Tasha Kama, who is running against Mayor Alan Arakawa, is in a tough race. Arakawa has served for multiple terms as both a councilmember and mayor, and has decades of name recognition behind him. This, in part, is why our endorsement goes to Kama: We think it’s time for a change.
Arakawa has collected his share of criticism over the years he has been in office, but some things stand out in recent history that are strikes against him: his support and allocation of $40 million this year as the first half of a Wailuku Civic Center (he first proposed $80 million), reports that he has not worked well with other councilmembers, and clumsy, top-down management (like the countywide email purge, the demolition of the old Wailuku Post Office Building, and the movement of “sacred rocks” in Iao Valley, to name a few).
Kama, on the other hand, presents herself as a humble servant who has experience in multiple roles as a community organizer. She prioritizes the need to bring parties to the table and talk story about issues to find a solution, and recognizes the need for the council to listen to each other, the people, and relevant experts. We need representatives who will listen to the community to ensure they have a voice on the council, and we have hope in Kama’s ability to do this.
Early voting is available until August 9. Primary Election Day will be on August 11 from 7am to 6pm. Visit elections.hawaii.gov to learn more.