Fukushima seeks council seat

  • Bethany Freudenthal/The Garden Island

    Richard Fukushima

LIHUE — Educating people about the role of government in their lives and bringing them together is why Richard Fukushima says he is running for Kauai County Council.

People, the Kapaa man said, should stop complaining about the government and take action by voting.

When he thinks of the future for his grandchildren on Kauai, Fukushima, 73, said the housing crisis here is unreal.

“Compared to the kind of jobs on Kauai, the only stable jobs you have is with the county government and there’s not too many positions. Like hotel and airlines is the next biggest industry,” he said.

“Most families work two jobs, husband and wife and they still can’t make it,” he said.

As a veteran, Fukushima said issues regarding the new generation of veterans on Kauai is a concern.

“They come back here and they don’t know what to do. They come out with PTSD, post-traumatic stress and they have no help, there’s no help for them,” he said.

Fukushima ran for County Council in 2016. He received 4,178 votes and finished last among 13 candidates.

As a councilmember, Fukushima said he would work to direct veterans to services. He also said he would research how to bring more diversified businesses to the island.

Retired from his library services job with the state, the National Guard, and the airport, Fukushima keeps busy with his volunteer work at his church, New Hope Kauai.

“My hope for Hawaii’s future is unity,” he said.

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