Getting Results, Getting It Done
Roy was born and raised in Hawaii. His father worked for the city's sewer department. His mother worked as a school custodian. A product of the public schools, Roy worked since he was 15 starting off bagging groceries at $1.25 an hour.
After graduating from McKinley High School, he joined the Hawaii Air National Guard and finished technical school at the top of his class. He went to Leeward Community College while working full-time as a laborer at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. A life-long learner, he eventually received his master's degree when he was 40.
At 24, he moved to Japan to work as an organizer in the Korean community in Osaka. During his six years abroad, he traveled extensively throughout the region—Philippines, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Hong Kong—working with community-based development projects. This experience taught him that people everywhere share the same hopes and dreams for their families. He came to the belief that decisions that affect people's lives must be made at the community level, not from the top down.
For the past 30 years, Roy has put these lessons to work for our community. He has fought to open the legislative process and to make it more accountable and transparent to the people of Hawaii. He has gained a reputation as an independent thinker who is not afraid to challenge the "old boy" network. He has been and continues to be in the forefront on a range of issues such as promoting education reform, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and advocating for campaign spending reform.
Over the years Roy has been recognized for his efforts. He was the first legislator from Hawaii to be awarded the prestigious Flemming Fellowship given to emerging political leaders in the country. In 2002, he received the Eleanor Roosevelt Fellowship for his work in connecting local and global issues. He was the first Legislator in Residence at the University of Hawaii. He received the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Education Commission of the States. The Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network recognized him as its Legislator of the Year.
Assistant Majority Leader
Chair, Consumer Protection and Commerce
Chair, Education Committee
Chair, Higher Education Committee
Chair, Intergovernmental and International Affairs Committee
Chair, Recreation and Marine Resources Committee
Hawaii Job Training Coordinating Council
Hawaii P-20 Council
Inter-Agency Council of Immigrant Services
Pearl City Community Association
State Council on Vocational Education
Communications Specialist, Hawaii State AFL-CIO
Program Director, American Friends Service Committee
Community Organizer, Osaka Japan
Teacher, English as a Second Language
Wait Help, Halekulani Hotel
Laborer, Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard
University of Hawaii, MA, Public Administration
Long Island University, BA, Education
McKinley High School
Awards and Honors
Flemming Fellowship and Elanor Roosevelt Fellowship, Center for Policy
Alternatives, Washington DC
Legislative Education Leaders Award, The College Board, Washington DC
Herman S. Doi Fellowship, University of Hawaii
Distinguished Alumnus Award, University of Hawaii
Outstanding Leadership Award, Education Commission of the States
Legislator of the Year, Hawaii Public Charter Schools Network
Professional of the Year, The Special Parent Information Network
Mahalo Award, The Friends of the Library of Hawaii
Shining Light Award, Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans
Distinguished Graduate, Leadership Academy, Hawaii Air National Guard
Outstanding Honor Graduate, Technical School, Hawaii Air National Guard
What Roy believes…
Roy believes in our community. He believes that there exists a common sense of decency and a desire for a just society, and that many of us want to do what is right and fair.
He believes that we share a responsibility to leave a better and brighter Hawaii for our children and for Hawaii itself. In the end, Roy believes that the true measure of our success as a community will not be measured by the buildings we leave behind, but by the hope we nurture in our children, as well as a place where such hope can become a reality.
What Roy doesn't believe…
Roy doesn't believe the world should be divided into those who have and those who have not. He doesn't believe the world should be divided by the color of our skin or by the religion we choose to practice. He doesn't believe a community should be divided and turned against itself by special interest groups or blinded by the agenda of a single interest coalition, nor does he believe in those individuals who want government to impose their beliefs on everyone
Issues We Face
The Three Rs
Research and common sense tell us that children learn better in smaller classes with more individual attention. Representative Roy Takumi sponsored bills that increased our educational budget that resulted in smaller class sizes grades K-2. He also pushed for increased funding for air conditioning, electrical upgrading, and playground equipment.
Legislators are responsible to ensure that the system is accountable to its customers: our students. Roy advocated for an educational accountability system because he believes there must be consequences for performance, including rewards, assistance and sanctions.
Teachers are too often underpaid and undervalued. Roy knows that if we want to attract and retain the best and the brightest to teach our kids, we have to pay them what they're worth. He passed legislation for merit pay for teachers and principals and professional development programs.
"Roy is respected as one of the most knowledgeable, leading education reformers at the legislature. He has worked to ensure that our children have a public school system that enables them to realize their full potential. His strong commitment to early education has been a model for others."
Department of Education