LIHUE — Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura has seen her share of changes on Kauai over the years and has played a role in shaping them during her 24-year career in public office.
The establishment of the Kauai Bus in 1990, the first bike path in 1980, and helping develop the county’s self-help housing program for low-income families to land affordable places to live are a few of the many projects that have happened under her watch.
In the past two years alone, Yukimura said her involvement on the Kauai County Council’s Housing and Transportation Committee has helped to extend the operating hours for the Kauai Bus.
“When I see or hear how the Kauai Bus or affordable housing or expanded parks or repaired playgrounds are helping families in their daily lives, it makes me very happy,” the 64-year-old Lihue resident said.
That is why the seasoned veteran, who was first elected to the County Council at 26 years old in 1976, said she wants to keep the momentum by running for another term.
“My goal is to honor the immense legacy of land, culture, hard work and sacrifice of prior generations,” Yukimura wrote in a statement. “I try to do this by using my experience and know-how from 24 years in elected office — six as mayor and 18 on the council — to make life better on Kauai for present and future generations.”
To this end, Yukimura said she wants to shore up affordable housing by securing 1,000 more units over the next decade; bolster Kauai Bus services further by improving regional shuttle services and expanding service hours; promote land use planning that protects the island’s communities and unique landscape; and work toward long-term leases for farmers and ranchers.
“Election time is a time for reporting back on work accomplished and establishing goals for the new term,” Yukimura said. “It is a time to discuss what we care about most. It’s a time for me to listen and learn. I invite everyone to join in the discussions about whom our leaders should be, what we want for our beloved Kauai and what we are willing to do about it.”
Yukimura will square off against 19 other County Council candidates, including six other incumbents, in this year’s Aug. 9 primary election.