Kim Coco Iwamoto
Kim Coco Iwamoto

Candidate Profile

Candidate’s Name: Kim Coco Iwamoto
(808) 664-3830
State Senate District 13
Open Seat
Friends of Kim Coco, P.O. Box 22136, Honolulu, HI 96823
(808) 664-3830,

1.     Why are you running for office?

I want to continue Senator Suzanne Chun Oakland’s legacy of compassionate lawmaking: advocating on behalf of Hawaii’s keiki, kupuna and our most vulnerable neighbors. I want to ensure our state fully funds our public education system, and honors its duty to provide all of Hawaii’s students an opportunity to access a bright future. I want to address our community’s ongoing challenges that lead to our record breaking numbers of families struggling with homelessness and keep other families from slipping into homelessness. I want to make sure we do not try to balance budget shortfalls by breaking promises to state retirees, by taxing their pensions and shifting the costs of retirement benefits on to them. I want to redress our regressive tax system, starting with cutting GET on food, medications, and medical supplies.

2.     What are your views about Hawaiian self-governance? In your capacity as a legislator, what action, if any, would you advocate in support of Hawaiian self- governance?

I support the efforts of Native Hawaiians to re-establish self-governance through recognition as a sovereign nation in the international courts. I serve on the board of Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action and stand with the Aloha Aina movement. I have witnessed the overwhelming majority of Native Hawaiians asking the DOI to send the Department of State to meet with the community.

3.     When it comes to Native Hawaiian issues, what do you perceive your role as a legislator to be? What ways can you, if elected, support Native Hawaiian concerns through your legislative abilities? If elected, describe specific Native Hawaiian bill ideas that you would be willing to propose or support for the advancement of Native Hawaiians.

To begin with, those who are elected to serve in the State Legislature must uphold the Constitutions of the occupying nation and state. State legislators need to fulfill the financial obligations of the state to Native Hawaiians and the trusts that currently exist.

Kim Coco Iwamoto – Short summary of background

I began my public service career as Homeless Outreach Coordinator, then Managing Attorney, at Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii. It was my role as a licensed foster parent to previously homeless teenagers that led me to become a student advocate on the Hawaii Board of Education – elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. I have also served as a state lawmaker on the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board and the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, where I continue to serve.