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Takashi OHNO

Candidate for House, District 27

Party: Democrat
Phone number: (808) 631-7579
Email address: takashi@takashiohno.com
Website: takashiohno.com

House, 27 Candidates (2)

Response to Kanu's Candidate Questionnaire

What policies would you pursue to improve public K-12 education in Hawaii?

Our education system is severely lacking vision. We look at short term and incremental changes without answering any basic questions of our schools, such as "What is a great teacher?" or "What does a excelling student look like?". In regards to teachers, I believe that we need to define what a great teacher is, work backwards and structure our incentives to accordingly lead teachers to become great. The same needs be done for our students and schools. Without addressing these questions, we will continue to try "flavor of the month" approaches and stagnate.

What policies would you pursue to address the growing problem of homelessness in Hawaii?

With the cooperation of nonprofits and churches, we need to continue services that deal with the basic needs of folks without a home: food, shelter and hope. We need policies that promote affordable housing and more jobs, such as providing incentives for buildings with housing for middle income folks (which then opens up housing for others). Frankly speaking, there still is a great challenge for those dealing with mental illness who live on the streets.

If revenues fell short of budget needs, how would you balance the budget?

I would aim to broaden our tax base. We could begin by taking a close look at the tax credits our State awards. Government has a role in spurring ideas and industries that will benefit us, but not funding them indefinitely. We need to invest in new and worthy ideas that further broaden our tax base in the 21st century.

What steps, if any, do you think Hawaii must take to manage traffic and make reliable, timely transportation available to all?

This is an all of the above strategy: restoring bus routes, bike paths, sharrows, walkable communities. Whatever we can do to take cars off the road benefits our environment and people. The simple idea of restriping the freeway was a cheap, quick means to accommodate our commuters, and I'd be all for similar policies that make full use of what we already have.

What steps, if any, would you take to limit the influence of money and special interests on politics and policy?

I would willing to vote for a bill that imposes term limits on legislators. I would also would be supportive of any bill that taxes lobbying.

Do you make an effort to "eat local", and if so do you have any suggestions for others on where to get locally grown food?

My wife and I frequent the Wednesday Blaisdell Farmer's Market.

What actions, if any, do you take at home or at work to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas pollution?

This past year we took advantage of an exchange program that gave us CFL light bulbs for our old regular fluorescent ones. We also use an app to track our gas mileage and mpgs.

Do you think Hawaii should use its agricultural land for housing, or keep it for farming?

keep it for farming

Do you support or oppose basing teacher evaluations, in part, on student improvement?


Do you support or oppose using State funding to ensure all 4-year-olds have access to preschool?


Do you support or oppose efforts to repeal the law creating the Public Lands Development Corporation (PLDC)?


Do you support or oppose rules that prevent lawmakers from changing the substance of proposed laws at the last minute (i.e., rules to prevent "gut and replace" lawmaking)?


Do you support or oppose publicly funded elections as a way to reduce the influence of big campaign donors on policy?


Do you support or oppose the current plan for rail in Honolulu?

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Would you like to offer any clarifying remarks on the above support/oppose questions?

The State does not control how or if the rail is implemented, and rail has not been the focus of State candidates. The State did raise funds for it, though. I am all for mass transit, but am fiscally concerned about the rail. I would oppose any sort of further GET tax increase to pay for any shortfalls or cost overruns with the rail. I would also be amenable to using the funds already raised for the rail for other traffic reduction projects that are ready to get cars off the road, greenhouse gases out of our atmosphere and folks back home with the families quicker.

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The HawaiiCandidates.info is a project of Kanu Hawaii, a Hawaii-based non partisan, nonprofit organization.

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