Tag Archives: Choon James

If

I grew up in Singapore and went to English schools which were under the British system. We had the privilege of learning about great British poets and authors. We all have our favorite. Here is one of mine by Rudyard Kipling.

IF

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Choon James: Status for SB 1357 to fine motorists with flags.

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that flags flown from vehicles being operated or moved on streets cause distractions and create unsafe driving conditions. The purpose of this Act is to discourage unsafe practices.

This Bill was DEFERRED to Tuesday February 8, 2022 for the 3:05PM AGENDA. SB 1357 to prohibit flags display on vehicles on roads, etc. SCROLL TO 1:30 to hear the status: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Puas70MFA

We can’t have government incrementally shutting down Free Speech and Civic Participation. Although the State Capitol is one of the most ventilated buildings in Honolulu, it’s still closed to the public. The public cannot hold signs inside its meeting places. And now this shutting down of flags flying.

The Senate Transportation Committee Chair Chris Lee said yesterday that the intent of Bill 1357 was not to infringe on First Amendment Rights. The State Department of Transportation (DOT) submitted an unsigned testimony that it had received “numerous complaints and inquiries from the public about flags and other materials that impair the visibility of other drivers on the road. As such, we support all efforts to eliminate these unnecessary distractions.”

I wonder if DOT also received complaints and enquires about other traffic concerns.

Bill 1357 is not compelling enough except to shut down displays of discontent and public dissension. We must protect Free Speech at all costs.

There are lots of distractions and unsafe driving conditions on the road – Loose dogs. Drunk driving. Driving in opposite directions. Tourist trolleys. Huge vehicles blocking our view planes. Sign Waving. Display of huge banners on buildings along roads and so on.

The item that is most distracting and affecting road safety is the POTHOLES!!

We’re forced to keep our eyes down on the road to avoid the potholes which are EVERYWHERE. Our tires blow out. Cars swerve to try to miss the potholes on busy streets. The underbelly of the vehicles are damaged. POTHOLES are the most dangerous and most distracting.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent but our roads have become more and more dangerous. We would like the Hawaii Senate to focus on this huge distraction. It’s time to require a warranty on the road roadwork and so on to promote road safety.

It’s ridiculous that every time it rains, more potholes appear. There is no reason why the state cannot expect basic workmanship for the hundreds of millions that are spent annually.

Please terminate SB 1357 – It’s treacherous to free speech and an open democracy. Focus on the real traffic safety and driving conditions.

Ushering in the Year of the Tiger

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and prosperous NEW YEAR!

I missed January 1, 2022! So this is my second chance to start a “NEW YEAR” resolution to highlight or share issues that affect us. I resolve to write something useful every day on this blog!

So much have happened since the advent of COVID19 in 2020. Here we are on February 1st, 2022 and we’re still struggling with this pandemic. COVID19 has brought out the worst and the best in humanity.

I will share this testimony below as my first post since I’ve just submitted it to the Hawaii State Legislature. If you feel this is an important issue, please write a quick testimony to let your senators know what you think. We should let them know of our expectations. Click on this SB 1357 to submit a quick testimony.

CHOON JAMES: TESTIMONY – STRONGLY OPPOSE SB 1357

Aloha Senators:

It’s very obvious that this SB 1357 is created to shut down citizen participation and involvement in Hawaii. There is no quarrel that Democracy can be messy, loud, and unpleasant, especially to authorities who are being resisted against.

Free speech, the freedom to protest, and to assemble with expressions must not be shut down through this thinly-veiled facade of  “ Traffic violations to PROHIBIT display of any material that distracts, obstructs the view of, or affects the safety of other drivers, including but not limited to flags, towels, sheets, and cloths, on vehicles being operated or moved on a public street, road, or highway, except when required to be displayed for loads that extend beyond the vehicle. Sets a fine.”

The public knows this SB 1357 is targeted at the recent displays of protests and discontent amongst many Hawaii residents. The displays of civil discontent have been displayed through banners and flags options that are available to the people. There have been no raids or violence or vandalism.

Instead of trying to shut down citizenship participation and discontent, it would be more democratic and effective to figure out how the government can improve to lessen this growing discontent.  

SB 1357 is too over-bearing and tyrannical. It violates the basic fundamental rights of a citizen to express oneself in a free society. This SB 1357 not only tries to stamp out dissension, it also wants to punish those who participate through their expressions.  

Please defer Bill 1357. It’s over-bearing and tyrannical to say the least. No elected official in the Hawaii State Legislature should think or behave like they are akin to the Community Party of China – to crush and shut down public participation through various means.   

Aloha,

Choon James

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

Choon James: Kahuku Industrial Turbines Press Conference

Press Conference

November 1, 2019  Friday

We are deeply disappointed that we have received the silent treatment from Governor David Ige at this point.

“The most affected people and the most affected community have been opposing these additional eight (8) industrial turbines for over ten (10) years. The answer to the authorities had always been ‘no’ to the Fortune 500 Corporations, HECO and also those involved in the Environment Review Process.

However, their voices have consistently been ignored and dissed.

Kahuku already has twelve (12) industrial turbines. It is already bearing the disproportionate burden of wind energy.  Its residents have already been suffering the health impacts from these existing turbines.

The PUC action of December 31, 2014 was a blatant violation of Hawaii’s renowned Environmental Laws specifically contained in the HAR Chapter 343. Consultation with the affected community is the first of several elements of public participation in the environmental review process established under Chapter 343.  The centrality of public participation to rational environmental management has long been recognized as good policy, and it is explicitly identified as a founding principle in the legislative findings that preface the EIS law.

§343-1 Findings and purpose.  The legislature finds that the quality of humanity’s environment is critical to humanity’s well being, that humanity’s activities have broad and profound effects upon the interrelations of all components of the environment, and that an environmental review process will integrate the review of environmental concerns with existing planning processes of the State and counties and alert decision makers to significant environmental effects which may result from the implementation of certain actions.  The legislature further finds that the process of reviewing environmental effects is desirable because environmental consciousness is enhanced, cooperation and coordination are encouraged, and public participation during the review process benefits all parties involved and society as a whole.

To further violate the standing environmental laws to the face of the most affected people, the Public Utilities Commission further violated the laws by approving the contract between HECO and then Champlin/GEI in order to assist the corporations in its federal tax incentives deadline.

Recently, a former PUC Counsel revealed that he counseled against the December 31, 2014 decision because the EIS for this project was pending and NOT completed yet.

Furthermore, the Hawaii Consumer Advocate at the time, Jeffrey Ono, also advised for PUC to wait for the environmental review to be completed before approving the wind farm. Mr.Ono’s opinion was that the “EIS could inform a decision on whether the project was in the public interest: specifically whether its benefits outweighed its negative impacts on the community.”

Because of the flawed process, there continues to be controversies. Approximately 200 residents were arrested in resistance to this process.

Keep the North Shore Country has filed a lawsuit challenging the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources’ acceptance of a conservation plan and license to kill certain numbers of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats as an incidental side effect of the project.

Life of the Land’s challenge focuses on the PUC’s approval of the contract between the wind farm and HECO, which the PUC approved.

Governor Ige’s statement by his communications team that “we were told

Despite all the known facts about this flawed process, the AES COO, Mark Miller continues his arrogant and robotic PR answer to all compelling concerns:

“We remain in close touch with people throughout the North Shore community – including those who have lingering questions about our project. We are here and ready to talk to anyone interested in learning more.” But he pushing onward and forward and not taking “no” for an answer.

On October 16, 2019 to the Star Advertiser, “The company planning to build a wind farm in Kahuku “should be allowed to proceed,” Gov. David Ige’s office.  

We call on Governor Ige to take care of his primary kuleana – to put the public interest nor the well being of his constituents’, including the children, interests and well-being. The industrial turbines will be too close to the Kahuku Elementary School, the Kahuku High School, residential homes, hospital and farmer’s dwellings, and also the Bobby Benson Center.

What are residents supposed to do if the very government regulatory agencies that must protect the process and the public interest violated its very laws and rules on the books?

When residents exercise their desperate protests to be heard, they are met with the strong force of the HPD and arrests.

We call on Governor Ige to implement pono leadership on these irreparable damages being done to his constituents today.

1. To allow the citizen’s various legal pending processes to be heard before allowing further deliveries to the sites.

2, to direct the Attorney General to expunge the approx.127 arrests made thus far. The people were simply trying to be heard because the very agencies that are supposed to protect them broke its own laws and regulations.

Hawaii has one of the best environmental laws in the nation. If all state and county agencies had adhered to the laws in the books, these acrimonious and actions could have been easily avoided.

Kahuku residents cannot continue to be guinea pigs. Green Energy is important for our island home but environment justice and social justice must integral parts of this movement.

References:

https://www.civilbeat.org/2019/10/pucs-former-lawyer-says-approval-of-kahuku-wind-farm-violated-law/

NOTE: HAR 11-200-9(C) requires agencies proposing an action to analyze alternatives to the nominal project proposal in the environmental assessment.  

Consideration of alternatives is a core element of the environmental planning process and offers one of the key tools available to achieve the purpose of environmental impact minimization.  The OEQC Guidebook includes specific instructions regarding the discussion of alternatives.

Consider alternative methods and modes of your project, and discuss them in the draft EA.  Select the one with the least detrimental effect to the environment.  Alternatives to consider include:

•  Different sites:  is one site less likely to infringe on an environment       that needs protection, such as a wetlands or an historic district?

•  Different facility configurations:  is one configuration less likely to intrude on scenic viewplanes?

•  Different implementation methods:  can a rocky area be cleared by backhoe removal rather than blasting?

Alternative analysis should include input from the community.  Community members may be aware of concerns and impacts that make a particular alternative more or less desirable. [OEQC Guidebook, p.15]

The Guidebook also offers insight into what’s expected in an EA in the way of alternatives analysis in its discussion of questions to ask when reviewing an EA.

Are alternatives to the proposed project (including no project at all) adequately explored? Are there other ways to carry out the project which may be less damaging to the environment? Are different designs or approaches discussed sufficiently? What basic improvements can you suggest? [OEQC Guidebook, p.9]                 

Thus, alternatives to discuss include not just the no action case, but also actions of a significantly different nature that would provide similar benefits with different minimal impacts, different designs or project details, different locations, different facility configurations, and even the alternative of postponing an action pending development of a more viable proposal.

NEW VACATION RENTAL LAWS For Honolulu, Oahu

  The City and County of Honolulu City Council adopted Bill 89 and Bill 85 on June 17, 2019 after many long and contentious hearings.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed Bill 89 into law on June 25, 2019. On July 3, the City Council chose not to address Bill 85 Veto.

Here is the information provided by the Department of Planning and Permitting:

 June 21, 2019

City Department of Planning and Permitting

New Regulations on Short-Term Rentals

Bill 89 CD2 was adopted by City Council on Monday, June 17. It is awaiting action by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Its main points:

 _Allows a limited number of new Bed and Breakfast Homes (B&B) in non-resort areas under a new registration process, with annual renewal required.

 _Continues to prohibit Transient Vacation Units, or “unhosted” rentals, in non-resort areas, unless the dwelling has a Nonconforming Use Certificate (NUC).

 _Regulates hosting platforms, such as Expedia or Airbnb, requiring monthly reports to be filed with the Department of Planning and Permitting, which will share the information with City Council.

 _Makes illegal any form of advertising short-term rentals which are not in compliance with zoning regulations as provided in Bill 89. Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9

The following Questions and Answers are based on the assumption that Bill 89 CD2 will shortly be enacted into law.

ADVERTISING

I own an unhosted, “whole house,” or Transient Vacation Unit. I pay taxes. Can I continue to advertise online and in the local newspaper?

Only if the dwelling has a NUC or is located in a resort district.

When will the department start enforcing the new advertising restrictions?

Beginning August 1, 2019.

What are the fines for illegal advertising?

Owners of the property involved in illegal advertising will be notified, and if the advertisement is taken down in 7 days, no fine will be imposed for a first offense. If not taken down within this deadline, fines of between $1,000 and $10,000 can be imposed for each day the advertisement remains on display.

If the management company for my property places an illegal ad, will the company get cited?

They may be cited, but Bill 89 CD2 says, “The burden of proof is on the owner of the subject real property to establish that the property is not being used as a bed and breakfast home or transient vacation unit or that the advertisement was placed without the property owner’s knowledge or consent.”

REGISTRATION OF NEW BED AND BREAKFAST HOMES

I have been operating a Bed and Breakfast Home for several years. Do I still have to obtain a registration number?

Yes, unless you have a NUC.

I only rent out my house for more than 30 days at a time. Do I need to register?

No.

I only rent my house while my family spends 2 weeks each year visiting family on the mainland. Do I need to register? When can I register?

Registration will begin no sooner than October 1, 2020.

Why do we have to wait more than year to register?

The time is required for the Department to develop more specific procedures for implementing Bill 89 CD2, including the adoption of rules, and creating the software to help with enforcement and the registration process. If necessary, it provides time to acquire more staff and to train them.

What are the registration requirements?

There are more than a dozen requirements. Most notable:

 _Applicants must be “natural persons,” and not an organization or company

 _Applicants must have a home exemption granted under real property tax law

 _There must be insurance coverage for bed and breakfast use

 _The initial registration fee is $1,000. For annual renewals, the fee is $2,000

 _No more than 2 bedrooms can be used for visitor accommodations

 _Quiet hours must be observed between 10 pm and 8 am

 _If part of a homeowners or apartment owners association, approval by that association must be obtained

 _Neighbors within 250 feet must be given a phone number to contact to make complaints 24 hours a day

For the complete list of requirements, refer to Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9 3

Are there other requirements?

Density Limit. No more than 0.5% of the total number of dwelling units in each regional development plan area (DPA) can be used as B&Bs. Here are the limits by area:

New B&Bs are not allowed in the North Shore area, based on directives of the North Shore Sustainable Communities Plan: http://bit.ly/2Y4QpLg

Condominium Limit. Up to 50% of units in a condominium building may be allowed a B&B, subject to AOAO approval.

Nontransferable. Registration numbers are not transferable to another property, nor transferable to another homeowner.

Separation Minimum. B&Bs must be at least 1,000 feet from each other. This does not apply to units in resort areas and NUCs.

Renewal Criteria. Noise and other nuisance complaints can be grounds to deny renewal requests.

For the complete list of requirements, refer to Bill 89 CD2: http://bit.ly/2Kt9Qu9

How long will it take to get registered?

It is not yet determined. An online registration process is anticipated, but certain requirements will have to be verified; e.g. compliance with parking requirements.

If only a limited number of registration numbers will be given out, how can I guarantee to get one?

There is no provision for guarantees.

How will it be determined who gets a registration number?

Generally on first-come, first-served basis. If the number of requests exceeds the limit for a DPA, then a lottery will be held.

How will the lottery system work?

This will be fleshed out in the Rules. There will be a public hearing on the draft Rules before they are finalized.

I am currently operating a B&B, and do not have a NUC, so will need to register. Will I get priority in the registration process?

No.

Can I advertise and operate a short-term rental once I register?

No. To avoid a citation, operation cannot occur until the registration process has been completed and registration number issued.

MORE INFORMATION

Note that DPP has not mentioned about the property tax designation to “Resort”.  It’s unclear whether it would be based only on the two bedrooms of a home.

Refer to the Department’s website:honoluludpp.org

Email the Department:info@honoluludpp.org

Call the Department:

Advertising Restrictions: 768-8127

Registration Process: 768-8127

General Zoning Information: 768-8252

Make a complaint: 768-8127

Public Information Officer: 768-8284

Choon James has been a real estate broker for over 30 years. She can be reached at 808 293 8888 ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com 

Daniel James has been a Real Estate Associate for 5 years. He can be reached at 808 542- 5165 http://www.HawaiiRealEstateOhana.com


Choon James: Citizen Candidate For Honolulu City Council

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations.

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I’m a citizen candidate. I do not accept donations from lobbyists or corporations. I owe nobody favors or fear except to work with you residents to improve some basic challenges facing us.

I have severe concerns about the direction that Honolulu is heading. We cannot continue to fund the runaway Honolulu Rail without firm fiscal scrutiny and accountability. I’m volunteering myself as an able and trained alternative to “business as usual” politics.

You can rely on my decades-old record of activism and advocacy. I have been consistent. I maintain a world-view outlook. But I also recognize that we live on a small island.

Additionally, my profession as a real estate broker allows me to work with people from all walks of life and status. We treat every client with care and respect. Should there be a challenge, we quickly and methodically address them with all parties and professionals concerned and find solutions to the benefit of all.

I have great confidence we can tackle Oahu’s challenges together! It doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, military or civilian, unionized or not – – we all have the same dreams for ourselves and our children. We can be fair and reasonable in decision-making; we can all win! There are solutions to the challenges on our island home.

You the residents have valuable local knowledge and wisdom to share. Many of us also have international experience, professionally combed the world, and gained insights and expertise. Collectively, we can improve our island home! Let’s put YOUR smarts, imagination, expertise, common sense, and aloha together to improve our lives and communities.

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

www.VoteChoon.com

www.CountryTalkStory.com

Choon James: Alternative to Status Quo

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.
What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

District 2 is the most diversified and largest land area in the City Council. We span rural communities from Kahalu’u to Wahiawa to an award-winning planned community in Mililani Mauka. We have wonderful residents!

1. Costs of Living & Housing – Hawaii is such a beautiful place with a stable political environment that does not discriminate real estate ownership; our local residents have to compete with international investors for real estate holdings. Increased property values and property taxes outpace many residents’ fixed social security and income. Our residents are feeling priced out on so many different levels.

Many work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet and sustain themselves. Our young people have to resort to exchange babysitting in parking lots on the way to work! Kupuna are worried about sustaining themselves in their golden years and passing on the family home to their children.

Most of us work very hard to make a living.

The government must deliberate carefully before imposing escalating fees and taxes on our people. Residents are not eternal money trees.

2. Quality of Life Ko’olauloa and North Shore is the Oahu’s golden goose for tourism. While residents are welcoming, the quality of life must be considered. Residents are overwhelmed by the increased amount of tourists. Tourism’ multiplier impacts on our infrastructure and public space are real. Traffic is a constant aggravation. The one hundred- year-old Kamehameha Highway, parks, other finite natural resources and other municipal services have to be considered into policy-making and deliberations .

3. Economic Opportunities This cash economy is leaving many of our residents behind. Homelessness is on the rise in our District. We have homeless camping in the streets, mountains, and other public places. This is not good for them and not good for the public. The world is changing. Jobs that are here today will not be here tomorrow.

Fortunately, we have very successful residents who are willing to help and share. As a city councilwoman for my District, I will also focus on this area – to help our residents explore start-ups, resources, education and options to lift ourselves and our families to the countless opportunities out there for economic gain.

 

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

www.VoteChoon.com

www.CountryTalkStory.com

Choon James: Cap on Property Taxes For Local Residents

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.
If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?
Many residents have several jobs to keep themselves afloat. Our seniors have to postpone retirement. Kupuna are worried about being priced out of house and home and not being able to pass the family inheritance on to the next generation. Our residents worry when the government is going to slam them with more taxes and fees!

We must protect our home front first! I want to champion and work with the other 8 council members to

~ ~ provide a property tax cap for local homeowners who have lived in their homes for 15 years or more. ( California did Prop 13 in 1978!)

~~ provide incentives to property owners who rent long-term to long term residents.

~~ Focus on increasing truly affordable rentals/homes inventory These foundation improvements will help mitigate some of the challenges we face in Oahu today. It will also protect our residents’ ability to remain in our island home and not be priced out.

 

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

www.VoteChoon.com

www.CountryTalkStory.com

Choon James: Trained Alternative to “Politics As Usual”

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations
What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

I’m a CITIZEN CANDIDATE, not a career politician or a career bureaucrat, like some candidates. I’ve been a successful small businesswoman for 30 years.

Status Quo has not served us well. I want to positively improve Oahu for my children and your children. I

do not accept donations from special interests so I’m not beholden to do their bidding or owe any favors. I’ve mostly paid for this campaign on my own. I’ve been happily involved in civic and public affairs for decades with no compensation expected.

I have been an environmental, social and economic justice advocate and activist at City Hall with land use issues such as “Keep The Country Country”, preserving farmlands, food sustainability, open space, preserving parks, capital spending issues and others.

For the past 10 years, I’ve personally been involved in budgeting process and workings of Honolulu Hale. I’ve grown older and impatient and wish to make a difference INSIDE City Hall. I don’t have an ego nor am I looking to save my job. I truly believe that a public office is to serve the public good; it’s not a profiteering office.

 

I have severe concerns about the direction that Honolulu is heading. We cannot continue to fund the runaway Honolulu Rail without firm fiscal scrutiny and accountability. I’m volunteering myself as an able and trained alternative to “business as usual” politics.

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

www.VoteChoon.com

www.CountryTalkStory.com

 

Choon James For Honolulu City Council District 2

Name on ballot: JAMES, Choon
Running for: Honolulu City Council
District (if applicable):District 2
Political party: Nonpartisan
Campaign website: www.VoteChoon.com
Current occupation: Real Estate Broker
Age: 61
Previous job history: College Instructor
Previous elected office, if any: Community Associations

Community organizations/prior offices held

Chair, Defend Oahu Coalition – Keep The Country Country; president, BYU-Hawaii Alumni Association; president, Laie Point Community Association; board member, Laie Community Association; founding member, Kahuku Hospital Board, Save Oahu Farmlands Alliance; member, Honolulu Board of Realtors; producer, Olelo Community Media; member, Hawaii Thousand Friends; member, Sierra Club; member, Ko’olauloa Sustainable Communities Advisory Planning Committee; member, Amnesty International; member, Friends of South Pass City; member, Relief Society Women’s Organization; merit badge counselor, Aloha Council BSA.
What qualifies you to represent the people of Hawaii?

I’m a CITIZEN CANDIDATE, not a career politician or a career bureaucrat, like some candidates. I’ve been a successful small businesswoman for 30 years.

Status Quo has not served us well. I want to positively improve Oahu for my children and your children. I

do not accept donations from special interests so I’m not beholden to do their bidding or owe any favors. I’ve mostly paid for this campaign on my own. I’ve been happily involved in civic and public affairs for decades with no compensation expected.

I have been an environmental, social and economic justice advocate and activist at City Hall with land use issues such as “Keep The Country Country”, preserving farmlands, food sustainability, open space, preserving parks, capital spending issues and others.

For the past 10 years, I’ve personally been involved in budgeting process and workings of Honolulu Hale. I’ve grown older and impatient and wish to make a difference INSIDE City Hall. I don’t have an ego nor am I looking to save my job. I truly believe that a public office is to serve the public good; it’s not a profiteering office.

If elected, what will be your highest legislative priority?
Many residents have several jobs to keep themselves afloat. Our seniors have to postpone retirement. Kupuna are worried about being priced out of house and home and not being able to pass the family inheritance on to the next generation. Our residents worry when the government is going to slam them with more taxes and fees!

We must protect our home front first! I want to champion and work with the other 8 council members to

~ ~ provide a property tax cap for local homeowners who have lived in their homes for 15 years or more. ( California did Prop 13 in 1978!)

~~ provide incentives to property owners who rent long-term to long term residents.

~~ Focus on increasing truly affordable rentals/homes inventory These foundation improvements will help mitigate some of the challenges we face in Oahu today. It will also protect our residents’ ability to remain in our island home and not be priced out.

What are the top three challenges facing the voters you seek to represent?

District 2 is the most diversified and largest land area in the City Council. We span rural communities from Kahalu’u to Wahiawa to an award-winning planned community in Mililani Mauka. We have wonderful residents!

1. Costs of Living & Housing – Hawaii is such a beautiful place with a stable political environment that does not discriminate real estate ownership; our local residents have to compete with international investors for real estate holdings. Increased property values and property taxes outpace many residents’ fixed social security and income. Our residents are feeling priced out on so many different levels.

Many work 2-3 jobs to make ends meet and sustain themselves. Our young people have to resort to exchange babysitting in parking lots on the way to work! Kupuna are worried about sustaining themselves in their golden years and passing on the family home to their children.

Most of us work very hard to make a living.

The government must deliberate carefully before imposing escalating fees and taxes on our people. Residents are not eternal money trees.

2. Quality of Life Ko’olauloa and North Shore is the Oahu’s golden goose for tourism. While residents are welcoming, the quality of life must be considered. Residents are overwhelmed by the increased amount of tourists. Tourism’ multiplier impacts on our infrastructure and public space are real. Traffic is a constant aggravation. The one hundred- year-old Kamehameha Highway, parks, other finite natural resources and other municipal services have to be considered into policy-making and deliberations .

3. Economic Opportunities This cash economy is leaving many of our residents behind. Homelessness is on the rise in our District. We have homeless camping in the streets, mountains, and other public places. This is not good for them and not good for the public. The world is changing. Jobs that are here today will not be here tomorrow.

Fortunately, we have very successful residents who are willing to help and share. As a city councilwoman for my District, I will also focus on this area – to help our residents explore start-ups, resources, education and options to lift ourselves and our families to the countless opportunities out there for economic gain.

If elected, what can you do to improve the lives of your constituents?

Our residents are working very hard to make a living and sustaining themselves. I truly believe government is for betterment of the happiness, welfare and prosperity of our people.

1. Thus, I will be very firm and cognizant in fiscal decision-making. Is the spending good for the residents? Are local residents the primary beneficiaries? Is it absolutely necessary?

2. We also need to maintain clean, safe, and efficient core municipal services for our communities.

3. I will become your good friend. I will visit you in YOUR neighborhood and work with you.

4. We MUST protect our residents FIRST. They are the major stakeholders in Oahu. The Honolulu City Council has tremendous leverage and oversight to mitigate development agendas for Oahu.

5. We must have an over-arching understanding of what we wish Oahu to become. We must base our decision-making consistent with the Oahu General Plan (and Hawaii 2050), which offers objectives and policy guidelines for Population, Economic, Social, Cultural and Recreation, Tourism, Natural Environment, Transportation, Energy, Public Safety, Health & Education, Government Operations and Fiscal management to sustain and maintain our island home.

Is there anything else you would like voters to know about you?

I’m a citizen candidate. I do not accept donations from lobbyists or corporations. I owe nobody favors or fear except to work with you residents to improve some basic challenges facing us.

I have severe concerns about the direction that Honolulu is heading. We cannot continue to fund the runaway Honolulu Rail without firm fiscal scrutiny and accountability. I’m volunteering myself as an able and trained alternative to “business as usual” politics.

You can rely on my decades-old record of activism and advocacy. I have been consistent. I maintain a world-view outlook. But I also recognize that we live on a small island.

Additionally, my profession as a real estate broker allows me to work with people from all walks of life and status. We treat every client with care and respect. Should there be a challenge, we quickly and methodically address them with all parties and professionals concerned and find solutions to the benefit of all.

I have great confidence we can tackle Oahu’s challenges together! It doesn’t matter if we’re young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican, military or civilian, unionized or not – – we all have the same dreams for ourselves and our children. We can be fair and reasonable in decision-making; we can all win! There are solutions to the challenges on our island home.

You the residents have valuable local knowledge and wisdom to share. Many of us also have international experience, professionally combed the world, and gained insights and expertise. Collectively, we can improve our island home! Let’s put YOUR smarts, imagination, expertise, common sense, and aloha together to improve our lives and communities.

Let’s gang up for the public good! I humbly ask for YOUR vote.

Choon James

808 293 8888 text

ChoonJamesHawaii@gmail.com

www.VoteChoon.com

www.CountryTalkStory.com