Sharon Rie Lum Ho (D): State Representative, District 31, Aiea

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Name: Sharon Rie Lum Ho

Current job: Committee Clerk for Senator J. Kalani English


Residence: I returned to our family home in Aliamanu about 8 years ago.

Background: I have a law degree, I’ve interned in the San Francisco DA’s office where I argued before a panel of Appellate Judges and gained some experience as a crime fighter.  I worked for an immigration attorney in San Francisco.  I’ve worked at the State legislature as a committee clerk since 2005.  Next to the Senator, the committee clerk is responsible for ensuring that legislation is drafted and given a proper and fair hearing.  In addition, I am the mother of a son and daughter who both received bachelor’s degrees from outstanding universities and both are pursuing goals in their chosen fields.  I have owned and sold a number of homes and paid mortgages and share many of the same concerns about rising taxes and less government services as most of my neighbors.  I live with my elderly mother and am aware of how aging affects an individual and the challenges that must be faced on a daily basis.

Major issues: The economy, in particular unemployment.  Many individuals who are unemployed worked in construction, the tourist industry, or the airlines.  Some have been unemployed for more than a year.  The most devastating are families in which the husband and wife are unemployed and are faced with losing their home, healthcare benefits, and worried about feeding their children.  All of us pay the cost when the unemployed cannot find work.

Traffic is another problem. The Salt Lake widening project must be completed.  Safety is an issue at both ends of the uncompleted section where 4 lanes narrow down to 2 lanes.  Furthermore, drivers speed through our neighborhoods to the freeway.  Our residential streets were not meant to carry that amount of traffic. Also, Neighborhood Watch programs become less effective when there are so many vehicles wandering through the streets.

Budget philosophy:  I believe in reducing cost by taking measures that do not involve the loss of jobs.  For example, the Senate is moving toward a paperless hearing process that uses the Microsoft program Onenote to electronically organize all of the material used in a hearing.  The savings included less spent on paper, pens, files, folders, stapes, toners, and the cost of storing and filing all the folders.

Taxes and fees: I want to keep taxes and fees in line with the cost of living/wages.  So, if taxes and fees are increased wages should be increased.

Rail: No.

Legalized Gambling: No.

Public Education: I think that there are pros and cons to supporting either choice, however, I lean more toward keeping an elected board and implementing a thorough investigation into the root cause of the current problem versus pouring more money into the system or adding another layer of bureaucracy thinking that would solve the immediate problem.  It seems that the more successful schools are those where the parent, teachers and community are involved in the education of the student.

Economic Growth: What are your plans to promote long-term economic growth for Hawaii? I would promote a diversified economy. Encourage small business for a sustainable Hawaii versus conglomerates.  Monopolies discourage investment in small businesses and competitive prices for the consumer.

My plans include an investment in children, education and training as the basic foundation for the future.  We need to promote and reward innovation and creative thinking.  As tourism slowly fades as the primary industry, we must have a clear vision of Hawaii 50 years from now.  Mayor Fasi proposed the rail almost a half century ago when Hawaii was expanding.  We may have reached maximum carrying capacity for this island.  We must begin to envision how Hawaii will be marketed; perhaps as a Marketplace of Ideas, Research & Development because the internet can be the vehicle for the transmission of ideas instantaneously.  Global corporations can house their R&D centers here.  By exploring this avenue we may keep our best and brightest youngsters here.

Crime: What is your solution to making Oahu a safer place to live and visit? Enacting laws that are enforceable and making crime prevention a top priority.  This can be accomplished by keeping a dialogue open with the City & County of Honolulu and the Police Department. I learned as an intern in the San Francisco’s Office that quick response and consistent sentencing sends a message that creating a safe place to live and visit is a top priority.

Second Amendment: The current laws should remain in place.

Homeless: Seek active participation by the homeless in finding a solution. More importantly, we have to look at the root of the problem and evaluate the levels of homelessness versus merely providing shelter without knowing whether the homeless are going to function in the shelters.  There’s a sector of the homeless who prefer not to live in shelters, there’s a group who were released from institutions or prisons who because of reduced government services must now fend for themselves on the streets.  Then there are many who in times of recession need some temporary assistance.  A single solution is not going to work.  Churches, non-profits, other charitable groups need to step up to help the needy.

Compact with Micronesia: The Compact should remain in place.  The State of Hawaii assumed the responsibility of caring for the Micronesians during brighter economic times.  The responsibility should be shared equally by the 50 States because the US government devastated the region by nuclear testing.  It is reasonable that the Micronesians would choose to live in Hawaii because we are geographically and socially very similar.  However, the other states should help us with the cost of providing services to the Micronesians.

Akaka Bill:  I support the Bill because the Federal government provides the same sovereign right to the Native Americans and Alaska Native.  Without a compelling reason, it legally and naturally follows that the Natives of Hawaii should have the same right.

Jones Act: The Jones Act should remain in place.

Endorsements you would like to list: Senator J. Kalani English and many individuals who reflect the composition of our diverse district. The list includes: taxpayers, the employed and unemployed, union and non-union members, teachers, seamstresses, waiters, waitresses, caretakers, Christians, Buddhists, small business owners, government workers, the elderly, parents, English speakers and non-English speakers, military personnel, and people of all races, etc.

Contact information:

Phone: 551-2571


Mail: P.O. Box 13058 –  Aiea, HI  96701

Web site address:

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