I am the reporter-host assigned to cover state issues for Honolulu Civil Beat (aka Peer News).

First, an explanation about that job title: I am a journalist covering and commenting on the news; and I am a host dedicated to talking with you and answering your questions about the news. I hope you’ll come to think of Chad Blair as an informed friend.

To begin, we’ve selected two key issues of concern to residents statewide.

The first is the one-party dominance of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. It’s timely: Republican Charles Djou aims to chip away at that lock on power with a victory over Democrats Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa in the May 22 special election for the 1st Congressional District. I’ve got my eye on other races as well — eye candy for a political junkie like myself.

The second issue is the growing problem of homelessness. I remember covering the city’s nighttime eviction of homeless people from Ala Moana Beach Park in 2006, walking with them to Honolulu Hale, where homeless people and their advocates held a protest outside Mufi Hannemann’s window. Homelessness has since become an even bigger issue, as seen in the new park-use restrictions.

As our news service grows, we’ll carefully add more issues. I look forward to hearing what you think we should be covering and what questions we should be asking. And I want to hear constructive feedback, too.

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