Why you should vote for me: Colleen Hanabusa
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.
Hawai'i families have suffered greatly in this painful economic downturn. We have endured lost jobs, reduced income, a decrease in the value of our assets and our savings. We are all anxious about the future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren.
I'm running for Congress because I believe a return to economic health and prosperity depend on the comprehensive reform of our entire financial system.
I'm the only candidate for Congress truly committed to the overhaul of our financial system. I will work with President Obama to hold the big banks and Wall Street accountable for their greedy and reckless behavior. I believe these reforms are key to repairing our economy and bringing hope to Hawai'i families again.
I know firsthand that real reform — the "improvement of what is wrong, corrupt, unsatisfactory" — can make a lasting difference.
Raised by my grandparents, who lived on the plantation, and my mother, who opened the first woman-operated NAPA auto parts store in the nation, I learned the value of hard work, responsibility and respect.
When I visited my cousins in Kaimukī and saw sidewalks for the first time, I learned the concept of haves and have nots. I saw how reform of an unfair system created a better life for future generations.
As a state senator, I exposed waste and fraud in the administering of special education programs. I pushed for new campaign finance laws that reduce the influence of special interests. And I imposed a ban on special interests working in the Legislature.
Today, it's our financial system that needs reforming. I applauded the federal economic stimulus, supported by President Obama and Sen. Inouye, which is bringing in over $2 billion to Hawai'i to create jobs and stabilize many state programs.
But, this is only part of the equation. President Obama is correctly demanding accountability from the big financial institutions. I agree. We must reform Wall Street and the banking industry to bring long-term economic stability and job growth back to our country and our Hawai'i.
With a stable economy will come more resources to restore public education and needed social services to raise our community up once again. I will take action, working with President Obama, on these reforms:
• Requiring banks that received taxpayer support to pay back every cent.
• Prohibiting financial institutions from gambling depositor investments in risky markets, by requiring them to choose between being an investment or deposit bank.
• Demanding tough new limits on the size of financial institutions — no more "too big to fail" — and setting up a structure, supported by fees on banks, for the shutdown of failing companies in an orderly fashion, without taxpayer funding.
• Requiring that if a bank fails, its CEO gets fired instead of getting a bailout and a bonus.
These reforms are essential. I respectfully submit that I am the one candidate fully committed to this president, to fight for reforms in Washington critical for a more hopeful Hawai'i.