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Frank Fasi

In office
1984–1994
Preceded by Eileen Anderson
Succeeded by Jeremy Harris
In office
1969–1981
Preceded by Neal Blaisdell
Succeeded by Eileen Anderson

Born August 27, 1920(1920-08-27)
Hartford, Connecticut
Died February 3, 2010 (aged 89)
Honolulu, Hawaii
Political party Varied (see below)
Spouse(s) Married
Children Eleven children, 20 grandchildren
Residence Hawaii
Profession Businessman
Religion Christian

Frank Francis Fasi (August 27, 1920 – February 3, 2010)[1] was a United States politician having the distinction as the longest serving Mayor of Honolulu in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. He also served as a territorial senator and member of the Honolulu City Council. A perennial candidate for Hawaiʻi offices, Fasi was popularly credited for having built the foundations on which Honolulu now thrives as one of the largest modern municipalities in the nation.

Contents

Early years

Fasi was born on 27 August 1920 in Hartford, Connecticut, where he eventually attended Trinity College. Following the Japanese attack on Honolulu on 7 December 1941, Fasi enlisted in the United States Marine Corps through which he served in the Pacific Theater. After ending his tour of duty in 1944, Fasi settled in Honolulu where he became an entrepreneur, opening his own contracting, building demolition and salvage company.

Political career

In 1958, Fasi entered into politics, winning his first race to represent his district in the senate of the Territory of Hawaiʻi. His term was cut short when Hawaiʻi achieved statehood and the territorial legislature was dissolved in 1959. After returning to his business, Fasi once again ran for office in 1965 winning a seat on the Honolulu City Council where he served as a councilman through 1968.

Frank F. Fasi Election Summary
Year Race Election Party Outcome
1958 Territorial Senator General Democrat Won
1965 Honolulu City Councilman General Democrat Won
1967 Honolulu City Councilman General Democrat Won
1968 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1972 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1974 Governor of Hawaiʻi Primary Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1976 Mayor of Honolulu General Democrat Won
1978 Governor of Hawaiʻi Primary Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1980 Mayor of Honolulu Primary Democrat Lost to Eileen Anderson (D)
1982 Governor of Hawaiʻi General Independent Democrat Lost to George R. Ariyoshi (D)
1984 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1988 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1992 Mayor of Honolulu General Republican Won
1994 Governor of Hawaiʻi General Best Lost to Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)
1996 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Jeremy Harris (N-P)
2000 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Jeremy Harris (N-P)
2003 Congress 2nd District Special Nonpartisan Lost to Ed Case (D)
2004 Mayor of Honolulu General Nonpartisan Lost to Mufi Hannemann (N-P)

After losing his 2004 bid for the office of mayor, Fasi, then 84 years old, announced that he would not run for office again.

Mayor of Honolulu

By the late 1960s, Fasi had gained a colorful reputation. The Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers were using the words "firebrand," "trailblazer" and "maverick" to describe him. In 1969, Fasi was elected Mayor of Honolulu and served through 1981 when he was defeated for the first time for re-election by Eileen Anderson. He staged a comeback and defeated Anderson in the 1984 election, returning to Honolulu Hale once again and serving as mayor through 1994, when he resigned to seek the Hawaiʻi governorship.

In all, Fasi served 22 years as the mayor of Honolulu, the longest cumulative tenure of any Honolulu mayor.

Best Party

Fasi rose through the ranks of the Democratic Party in his early years. In 1984, he was persuaded by D. G. Anderson to quit and join the Republican Party. He rose through the Republican Party ranks with ease. In 1994, both parties pushed him away in favor of younger, more popular candidates. In retaliation, Fasi established the Best Party of Hawaiʻi and ran for Governor of Hawaiʻi against Patricia F. Saiki and Benjamin J. Cayetano. Fasi lost but his party lives on as the Aloha ʻĀina Party of Hawaiʻi with which it merged in 1997.

Legacy

Much of Honolulu today retains reminders of Honolulu's Fasi Era. He opened the Neal S. Blaisdell Center, and established "TheBus," the national award-winning public transportation system. Fasi also invented and built the Satellite City Hall system, established one of the nation's largest elected neighborhood board systems, and pushed for the construction of the H-POWER waste-to-energy plant.

Fasi created the popular Summer Fun recreational program for children and the annual Honolulu City Lights winter festival. Fasi popularized a local hand gesture called the shaka when he ordered it to become the city's signature logo and printed on all city signs and publications.

He is also credited with transforming the Capitol District by bulldozing massive parking structures near the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, ʻIolani Palace and Kawaiahaʻo Church to create large parcels of green space known as the Honolulu Civic Center. He also created a central office building for many of the city's departments.

In recognition of his service to Honolulu, Mayor Mufi Hannemann renamed both the Civic Center and the Municipal Building in July 2006. In order to do so, the Honolulu City Council amended its charter with the passage of Bill 76 (2005) CD 1, FD 1, which bypassed a ban on naming city and county sites in honor of living persons. The Mayor Frank F. Fasi Civic Center and Mayor Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building now stand as memorials to him.

Death

Fasi died at his home of natural causes on February 3, 2010. He was 89.[2][3]

See also

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Neal Blaisdell
Mayor of Honolulu
1969 – 1981
Succeeded by
Eileen Anderson
Preceded by
Eileen Anderson
Mayor of Honolulu
1984 – 1994
Succeeded by
Jeremy Harris
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