Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Aug. 9 primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.

The following came from Michael Golojuch, Democratic candidate for state representative for District 42. Other candidates include Democrats Nicole Ferguson and Sharon Har and Republican Suk Moses.

District 42 covers Kapolei and Makakilo.

Go to Civil Beat’s Elections Guide for general information, and check out other candidates on the Primary Election Ballot.

Name: Michael Golojuch

Office: House of Representatives, District 42

Party:  Democrat

Profession:  Private secretary

Education: Mauka Lani Alumni, St. Louis High School, Bachelors of Science in Business with an emphasis in Hospitality Management from the University of San Francisco

Age: 41

Community organizations: Co-chair of the Kapolei City Lights Electric Light Holiday Parade (2007 – present); Ua Ao ‘O Kapolei volunteer (2007 – present); chair of Honolulu Pride (2010 – present); chair of GLBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii (2012 – 2016); member of the State Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii (DPH) (2012 – 2016); member of the Hawaiian, Labor and Kapuna Caucuses of the DPH, Blood Bank Drive Coordinator, Aloha United Way – Safety Net Council Member, 2013 & 2014; platform chair for the Oahu County of Democratic Party of Hawaii, 2014; platform chair for the Democratic Party of Hawaii, membership chair for the Democratic Party of Hawaii (2012 – 2014), member of Ho‘opili Task Force (2006 – present)

Michael Golojuch

Michael Golojuch

Kelli Bullock

1. Why are you running for the Hawaii Legislature?

I am running to ensure that my community has a voice at the legislature. The current occupant of the seat has one of the worst attendance records in the Legislature.

I have one opponent that wants to be a lawyer and another that wants to be a doctorial student – I want to be my district’s representative and I will make being my district’s representative my No. 1 priority.

2. Are you satisfied with the current plans to pay for the state’s unfunded liabilities? If not, how would you propose to meet pension and health obligations for public workers?

It is a great start. We need to go back and ensure that each jurisdiction is paying their share of the unfunded liability that accrued prior to the changes that were implemented this past year.

3. Local officials and advocates have worked to address homelessness for years, yet the crisis is growing. What proposals do you have for this complicated issue?

We need to bring all the houseless care providers into the same room and see what they need and what the state, city and private sector can do to help to provide assistance. Without the complete picture we will never be able to provide enough services to everyone.

We also need to make sure that the federal government is paying their fair share since the Marshallese have been a drain on the houseless care providers’ resources. The United States does have a responsibility to pay for the needs of Marshallese since we used their home as a nuclear testing sight — but it is not the sole duty of state of Hawaii. 

4. Where do you stand on labeling genetically engineered food and pesticide regulation? Are these public safety issues, or are the dangers exaggerated? 

Food labeling is a federal obligation — we here at the state level need to use our limited resources to first and foremost protect our ‘aina from invasive species. As you can see we are currently failing at that responsibility – from the invasion of the Coqui frog to that of the rhinoceros beetle.

Passing on the cost of labeling to the consumer at the local level is not acceptable, especially since we do not have a current living wage. If done at the federal level then it would be a minimal cost. Right now if it doesn’t say GMO free, you should expect to find some type of GMO ingredient. 

Pesticide regulation should be a county-led ordinance. I believe there do need to be regulations especially as someone that remembers and experienced the heptachlor exposure of the 1980s. Plus the fact that all the science is showing that use of certain pesticides is decimating the bee population, and without bees we all die.

5. Hawaii’s cost of living is the highest in the country by many indicators. What can really be done to make things like housing, food and transportation less expensive? 

The only way to get housing prices to go down is to increase the availability. Lowering housing prices is just one of the reasons I support the Ho‘opili Development.

To lower food prices we need to work on embracing the farmer’s markets not for tourists but for us locals. By ensuring that locals have higher quality produce may cost a little more but in the long run it will save money when we are all healthier. It also lowers our carbon footprint. 

To lower transportation costs for the people on the west side is getting them to use rail once it is up and running. Every person that uses rail will save $11,000 a year from fuel costs, savings from insurance, wear and tear on their vehicles and parking fees. 

6. Would you support using liquified natural gas as part of the state’s energy sources? And how can we improve the electrical distribution system so more renewable energy can be utilized to bring costs down? 

No – supporting liquified natural gas (LNG) drives up the demand for LNG and thereby the use of fracking, which is destroying communities back on the mainland. 

HECO installed a generator out at Campbell Industrial Park that can burn bio-fuels – we need to require that all generators that are installed be able to burn bio-fuels. We also need to increase Hawaii’s production of bio-fuels. By growing and producing locally, we can go green and keep the money local.

7. Hawaii’s public records law mandates that public records be made available whenever possible. Yet many citizens are unable to afford the costs that state and local government agencies impose. Would you support eliminating search and redaction charges and making records free to the public except for basic copying costs? 

No. The state has not increased the fees for several years and the fees charged do not even come close to covering the department’s cost to produce the records.

The state is in the process of implementing an open data website that will give the public access to most data sets. This will give the public more access but it needs to be properly funded, so depending on the size of the department I would advocate for funding the appropriate number of positions per department to ensure that the data sets are uploaded to the open data website.

For the records or data sets that are not uploaded to the website, the public should still be expected to pay those fees. 

8. Are you satisfied with the way Hawaii’s public school system is run? How can it be run better? 

No, of course not. We need to start looking at the public education system from a different perspective.

We need to stop thinking that just because kids go to school that the parents are off the hook. For it does take a village to educate our keiki. Parents need to be involved in their keiki’s education and that does not mean only getting involved when their students are failing.

We as community members need to see what we can do to help the teachers and parents. Which includes securing the funding so that the teachers and students have a safe and secure learning environment.

The other piece to help our education system is to ensure that the parents are able to make a living wage by only working one job. For if the parents can make a living with one job instead of having to work three just to cover rent, food and utilities, it will leave them more time to invest in their keiki education. 

9. There is a desire to grow the economy through new development yet also a need to protect our limited environmental resources. How would you balance these competing interests? 

Follow through with the master plan by building housing along the urban corridor. Rail along with the transit-oriented development will help towards that plan. I would also advocate requiring landowners that receive the lesser tax rate for agricultural zoned land to actually grow food for local consumption. 

10. What other important issue would you like to discuss here? 

It is time that the state along with counties look at reclaming our landfills. We need to look to what they are doing in Germany, where they are leading the way for reclaiming their landfills to make electricity, plus being the world leader on generating solar power.

We need to not allow outside forces to use wedge issues to divide us, for it is our diversity that defines Hawaii and should not divide us.