- Native Hawaiian Self-Governance: In what ways, would you enable and support Native Hawaiian self-governance? Would you allocate funds toward this endeavor?
I would support the self-governance movement with educational forums that help the public understand the difference between this and the Kingdom of Hawaii. The two are not mutually exclusive as most believe. Native Hawaiian self-governance is what Native Hawaiians will decide for themselves where as the Kingdom encompasses all subjects of the crown, not just those of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Should there be a request for educational forums OHA should partner with Kamehameha Schools and or UH to fund these forums without advocating for or against any position.
- Hawaii Constitutional Convention: If a constitutional convention goes forward, what actions would you advocate that OHA take to assure that Native Hawaiians are prepared to actively participate in the Convention? What Native Hawaiian issues will you champion? If you oppose a constitutional convention, what is your plan to move those issues forward once you are in office?
Should a ConCon move forward OHA will need to two things. First an educational forum to inform the Lahui what is at stake. Second a training for all Native Hawaiians that wish to run as a delegate so that they are prepared for what it takes to run in that election and then what will it mean and the skills necessary to be a delegate to the convention. First and foremost we will need to protect OHA, we will need to make sure that our delegates make sure that the dissolution of OHA is never put on the table. Other important Native Hawaiian Issues will be gathering rights, water rights, land usage rights, kuleana lands, customary practices, Hawaiian as an official language, along with the host of general rights that will come under attack, LGBTQ rights, collective bargaining, UH autonomy, term limits, taxing rights with he counties, and the list goes on.
I do oppose a ConCon at this time. OHA already has many programs in place to address these issues. As trustee I will continue to support these and seek new and innovative ways to address these. A good example would be working to get OHA exempt from zoning laws, so we can effectively develop Kaka’ako Makai. Another would be to work with UH on a program that would exempt Native Hawaiians from tuition with the UH system.
- If elected as an OHA Trustee, what are your top three priorities for enhancing the welfare and social well-being of Native Hawaiians?
Housing, Economic Sustainability, Education. I believe these are the key to a thriving Lahui and a thriving State. OHA needs to partner with DHHL to get away from a 19thcentury mentality of “homesteads”. We need to start building vertically and utilizing DHHL properties in the urban core to give our people affordable housing close to work, transportation hubs and educational institutions. Partnering to also develop DHHL properties for business opportunities to bring much needed revenue into the Department as well having venues for Native Hawaiian entrepreneurs. Kamehameha Schools has a plan of a thriving educationally sound Lahui by 2025 and OHA can help, working toward a program for tuition exemptions for Native Hawaiians in the UH system. Incentives for Native Hawaiians to become educators such as housing subsidizes for teachers in the DOE that live within the district of their school.
- If elected as an OHA Trustee, how would you bring about cohesive, respected discussions and decisions among OHA Trustees?
OHA has been using Robert’s Rules of Order since its inception which a good thing since it is supposed to ensure that the minorities voice is heard and the power lays with the body and not the chairperson. At present there is no trained parliamentarian on the board which I believe has let to a lot of the in fighting because procedure is not being followed. If the Rules of Order are adhered to it will facilitate lively debate while still maintaining decorum in the boardroom.
- If elected as an OHA Trustee, how would you assure that monies/grants are properly disbursed for the betterment of Native Hawaiians?
The first thing that needs to happen is the removal of Trustee’s discretionary spending. Trustees should not have any say into how grant funds are spent. The Trustees set the direction and the CEO executes that direction. The grant process needs to be further scrutinized to ensure that funds are being disbursed to programs that have implications for all of the Lahui and not just a select few.
Candidate’s Name: Brendon Kalei’aina Lee
Date: September 27 2018
Email: LEE4OHA@gmail.com Phone: (808)220-7835
Political Office/Position Sought: OHA / At-Large
Senate/Representative District: N/A
Are you an incumbent? Yes No – No