Jimmy Toyama is a retired public servant with 31 years of service. He has had stints in various departments of state government doing various jobs—he also served as Administrative Assistant to Lt. Governor Nelson K. Doi. His career specialties included policy, program, management analysis, organizational development and community relations. Jimmy was also involved with departmental legislative management. He retired as a department level administrator in 2002.
Jimmy is a community organizer helping grassroots organizations throughout the state. Jimmy has been active in the Okinawan Community for many years. He served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Okinawan Cultural Center (prior to its merger with the Hawaii United Okinawa Association —the merger effort which he led) and has led many noteworthy projects like the opening ceremony of the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Okinawan immigrants featuring unique theatrical programming. He was also co-creator of the Red Dirt Story Telling Festival at the Okinawan Cultural Center. Jimmy served four terms as Chair of the Democratic Party on Oahu where he expanded the role of the county party from simply being an organization electing candidates to becoming an active player in building and strengthening communities.
Up until June 2016, he was a columnist for the Paradise Post, a monthly reader published on the Island of Hawaii. His column “Nurturing Our Taro Patches” captured and told of many rich colorful stories that form the mosaic of local life and communities in Hawaii. He is currently coordinating efforts to collect and preserve in book form the ninety articles he wrote over nine years with the Paradise Post.
Jimmy lives in Aiea, Hawaii where he writes and quietly thinks about existence, the evolution of consciousness and, the future of communities.