The Third in a Series.
Photos courtesy Josh Green
Editor’s note: In 2022, Leadership for the State and Maui County will be at the forefront with elections for Governor, Maui Mayor, Council, and due to reapportionment, all State Senators and State Representatives will be decided. The primary election will be held on August 13, 2022 with the General Election on November 8, 2022, and it’s not too early to start thinking about the type of State and County leaders needed. While no one officially declared their respective candidacies when this series started (Cayetano recently made an official announcement), several have expressed interest in the gubernatorial race: former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Business Executive/former First Lady Vicky Cayetano, and current Lt. Governor Josh Green. They were simultaneously sent identical questions with the same response date.
This month’s Focus is on Lt. Governor Josh Green. (August’s focus was on former Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell while September’s focus was on Business Executive/former First Lady Vicky Cayetano.)
1. In 100 words or less, please tell us your background, including details about your family, education, and experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
I am a local physician who has spent my entire adult life caring for Hawai‘i families, working as a family physician and ER doctor in rural hospitals and clinics on the Big Island and later as public servant. I was elected to the Hawai‘i State Legislature in 2004 where I served for 14 years in the House and Senate, and currently serve as Lieutenant Governor of Hawai‘i. In 2006, I married my wife, Jaime Ushiroda, Esq. and together we are the proud parents of Maia and Sam.
2. In 200 words or less, please tell us: a) What is your vision for Hawai‘i/Maui? b) What is right with Hawai‘i/Maui? c) What is wrong with Hawai‘i/ Maui?
As a father of two school-aged children, I am deeply aware of the responsibility I carry to build a better future—not just for them, but for all of Hawai‘i. Too many families struggle today to make ends meet and far too many local people leave our state because they can no longer afford to live here. The promise of Hawai‘i—and my vision for our state—is a future where people here can thrive. We must ensure a future where our residents have access to good paying jobs and housing that’s truly affordable. We need a healthy and balanced future that preserves the best of Hawai‘i today—its culture and pristine environment—and a future that harnesses the innovations to come, so that all who call Hawai‘i home can have a top quality of life.
3. In 125 words or less, please describe your relationship with Hawai‘i’s/Maui’s Filipino community.
My relationship with the Filipino community runs deep—and started at the age of 18, when my father moved to the Philippines to work on infrastructure projects. I spent time living in Manila with my dad, and I have many fond memories of my time there—although I must admit I never did learn to eat Balut! My wife Jaime was raised by her Filipina aunties after her mom passed away at a young age and grew up with many of the traditions and experiences common to our Filipino families. Although Jaime and I are not ethnically Filipino, we are often considered Filipino at heart.
4. In 500 words or less, please identify and explain the three greatest needs of Hawai‘i’s/ Maui’s Filipino community.
As a public servant and medical doctor, I have the good fortune of spending time with Filipinos across our state. A common thread in the many stories I have heard throughout the Filipino community begins with an immense pride for a common culture and heritage that remains stronger than ever here in Hawai‘i and a deeply felt hope that tomorrow will be better than today.
If I am fortunate to serve as the next Governor of Hawai‘i, the first area I would focus attention toward is ensuring my leadership team of advisors and state department directors includes people of Filipino ancestry. The Filipino community collectively carries a profound influence on the course of our state—and the voices of Filipinos must continue to be heard and acted upon. The second area I would focus on is providing enough housing that residents can afford and ensuring we create more good paying jobs so that the next generation of Filipinos can continue to call Hawai‘i home. Finally, as a public servant with medical background, I view the challenges we face through the lens of a doctor. As your Governor, that means I’ll continue focusing on health-related issues, particularly for our kūpuna, to ensure they have access to quality medical care and a comfortable lifestyle they deserve.