Star Advertiser’s 2018 Q&A: Tracy Arakaki, HD33

The following was from the 2018 candidate profiles from the Star Advertiser website, www.staradvertiser.com.

 

Full Name: Tracy Arakaki

Name on Ballot: Tracy Arakaki

Age: 51

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: Hawaii House of Representatives

District: 33

Email Address: arakakiforaiea@hawaii.rr.com

Current Job: Small business owner, independent television producer

Place of birth: Aiea

Campaign website: www.arakakiforaiea.com

Job history past 10 years:

Aiea Neighborhood Board, 17 years

News cameraman, 10-plus years

Screen printing business owner.

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?

I ran in 2016, as a Democrat for the seat vacated by Rep. Mark Takai, who ran successfully for U.S. Congress. The current incumbent won with only 1 percent of the vote ahead of my campaign.

Other civic experience or community service?

Hawaii Democratic Party, Olelo TV, Honolulu Community Traffic Awareness Program

Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

As a lifelong resident of Aiea, my family has lived in the district for over 60 years. We’ve seen changes both big and small, and know exactly the kinds of challenges we face as a state. My pledge is to represent my constituents with integrity and respect.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

As an elected member of the Aiea Neighborhood Board for 17 years, an award-winning news cameraman for over 10 years, and a small business owner since my teenage years, I have a unique perspective that will help me address the complex issues of our state.

Gov. Ige says he will once again propose increases to the state gas tax, vehicle weight tax and state registration fees to help pay for state road projects. Do you support his proposal?

No. More taxes hurt our already struggling working families. Transportation infrastructure is important, but I believe that these projects can be funded through a responsible budget crafted by those in the Legislature without increasing the burden on our taxpayers.

If the Legislature is again asked to extend Oahu’s half-percent excise tax surcharge to finance construction or operation of the rail system, would you support such an extension?

Yes. The issue at hand is whether or not we want a functional rail system that will serve its purpose, and I believe we must see it through. Before any extension, the city and HART must demonstrate that costs can be contained and that all tax monies are accountable.

Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?

Since these visitors are using our roads, our services, and enjoying our state, the companies that host them in these rentals should pay their fair share of taxes.

Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?

Yes. Body cameras not only help to protect citizens, but also the police department and the city, as it promotes accountability and helps to improve public trust in those trusted to protect us.

Dozens of police officers in Hawaii are disciplined each year for committing crimes or violating departmental policies, but little information is released about the officers or their cases. Do you think there needs to be greater public disclosure?

Yes. Many of the violations erode the public’s trust in our public safety capacity, and we must have accountability through information on these instances.