Candidate Profile

Tom Brower
808 398-5653
State House, district 22

1.     Why are you running for office?

Our community’s future is very important to me.

As a 33 year district resident, born at Kapiolani Medical Center who lived in Waikiki as a child, my roots are here. I am committed to preserving what is special about our way of life and correcting what needs to be changed. I experience many of the same community and government challenges faced by area residents. 

I have worked with energy and determination to raise awareness about our needs and offer a variety of solutions, both in and outside the State Capitol. As Chair of the House Tourism committee (since 2010), I have worked to maintain our cultural assets and stimulate tourism without comprising area residents’ quality of life.

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 believe we are only as strong as our weakest link. Studies show that Native Hawaiians face greater socio-economic and health challenges than other racial demographics in Hawaii. [For example, 39% of the state’s incarcerated population are Native Hawaiian and they are 30% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer.] Efforts should not only include more funding for programs to empower them, but also to mobilize support for their self-governance, as determined by 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.

Legislators have a responsibility to ensure all people have equal access to resources, such as education, jobs, housing and healthcare. Legislative intervention is necessary to correct the Native Hawaiian plight.
Since being elected, I have done my best to be supportive of Native Hawaiian issues. Some examples: In 2011, I voted in support of SB 1520 (Act 195), which established the five-member Native Hawaiian roll commission in OHA. As House Tourism chair, I have been concerned with promoting our Native Hawaiian culture as accurately as possible and protecting our cultural assets. If re-elected I will continue to support efforts to improve the welfare of Native Hawaiians.