My Voice

2020 Civil Beat Survey

1. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing Native Hawaiians? What will you do about it?

The pressing issues in Hawaii County are affordable housing, drugs and homelessness. These pressing issues are further complicated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is time we invest OHA resources in our community, our people and our economy. With unemployment soaring and everyone’s livelihood in turmoil, we need to ensure OHA fulfills its purpose by providing resources towards improving conditions for Native Hawaiian.  As a trustee, I will focus on increasing funds in the trust to improve our ‘aina, perpetuate our culture, ensure economic self-sufficiency, education, governance and the health of our Native Hawaiians.  We need to provide funds and resources to help drive and build long term resiliency.

2. What would you do to change how OHA is run?

It is important to change the perception of the OHA Board of Trustees.  The OHA Board of Trustees are responsible for setting OHA policy and managing the agency’s trust. With my extensive leadership experience, I will bring civility to the boardroom.  I have been successful managing multimillion-dollar budgets, making strategic decisions to increase revenues and fulfill the needs of our staff and management.  It is time to increase the funds in the trust, there are billions of dollars out there for OHA to support our Hawaiian Community. It is time for new blood, new energy, to get new results.  

3. What would you do to bridge the gaps within the Native Hawaiian community over issues like construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope or development of energy projects?

By being visible, reaching out to the community and being a voice on the issues.  I have always been a leader that is approachable and effective.  My leadership style has always been to be well educated on the issues. This requires taking the time to meet and listen to all concerned parties before making informed decisions.  Communication is key to ensuring the Hawaiian Community understand the role of OHA and the action that can and will be implemented on all the pertinent issues.  

4. Do you support the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope atop Mauna Kea? Why or why not?

No, I oppose the project in its current form.

5. Do you support OHA providing financial aid to Mauna Kea protesters?

If the process for obtaining financial assistance is in line with the OHA polices governed, I am in support of the process.  

6. What role should the Department of Hawaiian Homelands play in reducing homelessness?

I believe OHA and DHHL can be more creative in partnering to develop low income assistance housing.

7. Why do you think Hawaiians are disproportionately represented in our prisons and jails? What can be done about it?

We see a pattern across America with native people.  After generations of being displaced from our land, culture, and sense of self worth Native Hawaiians struggle with drugs, homelessness, and domestic violence.  Having affordable housing, better education and a sustainable economic model is a start.  Until Native Hawaiians no longer feel disenfranchised in their own land it will be difficult to break the cycle.  

8. What are your views regarding Hawaiian self-determination?

The Kingdom of Hawaii never ceased rather is being occupied by the USA.  If you are speaking only of Kanaka Maoli that would be Federal recognition and a government to government relationship with a Native Hawaiian governing entity.  This would give Kanaka Maoli access to billions of dollars for education, housing, economic development, and healthcare.  

9. What other important issue would you like to discuss here?  


Everyone’s first question is “Why? Why run for Hawaii Island OHA Trustee”. The truth is, I witnessed firsthand the difficulty my parents faced building a home on DHHL land.  My father, Rocky Cashman shares in the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement video  “what is sad is Hawaiians need more help from the people who are supposed to be helping them, and that is not happening”.  I get emotional watching the video (and you will too) and those words continue to haunt me every day.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) is an organization tasked directly with helping Native Hawaiians and I am committed to ensuring that as a trustee, Hawaiians will get the help they need and deserve.  

2020 Ka Wai Ola Survey 

1. What are the top three issues facing the Native Hawaiian community today?

The pressing issues facing the Native Hawaiian community today are affordable housing, economic self-sufficiency, and homelessness. These issues are further complicated by the global COVID-19 pandemic. With unemployment soaring and everyone’s livelihood in turmoil, we need to ensure OHA fulfills its purpose by providing resources towards improving conditions for Native Hawaiians.  As a trustee, I will focus on increasing funds in the trust to improve our ‘aina, perpetuate our culture, ensure economic self-sufficiency, education, governance and the health of our Native Hawaiians.  

2. OHA’s mission is to improve conditions for Native Hawaiians. What skills do you offer to help OHA fulfill its mission?

The OHA Board of Trustees are responsible for setting OHA policy and managing the agency’s trust to improve the conditions for Native Hawaiians. As a hospitality and healthcare executive, I will bring my extensive leadership knowledge to the boardroom.  I have been successful managing multimillion-dollar budgets, making strategic decisions to increase revenues and fulfill the needs of our staff and management.  It is time to increase the funds in the trust, there are billions of dollars out there for OHA to support our Hawaiian Community. It is time for new blood, new energy, to get new results.  

3. How can OHA better ensure that Maunakea and its cultural and environmental integrity are appropriately protected?

OHA addresses the mismanagement of Maunakea in the pending lawsuit against the State of Hawaiʻi and the University of Hawaiʻi.  The lawsuit declares that the State of Hawaiʻi and the University of Hawaiʻi have breached and continue to breach their fiduciary duties by failing to properly manage the ceded lands on Maunakea.  OHA needs to have a seat at the table and a say in the management of Maunakea, of which they currently do not.  When OHA is included in the decision-making process, the cultural and environmental integrity of the Maunakea will be appropriately protected.  

1. Should affordable housing incentives (fee waivers, regulatory exemptions, state funds and other subsidies) require housing developers to ensure that their projects are actually affordable to local middle- and lower-income families?

YES

2. OHA should receive 20% of Public Land Trust (PLT) revenues annually per legislation passed in 1980.  That has never been honored.  Instead, OHA receives about 3.8% of PLT revenue annually.  Do you support fulfilling the state’s PLT revenue obligation to OHA?

YES

3. Would you support a “green fee” levied on every visitor to the state that would be used exclusively to support ‘āina conservation programs (invasive species removal, reforestation, establishment of additional nature preserves/sanctuaries, etc.)?

YES

4. Do you support legislation to incentivize diversified, regenerative agriculture and establish 100% self-sustainable food resources for Hawaiʻi to establish food sovereignty?

YES

5. Should the state land use commission’s unique procedures protecting public trust resources and Native Hawaiian rights be reduced or removed when urban-type developments are proposed for agricultural or rural lands?

NO

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