- Name: David S. Y. Chang
- Current job: CEO/President WealthBridge Inc, PowerH2O LLC, and Cabinet and Stone Factory
- Background: What qualifies you for the position? What else have you run for? Have you been in public office before and if so, what position?
o Growing up in a first generation family who immigrated to this great nation we call home, I understand deeply what it means to come to this country, to work hard and to want your children to have a better life. It is with this gratitude that I attended West Point and have served this great nation as a combat veteran. In serving our country, I learned the values and benefits of leadership, discipline and accountability. Now I would like to serve our community, by running for the House of Representatives.
o As a small business owner, I understand intimately the challenges of the small business community in our district, because I too, face day-to-day the same impediments and burdens that block the flow of prosperity to our community, the valuable prosperity that not only provides important jobs for our residents, but also the important programs that sectors of our community rely on. This year I am grateful to have been recognized as the 2010 Young Business Leader of the Year by Pacific Business News. I would like to bring those business skills to serve the resident of our community.
o At the East-West Center, where I pursued and received my graduate degree as a fellow, I never forgot how hard my parents worked to help me achieve this distinct honor. My compassion for the community and my desire to better understand the root of our problems led me to study for and receive my Master’s of Art in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary.
o Member of Downtown Honolulu civic organizations: Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Honolulu Chamber of Commerce
- Major issues: What are the biggest issue in your district/state and your proposed solutions? and Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii?
o We need to rebuild our economy. Having a fully employed work force builds prosperity for all and enables us to affordably fund excellent education and social services. We need to encourage businesses to locate here in Hawaii. 70% of Hawaii’s jobs are created by small businesses, but Hawaii is the second-most-expensive place to do business in the world behind Tokyo, Japan.
o We must help small businesses grow and be able to compete in the international marketplace. This will also create attractive jobs for Hawaii’s future generations. We also need to foster the development of a diversified and sustainable economic base where open markets and competition spur innovation. We need to ensure balance in our legislation to give equal opportunity to all of Hawaii’s citizens.
o We can strengthen our economy by lowering taxes and minimizing government interference. This will allow businesses to grow, bring more revenue to the state, and provide more jobs and opportunities in our communities. People should be able to keep more of their money for their families so they can have a chance to invest and build their future for greater security. I want to create a user-friendly government that will foster the development of a diversified and sustainable economic base where open markets and competition spurs innovation
- Budget philosophy: What is your budget philosophy? Do you foresee increases in revenue through tax hikes and fees or do you believe in cutting spending?
o Hawaii’s residents have the highest tax burden in the country. This stifles innovation and small business growth, which provides 70% of our jobs. We must restore commonsense Hawaiian values to our economic policies. This means spending only the money the government has in its coffers, eliminating waste, making hard choices, enforcing accountability and efficiency, and helping Hawaii’s working families. Getting our financial house in order will enable us to begin building a vibrant and prosperous economy that will be built on Hawaii’s diverse people, individual liberties, initiative, and equality of opportunity for everyone.
- Taxes and fees: Do you believe Hawaii’s taxes should be lowered or increased? If you do plan to raise taxes and fees, which specific taxes or fees would you increase? Or would you sign a pledge that says you will not raise taxes?
o “Winston Churchill once remarked: ‘For a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle.’ Mr. Churchill was right. The American people know that we cannot tax and spend our way to a growing economy.
o Every small business owner that I have talked to agrees that the cost of doing business is very high. Roughly 99 percent of Hawai`i’s businesses, 70 percent of our private jobs, and 57 percent of our payroll come from small businesses. Small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs over the past 15 years. In Hawai`i, small business is really big business. They create the jobs that support our families and connect us to the hope of a better future for our keiki and mo`opuna. In a recent article by CNBC, Hawaii ranked 48 out of 50 in top states to do business in.
o Lower taxes and regulation must be offset by growing our economic tax base and eliminating government waste for more efficient management of public resources.
o I would sign a pledge saying I will not raise taxes.
- Rail: If the city has difficulty raising enough revenue for the rail, would you support state tax support for the rail project?
o I would not support it at this moment. Currently the city has to pay 6 billion for the sewers. The city cannot afford the added the costs to the rail. We have the highest taxes in the nation, any additional taxes will be detrimental to Hawaii’s economy.
- Legalized Gambling: Do you believe gambling should be legalized in Hawaii in any form and if so, in what form?
o Gambling should not be legalized.
- Public Education: What are your plans to support the public education system while ensuring accountability and results for our students? Do you support an appointed or elected school board?
o Establish Hawaii’s version of “Race to the Top” to provide extra funding to school which implement innovative learning programs and improve test scores. Implements performance-based salaries for teachers so teachers who perform well are rewarded with increased pay. Also requires that 90% of funds in this program go directly to students or teachers at classroom level.
o Require a comprehensive financial and management audit of the Department of Education. Revises Department of Education budgeting processes so money goes first to schools then to management not vice versa the way it is now.
o Require the members of the Board of Education to be nominated and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed by the governor
- Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit?
o Crime is a serious issue that affects everyone in society. We have the responsibility to maintain respect for our laws and judicial system. We must keep our communities safe and uphold victims’ rights, while ensuring swift justice for the perpetrators of crime. I support community based programs that empower people to prevent or reduce crime, such as neighborhood watch, community policing and reaching out to Hawaii’s youth with a positive influence. We must also ensure trust and accountability in our judicial system.
- Second Amendment: Would you support concealed carry or more freedom for law abiding firearms owners, do you feel the current laws should remain in place, or do you believe stricter gun laws should be in place?
o I support second amendment rights and freedom for law abiding firearms owners.
- Homeless: What is your solution to homelessness?
o There will have to be a multi-prong approach to the problem. Many are homeless because of the high cost of living, mental problems, and drug or alcohol addictions. We need to empower private and civic community action to help the homeless with their respective problems. The government can assist with temporary housing, job training and placement and in the long-run work to lower the cost of living
- Compact with Micronesia: Micronesians are able to freely move to Hawaii, which they are doing in large numbers to take advantage of the public education system, medical services and other government benefits. But the governor and other public officials say they are taxing Hawaii’s resources and costing the state more than $100 million a year. This is a federal decision, but would you share your view on whether the Compact with Micronesia should remain in place, should there be some parameters put on the Compact or do you have other solutions?
o There should be parameters put on the Compact so Hawaii’s hard working taxpayers are not paying for people taking advantage of the system.
- Akaka Bill: What is your position on the Akaka Bill? Do you believe it will unite or divide Hawaii? What is your vision for how the Akaka Bill will change Hawaii?
o I oppose the Akaka Bill in its current form.
- Jones Act: Opponents of the federal Jones Act say it increases the cost of living in Hawaii through a shipping duopoly while supporters say it is needed to ensure port security and American jobs. While this is a federal decision, would you share your view on whether you support an exemption for Hawaii from the Jones Act or should it remain in place?
o I believe we should repeal the Jones Act and allow for open competitive markets.
- Endorsements you would like to list:
– Hawaii Medical Association’s PAC (HAMPAC)
– Build-PAC Hawaii
– Aloha Family Alliance PAC
– Hawaii Right to Life
– Hawaii Christian Coalition
– The United Korean Association of Hawaii
Mail: 1188 Bishop Street #2710 Honolulu, HI 96813
Web site address: www.forDavidChang.com
Campaign Slogan or Theme (optional): Action and Accountability, We Can and Must do Better!
Take as much room as you need to answer questions. Please return the survey to Hawaii Reporter via Malia@hawaiireporter.com by September 10, 2010. The surveys will be printed unedited in the order they are received and distributed to 7,000 subscribers. Call 306-3161 with any questions. Please include a photo if you have one available. Thank you.