Ballots were mailed-out in March in the rematch between Trevor Ozawa and Tommy Waters to represent Honolulu City Council District 4. Ballots are due by April 13 6pm. Walk-in voting is available as well: visit honolulu.gov/elections for more info. KWO asked readers for your top questions for the candidates. Here are their responses.
Climate change is a reality. What should we do about it?
We need to treat it like the crisis that it is by ensuring all of our land use ordinances push for policies to help address the results of climate change. I have introduced:
- 15-10 shoreline improvement, restoration, and protection projects;
- 14-6 created the Waikīkī Beach Special Improvement District; &
- 18-40 requires the Administration to clean our streams, like Wailupe Stream, to make them safer for residents living in the area.
- 17-340, CD1; Urging the Administration to develop composting facilities capable of processing certain solid waste that is currently disposed of at the city’s H-Power facilities &
- 18-55 Urging the Administration to increase the city’s urban tree canopy to 35 percent by 2035.
- Secured $53 million for flood control improvements and funding for 20 new positions to deal with waterways’ care & maintenance.
Climate change requires solutions that will both mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and encourage community to adapt to the effects of climate change already occurring. It is not too late to commit to reducing GHG emissions by reducing waste, supporting bikeable and walkable communities, and continuing to explore and expand Hawai‘i’s unique ability for renewable energy. As an island community we need to invest in sustainable consumption and production, while adapting and properly preparing for rising sea levels and increased occurrences of natural disasters. I support continued funding for the city Office of Climate Change, Sustainability, and Resiliency to ensure that sustainable policies are adopted and integrated into City plans and initiatives as well as limiting shoreline development to ensure we aren’t exacerbating sea level rise impacts.
What specific policies will you advocate for to protect the cultural, environmental and historic sites in our district?
Continue to introduce Resolutions like:
- 17-62, CD1 urging the Mayor for an event for 50th Anniversary of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
- 18-263 which will ensure beach access in Portlock
- Worked with the Honolulu Zoo working group to identifying improvements for the zoo, and develop solutions to address deficiencies. Worked with community stakeholders to urge the Administration to maintain operation of the Koko Head Crater Stables.
I will fight to ensure city facilities are more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.
Worked to secure:
- $1 million – to purchase Kanewai Spring
- $2.5 million – preservation of the Ka Iwi Coast Mauka Lands
- $4.05 million – preservation of the ‘Āina Haina Nature Preserve
- $1.5 million – Diamond Head Hillside
Erosion Mitigation Project
- $500,000 – complete the EIS and State Historic Preservation consultation for the Waikīkī War Memorial Complex
I worked to save the land behind Kuliouou from being developed, voted against paving over Malaekahana and supported Defend O‘ahu Coalition to ‘Keep the Country Country’.
Our district is blessed with rich cultural and environmental resources and a dedicated community that has worked hard to preserve and protect them from developmental and other encroachments. While in the State Legislature, I introduced legislation to protect our natural and cultural resources, and my continued advocacy has led the Sierra Club to endorse my candidacy for City Council. Places like Hāwea Heiau and Keawāwa Wetland are invaluable and provide us with unique kuleana. Proper care and maintenance such as decreasing runoff into the ocean, preventing plastic waste from permeating our ecosystem, and giving heavily trafficked natural resources the opportunity to rest and restore can go a long way. As stewards of our community, it is imperative that we continue to support Livable Hawai‘i Kai Hui, Mālama Maunalua, and other community organizations that work tirelessly to preserve and restore our district's historical sites for our future generations.
Do you support an expansion or reduction of the sit-lie ordinances?
We need to enforce the laws we have on the books, while ensuring that the homeless have someplace to go by putting money into the non-profits that are specialized in helping with the social, and depleting problems our homeless are experiencing.
As Budget Chair I included $7 million in G.O. bond funds to establish the H4 program at Kuwili Street’s Punawai Rest Stop. This is a more effective way of tackling chronic homeless with mental health/substance-abuse issues.
Services envisioned for Kuwili Street will be comprehensive and provide detox/crisis beds to address extreme mental health/substance-addicted cases, once the Administration priorities its completion. www.h4hawaii.org
I understand that the sit-lie ordinances have created short term remedies for business districts such as Waikīkī and downtown to ensure that local small businesses aren’t bearing the brunt of impacts. However, I do not believe that sit-lie provides an adequate solution, and I do not support shuffling people from corner to corner. For that reason, I would be very reluctant to support any kind of expansion and would support sunsetting the current ordinances to force us to revisit them and hopefully reduce them as they become less necessary.
Ultimately, the only solutions are to address root causes of our houseless community: treatment and in-home care for our kūpuna and those with severe mental illness, permanent affordable housing for low- and very-low income households, increased options for those looking to escape domestic violence, and stronger support networks for those struggling with addictions. Government, private industry, and community must partner in developing comprehensive solutions. Collectively, we know what is and isn’t working and have to take on this kuleana together.