Kaimuki | Pālolo | St. Louis Heights | Mānoa | Mōʻiliʻili | McCully
Portions of Ala Moana | Kaka'ako | Makiki
"I have never run for political office before, but I am concerned about the direction of O'ahu and care about our residents. As a council member, I will fight for better accountability and transparency and be the voice for the people."
PLEASE WATCH, 5 MINUTES
Dave Watase delivers the Message of Aloha on February 19, 2020.
PBS INSIGHTS: CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES DISTRICT 5
Be an informed voter and watch the District 5 candidates discuss their views on city issues.
I humbly ask you to tell your friends and family about my run for candidacy. It is the biggest way you can help.
“Dave Watase has all the qualities of a great council member and will be a champion for the community. He has my full support and my vote."
-Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi
Dave as a Community Leader
Spearheaded the grassroots movement to halt the Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project
Demanded the state and the federal government reassess the highly flawed EIS
Studied, researched, testified, and informed stakeholders affected by the proposed plan
In doing so, he protected schools, trees, natural streams, parks and residents in valleys
Dave regularly attends the 7 monthly neighborhood board meetings to inform and update the community about the Project.
Every meeting in each of the neighborhoods, Dave learned about the issues and the concerns residents had in that area.
Dave started getting involved in other issues because he understood those community concerns and wanted to help fight for those as well.
Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi saw him at all the 7 monthly neighborhood board meetings.
She saw his dedication and commitment and knew he has what it takes to lead honestly and work hard for the community and 'Oahu.
Community members were concerned that Ann Kobayashi is terming out and have encouraged Dave to run. Councilmember Ann Kobayashi fully endorses Dave Watase to to take her seat at City Council.
Dave Watase Fights for Residents
Spearheaded the movement against the Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project resulting in the USACE verbally stating they will remove the originally proposed detention basins in the Manoa, Palolo, and Makiki neighborhoods.
Testified against illegal short-term rentals
Protested with Save Our Sherwoods
Against monster homes
Testified against the proposed World-Class Playground
Worked with the leaders of Mālama Moana and Save our Ala Moana Beach Park Hui to save the People’s Park
Against the uprooting and destruction of trees at Ala Moana during the government lockdown
Regularly attends 7 monthly neighborhood board meetings within District 5
Why I am running for City Council
My name is Dave Watase. I’m running for City Council in District 5. I have a desire to serve the people, to work hard, to study the issues, to listen and observe, to ensure that our community and residents are heard. If elected, my vote on the City Council will be simply about doing what is right, proper, and in the best interest of my constituents.
I’ve never run for any political office before. I am as green as it gets. However, I think that is a good thing because I really don’t have deep-rooted political ties that will cloud my views and decisions. My main reason for running is because over the past few years, I’ve noticed a government that seems to have gone on the wild and crazy with a lack of logic and common sense. I’ve been disappointed to a point where I want to do something about it. We need accountability and I see the City Council as an important mechanism to keep our leadership in check. It seems like our leadership has a hard time distinguishing what is right and what is wrong and what is best for the people of Hawaii.
While I may be green in politics, I am seasoned in life being married with 3 adult children, one who is married. The cost of living in Hawaii only seems to go up and up. Fees and taxes only seem to go up and up. I know our residents feel squeezed from all directions and too many of our children look at the job market and the affordability of housing and decide to leave for the mainland. The concern in the back of everyone’s mind in the direction of our State …where are we going and will Hawaii be affordable for my family and future generations.
To me, life is all about family and our ohana. I’ve lived a quiet life and my main focus and priority is my family. I love to coach wrestling and have done that for over 20 years. People who know me as a coach know that I’ve extended my selfless heart and passion for the benefit of others. I’ve been active in my church ministries in the past. My network of friends is generally small and private. I am not someone who likes to be in the limelight or craves to be well known with a big list of accomplishments. I’m not a great public speaker, I don’t sing and dance. I don’t have a resume crafted to run for political office. I’m your normal guy, who is uncomfortable speaking in public and being in front of the camera. I call things the way I see it, I don’t bend or distort the facts, I double and triple check, and try to see things from all perspectives. I am fiscally responsible. I’m a problem solver by nature and a competitor by training and at the same time, I’m just a humble, trustworthy, quiet, and effective kind of guy.
I humbly ask for your vote this election.
Actively fighting for residents within our community.
I strongly believe that Dave Watase should be elected to the Honolulu City Council. He has the perfect skills to be a great City Council member to help make Honolulu City and County a place that succeeds for everyone. He is intelligent, works hard, listens to others, and cooperates to create solutions. He knows that the right way to create Honolulu’s best future requires input and support from the whole community. I say this based on the following experience with him.
I met him in 2018 during meetings about the Ala Wai Flood Mitigation Project. This $700+ million Project, to protect Waikiki from a 100-year flood, is based on a United States of America Corps of Engineers (USACE) preliminary design from many years ago. Dave was concerned that this old design was based on inaccurate and inadequate data and would needlessly wreak havoc on Honolulu stream beds, disfigure the Ala Wai canal and place nearby neighborhoods and schools in danger. And the Project was being fast-tracked through the Honolulu City government with hardly any public review and no up-to-date independent evaluation of its design. So he went to work to solve the problem.
First, he alerted Neighborhood boards and other community groups about what was happening and solicited their questions and concerns. Second, he studied the proposed USACE design and learned about alternatives that could control the flooding and be better for Ala Wai canal, Honolulu stream beds and City neighborhoods. Then he worked with the Honolulu City Council and interested citizens to force the USACE, who did not want to modify their old design in any way, do a better job for Honolulu. The USACE eventually agreed that an engineering review and more community involvement was needed and that is now being done.
Dave spent hundreds of hours on this and his admirable effort continues today. Doing this, Dave consistently displayed the skills and attributes that would make him a great City Council Member. He always “did his homework” and knew what he was talking about. He asked good questions and listened to the answers. He constructively worked with everyone to keep the focus on creating the best possible successful Project for all of Honolulu. And Dave, who has never been involved in politics, learned something that made him want to be a Honolulu City Council Member. He learned that important decisions about Honolulu’s future are often being made from the “top-down” without the proper involvement of Honolulu citizens, and without adequate information and study. He wants to be a City Council member so that he can change that. I think he will. That is why I support his election.
I am Brad Frye. I live in Palolo Valley. I moved to Honolulu in 2003 after retiring from the Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group. I surf at Ala Moana Park and was recently involved in community groups that worked with Honolulu to improve the Ala Moana Park Improvement Project. Dave Watase helped us succeed.
Brad Frye, Palolo Valley resident
"For over 25 years I have had the privilege of calling Dave Watase a friend. Friends get to see what each other are really like. In all the years I have known Dave, we have seen in him nothing but high character and integrity with a tenacious commitment to see things through. He doesn't back down from a challenge when he sees that things are not done right. Case in point the Ala Wai Canal project. I have bared witness to Dave and his wife, Nola, raise their now-grown children with the same kind of care and commitment, always being heavily involved with their schools and sports. Therefore, it is with the fullest confidence that I support Dave Watase for the District 5 City Council seat knowing that he will do the right things for the people of Hawaii simply because he cares."
Nancy Carvalho, Honolulu Christian Church Administrator (acting on her own individual capacity)
"The first time I learned about Dave Watase was at a neighborhood board meeting. I listened with great interest as Dave proposed the adoption of a draft resolution to STOP The Ala Wai Flood Project. I was immediately impressed by Daveʻs forthright and factual manner as he proposed his draft resolution to STOP The Ala Wai Flood Project. Dave's message was clear and true, his points were genuine, based on facts, and supported by reliable source material.
What impressed me even more, was that, despite having to single-handedly face-off the scary “800lb Gorilla” (Army Corps of Engineers + national and local government), Dave was clearly determined and committed to finding a way to protect the Makiki, Manoa and Palolo neighborhoods from being bulldozed into a flood plan that lacked sound engineering, cost-benefit analysis, and community consensus. I was convinced that Dave would personally sacrifice his time, energy and resources to rally the necessary support to do the right thing.
We need Dave Watase to represent and protect the interests of our communities and neighborhoods at City Council. Dave has my support because Dave has demonstrated that he will represent us wisely, honestly and faithfully at City Council."
Bruce Lum, Save Ala Moana Beach Park Hui
"We have known and worked with Dave on various issues in our community. He does his research, puts in the time and effort, and is interested in how things affect the future of Hawaii's people. He is not against change, but believes in mindful change by looking at the impact and effects to ensure change for the better. He is very open to looking at alternative solutions from others in the community and encourages local involvement. He is a solid sincere voice for the people and we know he will do his very best to represent District 5 as City Councilman."
Gene & Audrey Lee, Mālama Moana (acting on their own individual capacity)
"I met Dave 15 years ago. He was volunteering as a wrestling coach at St. Louis and I had just started my small business in Waikiki and was looking to give back to a sport that had done so much for me growing up. Dave is passionate about everything he's involved in. He sets realistic expectations, keeps his standards high, and is constantly evaluating his approach to stay competitive and realistic about the outcomes. I am confident that Dave's work ethic and community-first mindset will benefit his constituents."
Nate Bingham, Waikiki Business Owner
"I have known Dave Watase for over 35 years. He is my friend and a good family man. Over the years, I have seen Dave as a man who is committed to good causes. I believe he will do his best to represent the desires of the people of Hawaii and not cave in to special interests."
Russell Higa, Pastor of Streams of Life Fellowship, acting on his individual capacity
"Dave Watase will be a great council member for District 5! He researches what needs to be done and approaches challenges head-on. Dave cares about the people and what’s best for the local culture."
Shar Chun-Lum, Save Ala Moana Beach Park Hui
"I have had the honor and privilege of knowing Dave personally over the past 11 years. We met at the school our children attended. He volunteered tirelessly as a wrestling coach and a pivotal component of the team's continued success. Unwavering, Dave remains a man of integrity, commitment, foresight, hard work, and has a true passion for our local community. I am confident Dave will serve in the best interests of his constituents and community. Vote Dave Watase for City Council."
Puanani Tuulima, Paramedic and Small Business Owner