• The Garden Island is asking the same three questions of every candidate for the House of Representatives, to help residents decide who to vote for on Nov. 8.
Nadine Nakamura is the Democratic candidate to represent District 14, which covers Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa and Wailua Houselots. If elected, she hopes to find ways to alleviate traffic congestion, protect cultural and natural resources and address affordable housing.
TGI: What strengths will you bring to the House of Representatives?
Nakamura: My strengths include my experience in public, private and nonprofit sectors, my background in urban and regional planning and my approach to problem-solving.
I served as a Kauai County Council member and county managing director. I operated my planning consulting business for over 20 years working on planning studies, environmental assessments and strategic plans. I also worked for a non-profit affordable housing developer.
I like to do research to understand issues, hear different points of views, and make informed decisions. I believe that difficult problems require bringing diverse stakeholders together to listen, learn and find common solutions.
TGI: What do you see as the top two priorities for your district?
Nakamura: Traffic along the Wailua-Kapaa corridor is a priority. State funding is needed for the following projects:
One south-bound lane between the Wailua Bridge and the southern terminus of the Kapaa Bypass Road, fronting Coco Palms hotel; one north-bound lane on the Kapaa Bypass Road, between the roundabout and Kuhio Highway; adding one more Lihue-bound lane between the Hilton Garden Inn to Hanamaulu.
The need for affordable housing is another priority for this district. Identifying potential land, partnering with landowners to provide infrastructure, and providing low-cost financing is needed to give our residents affordable housing opportunities.
TGI: As a legislator, what would you do to improve the lives of the people you represent?
Nakamura: Aside from the top two priorities listed above, I would like to explore a state-county-private sector partnership for permanent North Shore and Eastside Shuttles.
I would like to work with the county to pursue funding for the operations of an assessment center for juveniles with substance abuse, mental health and other related issues. I believe we need to support small businesses and help to diversify our economy, which is why I support the creation of the Kauai Creative Technology Center and the Food Production and Education Center.
We need to support and enhance all efforts to promote food sustainability.