Candidate: James “Jimmy” Wong
‘Aha District: O‘ahu
Address: 46-194 Nona Lp., Heeia, HI. 96744
Phone: (808) 258-4131
- What are your qualifications to be a delegate to the ‘aha?
MEd. Universty of Hawaii Manoa
Bachelor in Education (English)
Executive Business Certificate (UH Manoa) UCLA Graduate Work (Survey Research)
Delegate ʻ99ʻ Native Hawaiian Convention
—Convention Vice-Chairperson & Chairperson Logistics Committee Drafted several models of Hawaiian constitutions.
Observer Permanent Court of Arbitration (Hague)
Observer “78” Hawaii State Constitutional Convention
Served in the Hawaii State House and Senate
—Chaiperson Senate Military Committee Member of various committees.
Secondary and College level instructor in English, Business, and Special Motivation.
Graduate School Instructor: Government Accounting in the following countries:
— Republics of: Palau, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Mariannas. Territories: Guam and American Samoa.
- How would you characterize the values of your campaign to be elected as a delegate to the ‘aha for example, with aloha, lōkahi, kūpono, etc.?
In addition to the above values, the distictive features of our campaign would include, but not be limited to, the following: Oiaʻiʻo (Truth), Hilinaʻi (Trust), Pololei (Accuracy), Hui-Lokahi (Unite), Helu (Include), Haʻahaʻa (Humble) and Compassion.
- What three components of the constitution are you particularly interested in advocating and why?
I am interested in supporting following four elements of a constitution because these elements distinguish the uniqueness of a nation seeking reformation and reinstatement:
First is our Territory. Obviously, we cannot claim jurisdiction over the entire Hawaiian archipelago for the present and near future. Although we must compromise for the time being, we must remain in control and manage designated lands for its highest and best use under Hawaiian Law.
Second is international commerce. I am very interested in this component because it is the MAJOR difference between Federalization or Integration (some say Indian tribal government) and Independence. This element has not received enough attention and education. Delegates and the electorate should be throughly educated on its value and what economic and political opportunities it creates for all.
Third is our form or structure of governance or government. Typically, under a republican form where the electorate selects our leaders there are three branches; the Executive, Legislative and Judicial. I would support a fourth branch: a Regency where the Regent would be elected, be the symbol of the government and the unity of the people, protect the customs, values and traditions of Hawaii and be the social and ceremonial authority of the government. The Regent would have a budget to perform his duties and act in the capacity of a vice-president when the President is absent.
Fourth is our population. Constitutions deals with basic principles for an expanding future. The more it deals with details the more it resembles the nature of a statute. Therefore, the conditions necessary for being a Hawaiian citizen should be determined by law.
- What governance model will you advocate for?
Personally, I would advocate for a modern republican form with 4 branches as explained in question #3. New democracies have the opportunity to create better constitutions. Some say this is not opinion. It is fact.
However, my decision is based on the will of the majority of the electorate. Now that delgates have the list of electors in our region, I intend to conduct mini surveys to get a pulse of our constituents. Results that I have so far show a preference for a constitution that co-exists with the United States while maintaining an independent jurisdiction over selected government and ceded lands.
- Are you willing to discuss other governance models?
Yes, I would explore other forms that are suitable or proper in our circumstances. For example, a return to a limited Monarchy with parliamentary supremacy is a form that most Hawaiians feel is an ideology of the past. The ʻaha has time constraints and delegates must make the best use of time.
- How would the governance model that you choose impact the ali‘i trusts, the Hawaiian Homestead Act, federal contracts made with Native Hawaiian businesses; grants provided by the United States for programs and services to the Native Hawaiian people?
The answer to this question if under a government to government relationship where the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) creates the rules and recognition procedures for a “Native” Hawaiian entity is pretty much status quo. Very little impact except that this Hawaiian entity now competes with an estimated 577 American Indian tribes for entitlements and reports to the DOI for approval on almost everything including its constitution. The major problem faced by the DOI is the 1920 HHCA that divided ethnic Hawaiians by blood quantum.
A constitution that enumerates the details for co-existence between the U.S. and Hawaiian reinstated political entity would be executed on a GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNMENT level. The Hawaiian government would seek membership in the United Nations and RECOGNITON by its 192 members.
There would be no impact on the aliʻi trusts should these trusts remain under the U.S. Constitution. The 1920 HHCA, federal business contracts and grants for programs and services would be renegotiated in a Peace Treaty between the U.S. and the Hawaiian entity that now has politcal standing.
- In your governance model, would you be inclusive of people other than Native Hawaiians as citizens?
As stated in the answer to the above question # 2 a core value of our campaign is Unity and Inclusiveness. However, the final definition is left to the legislature as indicated in my answer to question # 3.
We are reminded of the 1839 Hawaiian Magna Charter and every constitution and amended election laws promulgated by our Sovereigns that all citizens of the Nation of Hawaii are equal. As descendents of the national citizens of Hawaii we are obligated to preserve the values of Unity and Inclusiveness passed on to us by our Aliʻi and kupuna.
Presently there are two ethnic Hawaiian categories: native Hawaiian (50%+ of the blood quantum) and Native Hawaiian (50%- of the blood quantum).
- How do you see participation by others in helping the ‘aha on the various aspects of the draft constitution?
Naʻi Aupuni has the major responsibility of providing the facilities and personnel that will assist in the day to day operations of the convention including, but not limited to, the recordings of the proceedings and drafting of the constitution.
Other aspects include asking for and obtaining opinions from the electorate on specific sections and articles of the constituion. The internet is a valuable tool for delegates and Naʻi Aupuni.
This being said, the campaign period between October 15th, the deadline to register and the November 1st mailing of ballots is short and limits delegates effectiveness in getting their message to the voters. One hundred and ten candidates running at-large on Oahu for 20 delegate seats is a challange for all.
- Looking ahead, as a delegate to the ‘aha, how would you assure that the governance model ratified by the Native Hawaiian people is implemented and recognized at the state, federal, or international level, as appropriate.
Should the Native Hawaiian people ratify a federated, i.e. integrated or tribal, model of governance, final recognition must be made by the U.S. Congress. Declarations must also be made by the State of Hawaii and Counties of the Hawaiian Islands. The President of the U.S. is being counted on for his support too. A transitional period must be taken into account. Transferring of assets and resources takes time and in some cases complicated.
Implementation as an independent nation that co-exists with the U.S. is immediate. Achievement of political standing presumes that an executive and a legislative body is elected, and a judiciary and (4th Branch) are created.
Negotiations for a Peace Treaty with the United States Congress and President are initiated by the legislative body and head of state of the Hawaiian political entity. Simultaneous action begins with the state of Hawaii and its counties and most importantly an application for membership is submitted to the United Nations.
Transition, as in the case of a federated choice, takes time.
The most important and significant result is the citizens of Hawaii, as defined by law, now have political, economic, social and legal STANDING. A long journey begins with the first step. Inch by inch itʻs a cinch.
- Why should Native Hawaiians vote for you?
Delegates are the architects and navigators of time still to come. Familiarity with the issues and challanges of reforming our political entity and leadership qualities are important ingredients of delegates. Over the years I have acquired the knowledge and skill by direct and vicarious experiences gained in my profession and work. I have learned from kupunaʻs, many of them my personal mentors, who have guided and nurtured my learning.
Prior to the “99” Native Hawaiian Convention I prepared a handbook to assist, inform and educate delegates in their constitutional deliberations. An advanced and updated guide is available for your review and perusal. If you are interested please send your request to my emal: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to email the guide in pdf, word, pages or powerpoint to you.
I humble ask for your vote in order for me to share my manaʻo with fellow delegates in order to fulfill their mission to reform and reinstate our government that was usurped on January 17, 1893. Mahalo for your time and your vote of confidence.