December 20, 2023, 11:39 AM HST
* Updated December 20, 11:40 AM
Governor Josh Green, M.D., named State Representative and former State House Vice Speaker John Mizuno as the Governor’s Coordinator on Homelessness.
Mizuno will succeed James Koshiba, who laid the groundwork for Governor Green’s campaign to reduce chronic homelessness and provide housing solutions for the disadvantaged. Koshiba will return to nonprofit work.
A successor for Mizuno who has served in the House since 2006 and has been in public service for more than 32 years will be named within 60 days.
“I have known John Mizuno for decades and he has a heart for the people that will serve him well as he works to build roofs over people’s heads,” said Gov. Green. “As a physician, I know that housing is healthcare and every human being has a right to be housed. John is going to work very hard to expand that reality for as many people as he can.”
Mizuno is a veteran in the social services field and is an advocate for Hawaiʻi’s youth, kūpuna and the disability community. Prior to his career as a lawmaker, he was a special investigator for the Department of Human Services and served as a Public Hearings Officer for the department between 1992 and 1998.
As a first-term lawmaker, he was the first in Hawaiʻi to be recognized as Legislator of the Year, in 2006. He was vice speaker of the House from 2013 to 2017 and was re-elected to serve as vice speaker again from 2020 to 2022.
“It is humbling to have been appointed by Gov. Green as his coordinator on homelessness and I am honored and grateful,” Mizuno said. “My time with the House Committee on Human Services has greatly informed me of the needs of the houseless community and I will work tirelessly to fulfill Gov. Green’s mission.”
Mizuno is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a B.S. in Sociology and a law degree from Willamette University, College of Law in Salem Oregon.