Green appoints lawmaker as new homeless czar

John Mizuno, left, talks Tuesday with Gov. Josh Green.

Gov. Josh Green on Wednesday named state Rep. John Mizuno of Oahu as the governor’s coordinator on homelessness.

Mizuno will succeed James Koshiba, who laid the groundwork for 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,” Green said in a statement. “As a physician, I know that housing is health care 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 Hawaii’s youth, kupuna and the disability community, according to a press release from Green’s office.

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.

He was vice speaker of the House from 2013 to 2017 and was reelected to serve as vice speaker again from 2020 to 2022.

“It is humbling to have been appointed by Governor Green as his coordinator on homelessness, and I am honored and grateful,” Mizuno said.

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