The Hawaiian Affairs Caucus respectfully requests that you consider the statements of the candidates for congressional District I and II positions concerning Native Hawaiians as you cast your ballot for these positions.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT I
“It is the unique responsibility of Hawaii’s Members of Congress to assure that federal law and resources are fully dedicated to the preservation, sustenance and advancement of the indigenous people and culture of Hawai’i. That means providing strong effective leadership in D.C. that embraces Hawaiian issues and goals and advocates effectively for national solutions. I did so during my prior service in Congress, when I represented more Native Hawaiians than any other of our 435 U.S. Representatives. A summary of my prior record is at https://www.edcase.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/EdCaseCongressionalRecord.pdf at pages 15-16.
I believe that Native Hawaiians and others can best judge my continued commitment and ability to deliver on our mutual goals, foremost among them being establishment of a just relationship with our federal government, by what I’ve already done. I welcome your questions at edcase@edcase,com.” Ed Case, Candidate, Congressional District I
“If I have the honor of serving Hawai‘i in Congress, you can count on me to fight for the respect Hawai‘i’s host culture deserves. That includes the U.S. government coming to the table to form a productive working relationship with the Native Hawaiian community – on the latter’s terms. I will be a champion of the Native Hawaiian Education Act empowering Native Hawaiian students to reach higher and achieve more. As your representative, I will protect the Native Hawaiian Health Care Act to reduce the disproportionate rates of chronic illness and death in the Native Hawaiian community. I will support an increase in funding for programs aimed at giving Native Hawaiians a leg up when it comes to buying a home in Hawai‘i. And I will always fight to level the playing field for Native Hawaiian small businesses to give them a fair chance to succeed.” Doug S. Chin, Candidate, Congressional District I
“Our next member of Congress needs to possess knowledge of the unique struggle Native Hawaiians face. Injustices are ongoing, and it’s vital that we do everything we can to correct that. As your Congresswoman, I would fight for self-determination and federal recognition for Native Hawaiians. I would seek federal funding for Hawaiian homes directly through federal programs or, by requiring the airport and other revenue generating ceded lands to direct a portion of their revenues. I would also seek to support greater educational opportunities for Native Hawaiians, including continuing support for immersion programs. Finally, I would seek greater funding for diversion programs, non-monetary bail and sentencing reforms because Native Hawaiians are subjected to high rates of incarceration. We should ensure Native Hawaiians are treated fairly by the courts and not sent to jail when those of other ethnicities who’ve committed similar crimes receive lighter sentences. On that note, I would ensure private prisons are never an option again in Hawaii” Beth Keiko Fukumoto, Candidate, Congressional District I
“With the passing of Senator Akaka, I believe it is important to have a Native Hawaiian voice representing Hawaii in Washington. As the only Native Hawaiian candidate and a proud graduate of Kamehameha Schools, I can advocate for Native Hawaiians in a way that no one else can. The US overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 was a great injustice and our people struggle with the consequences today. As Hawaiian Affairs Chair in the State House, I’ve been a champion for native causes including quiet title, archeological impact studies, ‘Olelo Hawai’i and more. In Congress, I will continue our fight to ensure true self-determination and protect our sacred places, cultural heritage, and natural resources including a Housing For All plan that would provide an enormous boost to DHHL. (see more: https://medium.com/@KanielaIng/housing-for-all-746720d094e8).” Kaniela Saito Ing, Candidate, Congressional District
“Hawai’i is a special place because of its host culture and we must not only acknowledge this heritage but we must provide Native Hawaiians an opportunity for self-governance if they so choose. Personally, I have deep roots with the Hawaiian culture through the teachings of Auntie Maiki Aiu, who taught me hula from intermediate school until she passed. As a result, I have been a strong advocate for the funding and establishing of a Hawaiian Music and Dance Center to preserve and perpetuate the heart of the Hawaiian culture. My son Micah is part Hawaiian, and as his mother, I am proud of his Hawaiian ancestry, and will continue to fiercely defend the rights of Native Hawaiians to secure justice. I firmly believe that we all must embrace the heritage passed down to us from Native Hawaiians. Living Aloha should not be a slogan but a way of life.” Donna Mercado Kim, Candidate Congressional District I
“The Native Hawaiian community and culture is the foundation for our way of life in the Islands. The local values we share and must protect are born from the selfless ideals of community and family that are at the heart of the Native Hawaiian experience. Unfortunately, too many Native Hawaiians are struggling to secure access to health-care, affordable housing, education and jobs that pay a living wage. Federal recognition for Native Hawaiians will create the framework for self determination. Let’s not forget, the United States overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii and stole their land and resources at gunpoint. Congress can apologize and create programs and policies to help, but without federal recognition, we are simply throwing money at a situation America created. That’s not pono. Hawaii and the Native Hawaiian community lost a great champion with the passing of Senator Daniel K. Akaka. He fought hard for federal recognition and worked to secure funding and establish pro-grams that help Native Hawaiians and Indigenous people. Continuing his mission, I pledge to take up the fight in Congress.” Ernest Yorihiko Martin, Candidate, Congressional District 1.
“I support and would strongly advocate national legislation that implements the Democratic Party Platform on Native Hawaiians, including supporting appropriations for education, housing, and health; and supporting Native Hawaiians in their efforts to secure justice from our Federal and State governments to repair harms endured by the Hawaiian people since 1893. I support the rights of Native Hawaiians to self-determination, including the formation of their chosen governmental entity.” Sam Puletasi, Candidate, Congressional District 1.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT II
“I support the Hawaiian Affairs Caucus of the Democratic Party Of Hawai’i. I trust in its efforts to practice and promote humanity and righteousness. In providing humanity and righteousness, the Indigenous Hawaiian culture should be preserved for generations to come. As a member of the Affirmative Action Committee, the Environmental Caucus, and the Veterans Caucus of the Democratic Party Of Hawai’i, I am aware of the many challenges that Hawai’i faces. Working with organizations and our government that outreach and educate our ohana on Houselessness, has been and will continue to be an issue that I will strive to find a solution for the Hawaiian people.” Anthony “Tony” Austin, Candidate, Congressional District II
“I believe that rural Hawaii can be a place of strong, safe, thriving communities where our children can create a happy life in the town where they were raised. I believe that our liberation is tied to our economic success and that success requires access to the resources which allow us to live with dignity, free from violence and poverty— these include access to our homelands, water, a clean and sustainable environment, good schools, a robust rural economy, and quality health care for everyone. Any actions taken to bring justice and empowerment to Native Hawaiians, benefits all Hawaii. Generations of oppression have made us vulnerable to the greed of a powerful few. This theft and injustice must end. We deserve more homes on our homelands, full compensation for the use of our ceded lands, and equal treatment in the discussions about our sacred places. This is our birthright, these are our homelands, and we are here to ensure that justice flows from our work to the endless generations of Hawaiians that are to come.” Sherry Alu Campagna, Candidate, Congressional District II
“I’m grateful to have worked with my mentor and friend, the late Senator Daniel K. Akaka. The first Native Hawaiian elected to the United States Congress, Senator Akaka passed the Apology Resolution, which acknowledges the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai’i and acknowledges that the Native Hawaiian people never directly relinquished their claims to inherent sovereignty as a people. On the path forward, regardless of the mechanism or process in getting there, Native Hawaiians, as a people, should be empowered to determine their own future and what kind of relationship they choose to have with the U.S. federal government. The challenge we continue to face in Congress is a failure by many to recognize Native Hawaiians as indigenous people. Native Hawaiian services and programs are constantly under attack. It’s important for us to work together, to find the path forward that best serves the interests of current and future generations of Native Hawaiians.” Tulsi Gabbard, Candidate, Congressional District II
We also encourage you to visit the Hawaii News Now 2018 Democratic Congressional Debate at:
http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/clip/14463072/super-debate-congress. At the 15 minutes and 31 seconds mark, you can hear the answers these candidates gave to the question, “How would you work to protect existing programs for Native Hawaiians and educate your colleagues in Congress about the unique legal and political relationship between the US and Native Hawaiians?”
Chair, Hawaiian Affairs Caucus