THE issues OF THE PEOPLE
These are issues voiced by the 12th Senate District voters of
Waikiki, Ala Moana, Kaka'ako, McCully, Mo'ili'ili.
The homelessness crisis has continued to worsen each day. In Hawaii, we need to acknowledge that the solution for homelessness is not as simple as providing everyone with a home, putting them in jail, or shuffling them to another cyclical location. The solution lies in a coordinated effort between law enforcement, the medical community, and the social services. A large scale state of the art specialized medical facility is needed, not a prison. On the other hand, strong legislation is also needed to curtail unacceptable habitation thus immediately addressing the threats to public safety, sanitation, tourism, economy, and aloha.
COST OF LIVING & HOUSING COSTS
The cost of living here in Hawaii, including housing costs, is out of control. We increasingly see our youth moving away as costs are unbearable for them. Aggressively attacking barriers such as the oppressive Jones Act, stifling taxes, over-spending, and cumbersome permitting, can immediately decrease the costs to Hawaii's citizens. There are many other ways we can advance our economy - we just need to be creative, aggressive, and utilize less wasteful
concepts. --> SEE Below regarding 'Housing' Costs
IMPROVING HAWAII GOVERNANCE
ELIMINATE POLITICIAN PENSIONS
We must eliminate pensions for politicians and politically appointed executive positions. This has become a major cancer in Hawaii politics and institutional function. We need to get rid of those who seek office for Power, Money, or Prestige. Public office is an honor in itself. Hawaii has a huge unfunded liability problem for which the cutbacks can begin with the politicians who selfishly caused this incompetent mess in the first place.
When we get rid of pensions, you’ll see a very different type of politician seeking office. You’ll see an increase in talent and character among our legislators. I’ve placed myself in the cross hairs of nearly all these career politicians but this is the right thing to do.
Let Hawaii be a national leader in political honesty by removing all conflicts of interest.
It is in NO citizens’ best interest to have career politicians. Ideas need to remain fresh or we keep trying the same thing over yet over and expecting different results. Term limits will also hinder the systemically unjust influence on politicians by special interest groups. Lastly, term limits ensures fresh enthusiasm wherein old understandings prevent new passions for a constant re-evaluation of the status quo. Since the only constant in life is change, why keep politicians in perpetuity while the world changes around them?
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY & TRANSPARENCY
The budget, our spending, and our deals need a complete review. Wasteful and partisan spending needs to be responsibly audited. For years a political monopoly has hemorrhaged spending, raised taxes, yet produced a struggling and stifled economy. Constantly hoping for more taxes or federal bailouts pulls us deeper into the depths of government reliance. Complete transparency in governance is needed here in Hawaii.
COMMUNITY & Social ADVANCEMENT
NO NEW JAILS - SIGNIFICANT JUSTICE REFORM
No individual suffering from addiction or mental health issues has ever been cured by prison or jail. Medical issues need to be treated by the medical community. We can look at what other nations have done to successfully cut recidivism by creating better future neighbors from current offenders
. Building new jails does not acknowledge the well known fact that the system of segregationist punishment neither deters nor rehabilitates, rendering it a worthless money pit that actually adds to crime. In other words, America's traditional "war on crime" has only added to the issue and marginalized and entire portion of the community. Instead of building a new OCCC for over $650 million, lets build a state of the art medical facility
to directly address matters of mental health and substance abuse in the deviant population. Let's solve the actual problems, not blindly recycle outdated concepts.
MARIJUANA - LEGALIZE IT & TAX IT
The future legalization of recreational marijuana is nearly guaranteed for a variety of reasons. Age old notions of marijuana's harm and designation as a "drug" have been debunked by well established facts and evidence. Nearly all opposition to Marijuana rests their case on fraudulent or completely false notions. This begins with the monumental social hypocrisy between alcohol and marijuana, whereas the former poses a constant threat and the latter poses no threat at all. Legalization also allows the State to tax usage which is currently unaffected and unconcerned with its legal status. Legalization would also eliminate a large portion of the black market crime. Legalization of recreational marijuana is advanced social justice reform whose positive effects can already be noted by states such as Colorado, Washington, and Oregon. It's been noted that there are statistically significant decreases of per capital opiate use and alcohol abuse in these states where recreational legalization has occurred. It's time Hawaii stay on the forefront of social innovation.
GAMBLING - LEGALIZE LOTTERY & CASINOS - TAX IT!
This is both an economic necessity as well as practical social reform. Every year citizens of Hawaii bring millions of dollars to Las Vegas, removing that currency's taxable potential here in Hawaii. Lets establish tax revenue generating gambling which would allow for immediate access to multi state lotteries such as Powerball and Megamillions, with future plans focusing on a brand new Casino district that will also attract new jobs and big taxable spending. Hawaii has an opportunity to resolve its monumental deficits in taxation with this logical change in regulation. This move would also devastate Hawaii's notorious underground gambling houses which add an element of violence and fraud to the industry.
CONVERSION THERAPY - OUTLAW THIS! ( Update - Hawaii has banned this! )
As an Attorney, I bore witness to two cases of Conversion Therapy which have haunted me. I cannot begin to describe the inhumane and horrid results of this utterly ignorant and hateful practice. There is nothing wrong with the way children are naturally born; to berate, humiliate, and terrorize innate and genetically predisposed attributes is not only wrong in morality, it's outright evil at this point of human understanding. I'm proud that Hawaii did the right thing in this area.
RESTRICT HAWAII HOME OWNERSHIP TO RESIDENTS
Hawaii has priced out its low and middle classes from home ownership. The only way this can be rectified in the long term is to properly affect the Supply and Demand curve from both ends in order to bring down mean and median entry level home prices. This does not happen overnight, however.
Although this law would immediately give rise to a Constitutional issue, a skillfully written law which anticipates a Supreme Court challenge can be crafted to overcome the strict scrutiny required to uphold such a law. I believe the circumstances of Hawaii’s housing situation provides this State with the “compelling governmental interest” to favor its own citizens above others as to Real Property ownership. Although discriminatory against non residents of Hawaii, the fact that anyone may move here and established residency means it simultaneously discriminates against no one. We are able to draft such technical legislation, beginning the complex process of making the island affordable for its inhabitants again.
There would be an exception for high-end luxury properties as to the primary residence requirement, but this would be balanced by wildly exorbitant tax rates which justify the exemption. A non Resident can own their $23 Million dollar vacation home in Hawaii, but they will pay taxes unlike any other State imposes. This luxury tax will directly fund additional housing subsidies in the short and medium terms providing for immediate relief low income relief.
Additionally, for ultra luxury properties, Hawaii has some of the most expensive property values in the nation yet comparably some of the lowest property taxes. To begin, our luxury-property taxes need to come in line with the averages from other high performance states such as Massachusetts. And like Massachusetts, additional tax revenues should be used to provide the education system with a consistent and powerful tax revenue. The only way to increase Hawaii’s future competence, is to become a national leader in well funded education and academic reform.
How does this affect rental properties? By driving down the Demand and collaterally increasing Supply, investment property owners need not recoup higher mortgage costs, chipping away at the necessity for high rents and eventually government subsidies. This is a long term consequence of this legislation.