthew and Kaila who both attend Aiea public schools. I’m running for Congress so that all of Hawai‘i’s children can afford to stay here in Hawaii and have an abundance of opportunities.
In Congress, I will work hard to protect social security and Medicare by fighting to create better paying jobs, by closing the gap between super rich and everyone else — by raising the minimum wage, by making college more affordable, and by strengthening the middle class.
I know, like you do, that our needs won’t be met by bullying, intimidation, abuse of power, and playing partisan games.
I will work together with our community and all members of Congress to find common ground to build a new green economy, to protect our military readiness and to ensure big corporations pay their fair share. As I always have in the last 20 years in the State House, I will continue to be on the side of women and working families.
People are seeing that we are the campaign with forward momentum. We are grateful for the broad coalition of support, including teachers, university professors, Sierra Club, Equality Hawaii, veterans groups and labor unions.
They recognize that as your next Congressman, I will make sure that Hawaii remains a place that all families will be proud to call home.
Together, we can ensure that the dream for a better life that drew my family and your families here, becomes a reality for all.
I humbly ask for your vote in the Democratic Primary Election.
Mahalo, Mark Takai