From U.S. congressman to state representative, Charles Djou has served Hawaii in various positions.
Even though he’s been a Honolulu city councilmember, he wants to serve the City and County again, but in a different role.
“The people simply no longer trust our government. Everything the government has been saying on so many different things are just simply wrong,” he said. “I felt I could be most effective and make the most amount of change to benefit our community by running for the office of mayor.”
The 46-year-old attorney says restoring the trust at Honolulu Hale means fixing the issues, including the ethics commission, homelessness, and rail.
As for his plan to improve the project and how to pay for it, Djou said, “We have to start with new leadership. There’s no way this project can possibly get back on track unless we replace the current leadership.”
Djou wants to look at converting the project.
“Complete what we’ve already started, use the existing guideway, but convert it to an elevated bus way system, look and try to find a means, so we can honor the commitment we give people to the west side, to not just Ala Moana, but to the University of Hawaii,” Djou said.
The father of three began looking into politics when he was in high school at Punahou. That’s when he volunteered for Pat Saiki, who was running for Congress.
“She inspired me and communicated to me, in seeing and observing her, that you can make a difference in the community. You don’t just have to sit there and accept all of these problems,” he said.
Djou also serves as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was deployed to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom and knows first-hand what members of the military go through.
Djou even helped rename Triangle Park near Diamond Head “Operation Red Wings Medal of Honor Park” to recognize the Pearl-Harbor-based Navy Seals and soldiers who died during a tragic mission in Afghanistan.
“They fought until the last man. They were outnumbered over 100 to one and yet they valiantly fought and I think reflect the very, very best of our nation and of our community,” he said. “I think it was only appropriate to recognize them and recognize their sacrifice.”
“You’ve served the community in various positions. What has been your proudest accomplishment so far?” KHON2 asked.
“There are a lot of things I’m very proud of, establishing curbside recycling, making sure we don’t increase taxes and make government live within its means, but you know I think the thing I’m proudest of is making sure we have an ethical, honest, responsible government,” he said.
Djou says he wants to bring those qualities back to our government again, if he becomes Honolulu’s next mayor.