Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 6 General Election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities will be if elected.
The following came from Ke’eaumoku Kapu, a candidate for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Maui Trustee. There is one other candidate, Carmen Lindsey.
1. Is OHA fulfilling its mandate to serve the Hawaiian people?
Not in the way that it should, because they are not fulfilling the basic fundamental principle that stems off of the 20 percent 5F ceded land trust revenues for the health and welfare of our people. Affordable housing, which is much needed, and the education and well being of our children.
2. What would you do to change how OHA is run?
OHA has grown too attached to this idea of real estate for market value but does nothing to those lands besides placing it in a trust. I would look into OHA being the developer and start building homes for Hawaiians who do not qualify for DHHL based on the law of a liquid measurement of 50 percent that OHA should start caring for our 49 percent minimal blood beneficiaries and provide them with much more. Start collaborating with the state and really looking at those ceded lands on potential development areas for our beneficiaries that fall out of the mandated requirements.
3. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing Native Hawaiians? What will you do about it?
Being disenfranchised in a system of not having the capabilities to control our destiny as a minority and host culture to Hawaii nei forcing our people to leave there home land in search of something at a lower cost to raise our children in an environment less hostile by the overcrowding of new people that move here. The biggest problems stem off of Airbnb vacation rentals. Advocate more in the state legislation for provisions that serve the residents and beneficiaries of Hawaii.
4. What are your views regarding Hawaiian independence?
Hawaiian independence can only be accomplished by the majority of Kanaka who are naturalized citizens of Hawaii prior to the time of the crown or 1778. The process would be quite extensive, but nonetheless it is something that seriously needs to be looked at.
5. Is OHA getting its fair share of ceded-land revenues from the state?
First of all who decided what the percentage was to begin with? Has that ever been resolved or does the state owe Hawaiians more then originally intended? No!. Twenty percent to be determined and a yearly total still needs to be discussed, or has that ever happened? I would make it a priority to see this through.
6. Why do you think Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in our prison and jails? What can be done about it?
Native Hawaiians are the indigenous native people of Hawaii and I am very sad to say that judicial statewide statistics show that the criminal justice system incarcerates Native Hawaiians at a disproportionate rate, which this crucial research shows the need to address the unfair treatment of Native Hawaiians in our state’s criminal justice system. Native Hawaiians make up 40 percent of the population in Hawaii’s prisons and jails, are more likely to be sent to prison, and for longer periods of time than nearly any other racial or ethnic community in Hawaii. Of the people serving a prison term in Hawaii, approximately 50 percent are housed in facilities on the mainland. While incarcerated out of state, these Native Hawaiians are further disconnected from their families and culturally appropriate services for re-entry back into society.
Because many Hawaiians believe in the status quo of Hawaii being illegally overthrown and that laws were enacted to solve the illegalities such as Public Law 103-150, none of those concerns ever came to fusion, a good cause for the judicial system to look at other ways of addressing this problem, especially if these Native Hawaiians are naturally born nationals.
7. Do you support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea?
I support a true management policy when it comes to the use of highly sensitive resources such as Mauna Kea, Haleakala and Mauna Loa, which are cultural properties that have a sense of character which also represents the unique qualities of Hawaii Nui and its people.
8. What role should the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands play in reducing homelessness?
Because the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands already has policies in place to provide homes for Hawaiians of 50 percent blood and already has a list of beneficiaries waiting for their homestead lots, they are already overwhelmed.
9. Do you support or oppose holding a state constitutional convention? Why or Why not?
I would support a clean constitutional convention of representatives throughout the State of Hawaii. The question would be who would finance the con con, which always seems to be the problem for fear of violating international laws.
10. What other important issues would you like to discuss?
Title is my forte. I would set up research stations to help families who are dealing with quite title-adverse possession cases. To set up an archival station to make it easier and help families get their paperwork done in a timely manner.