Year: 

36
Mililani Mauka, Mililani
Hawaii House Representative Beth Fukumoto (District 36: Mililani, Mililani Mauka, Waipio Acres)was first elected in 2012.
She is the youngest person to ever serve as the House Minority Leader in Hawaii, and in 2016, she was the youngest woman to hold a caucus leader position in the United States.
She graduated with honors from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a B.A. in American Studies and a M.A. in English from Georgetown University.
She was awarded a James Madison Fellowship by the Millennial Action Project for her demonstrated success in transcending partisan lines.

In September 2013, The Daily Beast, a popular political blog, listed Rep. Fukumoto as one of “Nine Women Remaking the Right.” She was also named as one of The Washington Post's "The Fix's 40 under 40" rising political stars.

She recently accepted an invitation to join the Aspen Institute's Rodel Fellowship Program, which has included both Tom Perez and Julian Castro. She is the great-granddaughter of Japanese and Irish immigrants, and one of few Asian American individuals to hold a legislative leadership position in the United States.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
• Aspen Rodel Fellowship
• James Madison Fellowship
• Washington Post "40 under 40"
• MA in English from Gerogetown

January 15, 2017

2017 Opening Day Speech

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, members and guests. It's an honor to have the opportunity to once again serve as this body’s Minority Leader and work with you, the Majority Leader and the rest of my colleagues on solutions to our state’s big problems.

In my past opening day speeches, I didn’t talk much about policy. Instead, I focused on the importance of working together and encouraging dialogue on EVERY policy. Mr. Speaker, you and your Majority have responded by listening to our ideas and incorporating our opinions. In this Legislature, like in our state, I think we know that there is strength in diversity.

That said, Mr. Speaker, I would like to talk a little more about issues because our present situation demands it. This session, we’re facing a sizeable budget deficit, and the natural inclination of government is always to raise revenues and cut spending to find immediate solutions to an impending problem. We may need to take some of those actions, Mr. Speaker, but we’d be doing a disservice to the people of Hawaii and future generations if that is ALL we do.

Two years ago when I got elected as Minority Leader, I mentioned that I was the first millennial to serve in this position. In 2016, I was also the youngest female in the country to hold a caucus leadership position. I give you these statistics to remind you that I speak for a growing demographic in this State who can no longer afford to live in a place that we grew up in and love. For us, Hawaii is not just paradise, it’s our home, and we can’t afford it anymore.

Mr. Speaker, we talk a lot about the cost of living. And, I know the Governor has already proposed tax increases on transportation, and I’m sure there will be other tax increases for us to consider. I hope that, if the Majority of this body chooses to act on those increases, that you will do so with caution and consider making those increases temporary.

As the Minority members, we will be proposing measures to encourage tax equality and lessen the tax burden on middle and lower income earners, recognizing that – in the face of a deficit – these may be long term ideas. But, as a body, we should never lose sight of the goal to make Hawaii more affordable for its residents.

In terms of affordability, Mr. Speaker, the biggest thing we can do this session to help local families is to address our rising housing costs. In 2015, a nationwide survey of cities found that Honolulu had the fourth-largest percentage of residents depart. When over 52% of a Hawaii resident’s income goes toward fixed costs like housing and transportation, we can conclude that housing prices are a major reason for residents, particularly young people, leaving our state.

This year, Mr. Speaker, you will see Minority members contributing a variety of measures that offer housing solutions for individuals and families at every level of need - from homeless individuals who need temporary housing to middle-income wage earners that want to buy their first home at an affordable price.

As a local economist pointed out, Hawaii has become a preferred place for the international 1 percent to buy property. This desire to purchase paradise is making it harder and harder for local residents to keep Hawaii their home. And, Mr. Speaker, we look forward to working with you and the Majority to reverse that trend.

Every year, this Legislature comes up with a handful of measures to address housing and homelessness, but those are not enough. By 2025, we will be short nearly 65,000 housing units in our state, and many of our local families will be priced out of their communities if we don’t increase our affordable housing inventory.

This, Mr. Speaker, is a crisis, and we need to start treating it like a crisis. Local families have watched this state become less and less affordable for decades. It’s time to find the political courage to take risks, pass REAL reform and solve that problem.

Together, we can take control of our future. We need to be leaders that listen to the needs of the people that we represent. We need to hear the concerns of the recent college graduate who has returned home only to find that their home has undervalued them in favor of out-of-state financiers and we need to find a way to take care of those working families who make an average wage, but can't make a sufficient living.

We were once a State that not only took care of everyday people, we made sure that they felt accomplished, and we made sure that anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, and socio-economic status, saw a better life as something achievable and something to aspire to.

We can be that State again. We have difficult decisions in front of us, and most of those decisions will need to be made quickly. But a comprehensive plan to address housing at every level of need can’t be sidelined by a budget deficit.

We can’t keep planning our state’s economy in two year cycles. We may need some short term fixes, but we also need a long term economic plan. That long term plan MUST include making it easier for our young people, our working families and our retirees to stay and live in this state that they call home. Mr. Speaker, we look forward to working with you and the majority on creating that long-term plan this session.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I want to close by acknowledging and thanking our Mililani High School students that are in the gallery and sitting with me on the floor today. Everything we do here is about making a better future for you.

Thank you for being here. And, thank you, Mr. Speaker, members and guests for listening.


January 15, 2017

2017 Women's March

Thank you Della and thank you all for having me here.

Today I'd like to talk to you about my niece. She's eight years old, and she's campaigned with me since she was two. She's come with me to all sorts of events. And, last summer when I stood up at my party's convention she watched as a ballroom full of a men and women tossed insults and booed me because instead of pledging to support my party's nominee I said I thought his remarks were racist and sexist and that they had no place in the Republican Party.

Now, to that room full of people, I was a traitor, or a fake, or one of the many derogatory words I was called on social media afterward. To my niece, I had told the truth. Because little kids know right and wrong. We teach them that their supposed to be nice and kind to everyone even when they're different. So, she didn't understand why people would be so mean to her aunt who stood on stage and said Donald Trump's shouldn't say the things he says. We had to explain to my niece later, that sometimes people are angry and they don't know how to express it so they treat other people badly. We explained that sometimes people are bullies, but that you should insist that they treat people with respect. We told her that you always stand up to bullies no matter who they are.

Then she watched a bully win the presidency of the United States.

It doesn't matter to me who you voted for. People cast their votes for a lot of different reasons. But, no matter who your choice was, the fact remains the same. A man won the White House with anger and hate, and our kids watched it happen. Now, it's our jobs to make sure they watch us fight back.

So what I'm going to ask you to do today is get involved. Testify at the Legislature, run for office, help on a campaign, but do it with kindness. Show our kids that everyone's voice matters, even when they believe the opposite thing you do. Teach them that everyone deserves respect. In the end, LOVE always wins.

Thank you.


January 28, 2015

Opening Day Remarks for the 2015 Legislative Session by the House Minority Leader

Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and welcome to our many distinguished guests.

I'd like to start by personally thanking my family and the people of Mililani for the opportunity to serve you in the House of Representatives. I would not be here today without your sacrifices and support.

On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I also want to thank every single person in our State for casting your vote in the last election. This is your House, and I thank you for taking ownership of it.

Finally, I'd like to thank our staff for all of your hard work, particularly, those staffers who serve in the House Minority Research Office. Less than three years ago, I was sitting in that very office writing the Minority Leader's speech and resenting the many long, sleepless nights that we staffers needed to spend in this building. No one understands better how much work you do, and I am so very thankful to have every one of you on our team.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I speak to you as the Leader of the Minority Party. It is tradition to use these remarks to look ahead, and to share the Minority Caucus' thoughts on how this institution will help make a better life for the people of our State.

First and foremost, I will start by stating that we, the Minority Party, are committed to creating a government that meets the needs of everyday people.

Full Speech and video: View full article



January 13, 2015

Fukumoto Chang leads House GOP

House Republicans have organized behind Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang as minority leader for the upcoming legislative session.

New Rep. Andria Tupola was chosen as minority floor leader, the caucus announced Wednesday.

"Our caucus worked through a lot of disagreements and differences of opinion in the last few weeks, and that dialogue is important for any organization," Fukumoto Chang (R, Mililani-Mililani Mauka-Waipio Acres) said in an emailed statement. "I'm glad that we'll be able to start off the year with a caucus that's organized and prepared to be strong advocates for the people of Hawaii." View full article



July 14, 2014

2014 Hawaii House Minority Midsession Report

Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson and Rep. Beth Fukumoto Chang provide an update on some of the House bills that passed and crossed over to the Senate halfway through the 2014 Hawaii State Legislative Session.View full article



May 7, 2013

Reps. Fukumoto and Cheape honors Mililani High School's Judy Taparra

House of Representatives Floor Presentation recognizing the outstanding teaching accomplishments of Mililani High School's Judy Taparra.

Photo from left to right: Representative Lauren Cheape, Judy Taparra, Sarah Fukumoto and Representative Beth Fukumoto

To see floor presentation video: View full article



April 11, 2013

The GOP's Local Youth Movement

Posted on April 3, 2013 by Dan Boylan |
Midweek

Finding signs of life in Hawaii's Republican Party can be frustrating - almost as frustrating as being a Republican in Hawaii. Hawaii's congressional delegation belongs to the Democrats - so, too, the governorship and both houses of the state Legislature.

Republican numbers are near record lows. They own but one seat in the 25-member state Senate, seven in the 51-member House of Representatives - and the latter number has changed little in recent years. The promise of Republican Linda Lingle's eight years as governor did not translate to legislative victories.


 Measures Introduced in 2016
No Measures Introduced