"I am running following much encouragement from District VI constituents whom I serve as Legislative Analyst to truly help them and this District because I know this District's issues firsthand, and actively work to especially resolve longstanding and complex issues, thus have institutional knowledge and current City experience to know how to effectively and efficiently navigate within the City, and with state and federal agencies, and community stakeholders. I believe my background as a paralegal helps me more effectively do so, under the counsel of the City Council's and City's attorneys. I also believe my experience in the public (city, state, federal), private (wide array of industries, structures and sizes), nonprofit, and small business sectors (including as an owner for 15 years), and professional entertainer and former “starving artist” in Honolulu, New York City and Los Angeles help me understand different perspectives because I have likely been in very similar shoes." - Traci K. Toguchi, League of Women Voters of Hawaii Candidate Statement
Traci Kimiko Toguchi was born in Nuuanu and primarily grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii (Traci and her family lived in Gardena, California for a year and a half). She is a Downtown Honolulu resident with roots in District VI and paralegal by trade, and currently serves as Legislative Analyst in the Honolulu City Council District VI office, having served as a staff member since July 2020, helping to resolve issues and concerns for the district’s constituents. (You may remember Traci as the child actor from the blockbuster hit “The Karate Kid Part II” (with a recent cameo role in the Netflix spinoff “Cobra Kai”), singer (including winning the state Brown Bags to Stardom talent competition, and the KZOO Radio Karaoke Taikai (youth division)), and former Miss Hawaii.)
This is Traci’s first run for public office. With respect to government experience, she has current working City experience, as she has been working for the City and County of Honolulu for four and a half years--at the City Council since January 2018 beginning with the Office of Council Services, then the District IV office (as Legislative Analyst) for all but one and a half years while serving as an Information Specialist II for the City Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation. She has also worked for the State of Hawaii Legislature Senate and House of Representatives (as Office Manager, Legislative Aide, and Committee Clerk), Department of Accounting and General Services State Procurement Office, and Department of Budget and Finance Employees' Retirement System. And Traci has federal working experience as a verbatim hearing recorder for the U.S. Social Security Administration Office of Disability Adjudication and Review-Honolulu.
Additionally, Toguchi has been a small business owner* for more than 15 years. She has worked in various capacities, including being a probate researcher at the Oahu First Circuit Court, special events officer for Central Pacific Bank (Honolulu), legal and executive assistant and secretary at law firms in New York City, Los Angeles and Honolulu, executive director for the James Bradley Peace Foundation (Rye, New York), and membership administrator for the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Los Angeles.
Traci is grateful to learn so much from the current District VI Councilmember Carol Fukunaga and play an active role in helping resolve issues throughout the district. Many of these issues have been longstanding for years, and since they will not be resolved by the end of this coming term, Traci says she can also help address continuity concerns.
Traci believes her background as a paralegal (through experience and education) helps her more effectively help constituents, under the counsel of the City Council's and City's attorneys. As a member of the Hawaii Paralegal Association, Traci participates in ongoing continuing legal education, and completes additional certifications in areas including contracts, updates in respective laws, and judicial processes.
Additionally, Traci believes that her work experience in the public (city, state, federal), private (in a wide array of industries, business structures and sizes), nonprofit, and small business sectors (including as a small business owner, and from two generations of a family food business), and professional entertainer and former “starving artist” in Honolulu, New York City and Los Angeles help her better understand different perspectives and have compassion to literally empathize with others because she has likely been in their (or very similar) shoes.
Traci enjoys working diligently and thoroughly to serve the constituents of District VI alongside government agency officials and community stakeholders, with whom she's developed relationships, to effectively connect constituents with city, state and federal services to address their issues of concern. It's what Traci says motivates her to get out of bed in the morning.
* Traci Toguchi, Inc. provides Entertainment (record label and recording/performing artist, songwriting publishing, voice and acting instructor), Marketing (strategic planning, event and project coordination, public relations), Administration (including legal services for attorneys), and Web (administration/development) services.