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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why you should vote for me: Charles Djou


By Charles Djou

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Charles Djou

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The three leading candidates Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa and Republican Charles Djou were each asked by The Advertiser to write a 500-word essay on why they are the best pick for the seat, which will be filled in a special election in May.

I care deeply about Hawai'i. Having been raised here, and raising my own family here, I'm very concerned that it is becoming increasingly difficult to make a living in Hawai'i.

Through my decade of service in public office, I've come to understand that the decisions made in our nation's capital have a profound effect on all of us in these Islands.

I am running for Congress because I understand Hawai'i. I understand the immigrant family in Waipahu because I'm the child of immigrants and understand how difficult it can be to climb the ladder of the American dream.

I understand the military family in Mililani and the veteran's family in Pearl City because I've served in the Army Reserve and understand the value of honor and the meaning of sacrifice.

I understand the construction worker in Kalihi because I've worked in the construction industry. I understand that being put on the bench can be devastating. I understand the hotel worker in Waikīkī because I've represented Waikīkī for the past eight years and understand what the lowest hotel occupancy rate in two decades means to our visitor industry.

Most of all, I understand the young families in 'Ewa and Kaimukī because I understand the most important job I hold isn't City Councilman or professor or military officer, but husband and dad. I understand how fortunate we are to raise children in Hawai'i, but also how difficult it is to raise a family with Hawai'i's high cost of living.

When my wife, Stacey, and I think about our children's future, we're concerned that our government is headed in the wrong direction. We're concerned that government keeps getting bigger, but we aren't much better off. We're concerned that government does very little efficiently or cost-effectively, but despite that, keeps trying to do more. Most of all, we're concerned that our elected officials care more about themselves than they do about the people they represent.

Last month, I officially filed papers to run for this congressional seat. I filed my paperwork on the same day my youngest daughter turned 3. One of my supporters showed me a T-shirt that read, "I'm 3 years old and I already owe $46,000 to pay for my portion of the National Debt."

This is what's wrong with Congress. We are spending money we don't have, on programs that don't work, and worse yet, we have no plan to pay it back other than to hand the bill to our children.

This is exactly why we need to put the brakes on $800 billion stimulus packages.

This is why we need earmark reform to change the culture of spending in Congress.

This is why we need a balanced budget amendment.

This is why we must change Washington and why I am running for Congress.

If fortunate enough to earn your support and serve as your congressman, I will never forget that every dollar the government spends comes from a family like yours.