Star-Advertiser Candidate Questionnaire

1) What qualifies you to be a member of the state House?

I listen. Working in retail you learn that one of the most important things you can do is listen to the customer. Customer feedback is invaluable at every step from product development to customer service and if you stop listening you will find yourself out of step with them and eventually out of business. The state House can benefit from more community input and I can help because I listen.

2) What is the biggest problem facing your district and what would you do about it?

I haven’t finished walking my entire district yet, but just within the few blocks from my house I learned that aging is a real big concern, particularly healthcare for the elderly as our population grows older and lives longer. We need more affordable senior care homes and being new to this issue would welcome help in finding solutions for this mounting problem. Email: joseph.heaukulani@gmail.com

3) Should the state require performance evaluations for public school teachers?

I think we would learn more if we evaluated the way we teach our students. All learning, no matter what it is, is self-learning. You can’t force someone to learn. What we need to do is determine how Hawaii’s students learn best and build programs to teach them effectively. Determining the quality of teaching wouldn’t change anything if the teaching methods themselves are ineffective for students.

4) Should permitting and procurement be streamlined for state construction projects?

The question could also have been, “Should permitting and procurement be more difficult and resistant for state construction projects?”. I think most people would say ‘yes’ to the original question and ‘no’ to my opposing question, but where does that get us? What more have we learned about the candidate? Yes, I want our government to have streamlined processes that reflect our community values.

5) Should the state legalize gambling?

The primary goal of government should be to protect our rights, not determining what our moral code should be. However, although I think gambling should be decriminalized, I don’t think it should be a priority. We should try to diversify our economy and create more opportunities for our citizens. I believe in building a self-reliant Hawaii and gambling is a not a step in that direction.

6) Should the state legalize same-sex marriage?

Civil unions are already legal in Hawaii. Hawaii could always disestablish marriage as a state-sanctioned institution and make it an entirely private affair. However, I think that making an exclusive commitment to another has been and should continue to be a social recognition granted by the government. It is the commitment between two people we should honor, even if they are of the same sex.

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