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Makua Rothman is running for Honolulu City Council

Makua Rothman is running for Honolulu City Council District 2. Photo: Instagram/Makua Rothman

The Inertia

Makua Rothman has long been an advocate for Hawaii. He is, of course, known for his big-wave exploits, but he routinely uses his platform as a place to speak about the issues Hawaii faces. And on April 20, he announced that he wants to take his voice to a higher level: he’s running for Honolulu City Council.

“It’s official,” he wrote. “I am running for Honolulu City Council District 2. The kuleana is ours, and it is our responsibility to leave this place, our place, Hawaiʻi, better than it was left to us and that is what I aim to do! So as I take the drop of my life I humbly ask for your vote and continued community support!”

Loosely translated “kuleana” is a Hawaiian value that refers to a person’s responsibility and the reciprocal relationship with the thing they are responsible for. Makua, a father of three, said that a wave he surfed last year (touted as another 100-footer by some outlets) played a part in his decision to run for City Council.

“I decided to turn down the opportunity for any awards or money but rather use the international world platform to speak about issues that were of concern to me and to my community in Hawaii,” he said to Hawaii News Now. “Today’s the day for me to step in there and put my name up to run for office. I’ll be holding some conferences soon and obviously the traffic and management of tourism out there and working with the state and everyone on this island and working together with the other constituents.”

The Council is responsible for a lot of things: it holds an overall responsibility for the “scope, direction, and financing of City and County services” and establishes land use policies through the General Plan and zoning regulations, among other things. Members of the Council serve four-year terms, and a general municipal election is held every two years, which alternates between the odd and even numbered district positions.

The seat Rothman has his eyes on is currently held by Heidi Tsuneyoshi, who is now running for governor as a Republican.


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