I dream of stories that move the hearts of people to live with love and compassion rather than with anger, enough so that they make the world more peaceful.
I envision music events that bring people together, putting smiles on faces and giving them joy even if it’s for just a moment.
I believe in agricultural products that are enjoyed around the world and every time people take a bite, they know it’s from Hawaii.
Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by. It’s amazing how fast time goes by. I’ve been writing in this journal since December 2002, just after my entrance into State politics. In that year, I also started my first business, an Internet retail store selling Hawaiian or island-themed products. I created this journal so I could share my political journey, as well as my experience in business and life in general. I’ve enjoyed not just sharing legislation and business projects, but also my interest in the arts and popular culture. Now that I’m taking a break from public service – elected and appointed office, I’m going to put all my efforts, ideas, and passion into my business projects. I’m working on a few with my friends right now. I will also advocate hard on behalf of businesses that need help with transactions, legislation, grants, and other issues.
As far as my journal, I’ll continue to write about public policy every so often, but my main focus will be about positive living. I will highlight services or products that can help us to achieve a more happy and fulfilling life. Of course positive living is a practice and it starts with each of us, but if we can better ourselves by learning from others or utilizing products to help us stay on course than its worth the try. I will also post music, art, and writings that can lift your spirit. Basically, I will do my best to showcase things that can be of value to your life. Take care, stay positive, and make the most of every moment.
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
Hawaii is going through its worst economic downturn. I am determined to make Hawaii more sustainable by reducing our reliance on imports such as oil and out-of-state food by supporting renewable energy development and local farmers. I will do all I can to strenthen our tourism, technology, science, health, and film industries. I will continue to support project-based learning in our public grade schools and ensure we have a stable public community college and university system. Finally, I am committed to reduce violence in Hawaii.
In summary, these are my short-term goals for Hawaii: 1. Make Hawaii a top 100 economic power per capita in the world; 2. Ensure 40% of our food is grown in Hawaii; 3. Have 10% of our energy produced in Hawaii; and 4. Reduce Hawaii’s violent crimes by 40%.
My long-term and far-fetched goals for Hawaii: 1. Make Hawaii a top 25 economic power per capita in the world; 2. Ensure 60% of our food is grown in Hawaii; 3. Have 20% of our energy produced in Hawaii; and 4. Reduce Hawaii’s violent crimes by 75%.
Success of the above goals will give Hawaii the flexibility to provide more services in areas of transportation, health coverage, and long-term care. My goal is to have a diversified transportation system, ensure 97% of Hawaii’s people are covered with health insurance, and create a program to help expand long-term care insurance coverage to 90% of Hawaii’s population.
My long-term & far-fetched goals for the world: Reduce the violence in the world by 75%, unite 90% of the world’s countries, expand space exploration beyond our galaxy. Dreams are what makes me look forward to tomorrow.
Fortunately, I was able to achieve many of my goals in my platform for our community and Hawaii. I will be presenting to you my latest list of goals for our community and Hawaii in the near future.
Jon Riki Karamatsu
[“Jon Riki Karamatsu’s Vision for Hawaii – Target Date 2022” was printed in “Community Recipes III” in 2006]
REPRESENTATIVE JON RIKI KARAMATSU’S VISION FOR HAWAII – TARGET DATE: 2022
Ensure there is adequate funding to promote Hawaii as a premiere destination. Create an emergency tourism fund to help the tourism industry recover from a world crisis. (ACHIEVED IN 2007 – Created an emergency toursim fund).
Identify important agricultural lands and attach incentives to the land. (ACHIEVED IN 2008 – Triggered process for identifying important agricultural lands and attached agricultural cost tax credits to important agricultural lands)
Create a program to allow the state to bid and purchase grade A & B agricultural land for sale. The state in turn can build the necessary farming infrastructure and lease the land to farmers. This would fast track the protection of Hawaii’s most important agricultural lands while the government and respected parties try to identify important agricultural lands and create incentives to be attached to these lands. (REP. KARAMATSU’S KUNIA BILL PASSED THE LEGISLATURE IN 2007 BUT WAS VETOED BY THE GOVERNOR). (GALBRAITH ESTATE BILL PASSED LEGISLATURE IN 2008)
Initiate a below market-rate loan program for farmers. (ACHIEVED IN 2008 – State guarantee loan).
Science, Technology, and Renewable Energy Industries
Establish an innovation fund that provides grants and investments for Hawaii science, technology, and renewable energy companies.
Build a science and technology park large enough to lease laboratories and manufacturing facilities to Hawaii science, technology companies, and renewable energy companies.
Create a green facility tax credit for facilities that produce clean energy to lessen our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce the amount of solid waste entering our landfills.
Ensure Hawaii’s film tax credits are competitive to other localities in the U.S. and abroad to attract film projects and encourage local film makers to film here. (ACHIEVED IN 2006 – Film production tax credit).
Maintain and update Diamond Head Studios. (ACHIEVED IN 2006 – Appropriated funds for improvements).
Support University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media. (ACHIEVED IN 2006 – Appropriated funds).
Encourage Exporting and International Trade
Tax incentives for Hawaii businesses or individuals that bring in a majority of their revenues into Hawaii from abroad.
Create an international liaison office for the Hawaii State Legislature.
Support Hawaii State trade missions.
Encourage the development of a World Trade Center in Honolulu.
Maintain and update Aloha Stadium. (ACHIEVED IN 2006 – Appropriated funds for renovation).
Build a multi-use racecar track to attract national and international races.
Attract international sporting events such as soccer and baseball games to Hawaii.
Create a kindergarten to twelfth grade science and technology magnet school to prepare our children for exciting careers in Hawaii’s knowledge-based economy such as science, technology, biotechnology, medical research, agricultural research, film, and digital media.
Start a sexual assault education program within the Department of Education’s current sex education program. Sex assault awareness will help alleviate this cycle of violence in our society.
Build a University of Hawaii West Oahu campus. (ACHIEVED IN 2007 – Appropriated funds to build a new UH West Oahu campus).
Ensure the mass transit system is built on Oahu with connections to light rail systems and buses that branch out to gathering areas around Oahu.
Support economic hubs around mass transit stations such as grocery stores, drug stores, and restaurants to help fund the mass transit system and make it convenient for passengers to get their errands done.
Ensure a portion of the conveyance tax is used to fund the development of affordable housing. (ACHIEVED IN 2007 – Expanded amount of funds from the conveyance fund to develop affordable rental units)
Support incentives for people who invest in affordable housing projects.
Create a tax-deferred housing savings and investment program for Hawaii taxpayers.
Support a comprehensive recycling program for homes, businesses, and public facilities.
Stronger penalties for high degree sex assault offenders.
Require high degree sex assault offenders on probation to have a global positioning system attached to them.
Support funding community programs such as those aimed at preventing drug abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and helping at-risk-youths and single mothers. (ACHIEVED IN 2007 – Funded various non-profit corporations)
Designate a peace day or peace holiday. (ACHIEVED IN 2007 – Hawaii State law recognizes September 21 of each year as Peace Day).
[“Jon Riki Karamtsu’s Vision for Hawaii” was printed in his “Community Recipes II” in 2004]
JON RIKI KARAMATSU’S VISION FOR HAWAII
I dream of making Hawaii a global economic power in technology, biotechnology, agricultural research, science, art, digital media, film, and alternative energy, which will benefit everyone. Entrepreneurs will play a significant role in creating new services and products. Skilled workers will be able to find jobs in Hawaii instead of leaving for the mainland United States. Labor will have more jobs in service, transporting goods, and building and maintaining infrastructure. The knowledge-based economy will be a wonderful addition to our tourism, military, and agriculture industries. This dream inspires me to keep working hard step by step. If island areas such as Japan and Taiwan can do it, so can Hawaii!
With a strong and diversified economy, more money will enter Hawaii and more revenues will be collected by the state. As a result, community programs will be positively impacted such as those working on drugs, domestic violence, sexual assault, at-risk youth, and crime.
In addition, I want to see Hawaii with a comprehensive recycling program where everyone participates. Every government building, transportation facility, college, private business, home, townhouse community trash location, and apartment building will have containers for “bottles and cans,” “burnable,” and “others. I will look to see if Hawaii can have a state-of-the-art facility to turn trash into re-usable material and convert processing energy into electricity. Technology will play a key role in recycling.
In regards to education, I would like to create a curriculum to get our children to be entrepreneurial with the lessons they learned in all their courses so they can understand that there is practicality in taking so many types of subject matters. I want to build a magnet science, technology and business school for students in the 8th to 12th grade levels. I also want to create a program encouraging parental involvement in their child’s education.
Further, I would like to see a modern mass transit system on Oahu that blends nicely with our city and environment. This system will stop at major locations throughout the island.
Finally, I hope a strong economy, an excellent education system, positive community programs, and increased parental involvement in their children’s lives will have a direct correlation in reducing crime. If so, that would top off my dream. I hope to achieve these goals in my political career.