My name is Keith Amemiya and I’m running for Honolulu Mayor. After serving O‘ahu as a lawyer, nonprofit leader, and business executive for 30 years, I’m running for political office for the first time because I want to make sure our families can live in Hawai‘i for generations to come.
I’m a fourth generation yonsei. My family moved to Wahiawä to work in the plantations and my grandmother, Kimi Mito Amemiya, was born in Kawailoa in 1905. I have very fond memories of my grandmother. She was resourceful, a hard worker and had an amazing mind. Even though she only had three to four years of formal education, she always stressed education and doing your best.
When grandma Amemiya passed away in 2002 at the age of 96, my father Ron Amemiya, former state attorney general, recounted the amazing legacy my grandmother left behind. I will forever remember her for her love, hard work, and sacrifice.
As mayor, I hope to build on this legacy. My focus will be helping our economy recover while keeping residents safe and healthy, meaningfully reducing homelessness and building more affordable housing.
I put forward a recovery plan titled, “Healthy People, Healthy Economy, Healthy Environment” that puts our people’s health and wellbeing first. A healthy O‘ahu depends on healthy people, a healthy economy and a healthy environment.
1. Healthy People. We need to strengthen our response to COVID-19 and future health emergencies by focusing on testing, contact tracing and treatment and ensuring basic needs are met for all residents. We need to make sure that the virus spread stays at a minimum, and that we take care of our workers’ health and safety as we reopen our economy.
2. Healthy Economy. We need to recover and re-envision an economy that values our people’s health and quality of life. COVID-19 has taught us that we can’t go back to the way things were before and we must rebuild a healthier version of tourism. We need to start diversifying our economy in areas of strength, such as renewable energy and agriculture.
3. Healthy Environment. COVID-19 is the crisis of today, but climate change is the crisis of our lifetime. The City needs to immediately take steps to address climate change, as our very existence and that of our future generations are at stake. The City must immediately enact a climate action plan, protect our natural resources, and strengthen the connection between people and place.
As mayor, I will bring people together, take action, and elevate the next generation of leadership to build a better future for all of us.
I believe when we come together as one, we can solve anything. I humbly ask for your vote to serve as mayor of the City and County of Honolulu.