It was a smooth transition from covering politics to becoming a politician for freshman State Representative Gregg Takayama.
“Listening and communicating to people is what journalism is all about, and it’s essential for elected officials,” said Representative Takayama, a former award-winning news reporter at KHON-TV and former aide to the late U.S. Senator Dan Inouye.
He was elected in 2012 to represent the 34th District (Pearl City, Momilani, Pacific Palisades).
Listening and responding to district concerns has already resulted in Representative Takayama authoring several new laws:
- He obtained $1 million to remove hazardous trees from private property, stemming from concerns about falling trees damaging neighboring homes;
- Requiring the Health Department to respond to citizen complaints about messes created by excessive bird feeding on private property;
- Appropriating funds for a Falls Prevention Coordinator in the State Health Department, to help reduce a major cause of death and disability among seniors;
- Prohibiting use of commercial tanning beds by anyone under age 18 because of their susceptibility to skin cancer from ultraviolet radiation.
“Helping elders is a priority for me. We need to enable them to age comfortably in their homes, where they want to remain,” he said.
For his role in improving services to seniors, Representative Takayama received the “Top State Champion Award” from the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of the Legislature’s Kupuna Caucus.