Editor’s note:For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Libertarian Alan Yim, one of three candidates for the 1st Congressional District, which covers urban Oahu. Other candidates include Democrat Colleen Hanabusa and Republican Shirlene Ostrov.
1. This year has seen an outsized influence from people who want big changes in how government is run. What would you do to change how the U.S. House is run?
With voter dissatisfaction at an all-time high, it’s obvious that the people are fed up with politicians being unable to work together to listen and at the same time make effective change for the good of the nation. The House of Representatives needs people in office that break the traditional two-party mold that has created such a seemingly irreparable divide between the Democrats and the Republicans.
As a millennial and Libertarian, I bring that much-needed change to start effective dialogue between the divided House. I’m not required to tow a party line and that will be my strength as a congressman. I don’t have to cross the aisles, I’m right in middle of it already. I can bring forward ideas and reforms that work toward helping the nation, free of the partisan bias so deeply entrenched in Congress.
2. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizen’s initiative process. Do you support such a process?
I strongly support voter initiatives being allowed on the ballot in our state and will work with anyone that wants to see such effective change brought to our local elections.
3. Hawaii has long been dominated by the Democratic Party establishment. Should this change, and if so, how?
Hawaii needs a serious change of pace from the long-running string of Democrat control. Even more importantly, the control of our federal representatives needs to change. If we continue to elect Democrats to Congress, the legislators will continue to see Hawaii as an automatic vote in favor of Democrat policies and have no need to consider our votes.
4. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?
As your congressman I will have an open-door policy; anyone who wants to bring up an issue will be welcome to meet me in person, online, mail and through social media. More importantly, however, will be me informing the public about what is going on in Congress. Most of the legislation that passes through the House, passes by voice vote and goes unread. It’s a complete sham of our democratic system to think that the majority of our laws are being passed without any knowledge of what is happening. Our elected representatives are creating laws with out any physical record of who was present for the vote and how they voted at all. This needs to change and I will do it by remaining in Washington, D.C., on the House floor anytime that I know the speaker of the House is in the building with the power to take such votes.
5. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your state or district? What will you do about it?
The cost of living is the most pressing challenge we face in Hawaii. Jones Act reform is absolutely vital to the immediate reduction of prices of everything we buy and sell here in Hawaii. Hawaii needs a champion of this cause in Congress if we hope to avoid the very same economic problems faced by Puerto Rico.
Jones Act reform is the largest obstacle we face as a state if we wish to see a decrease in the cost of housing, food and medical care in this state. I am the only candidate for the House of Representatives with a plan to resolve this issue.
6. What should America’s role in the world be? What would you do to move us in that direction?
As a U.S. Marine, I have experienced the damage that our foreign police has impacted upon the world, I’ve also seen the good we can do with humanitarian aid mission across the Asia-Pacific. America needs to step back from its role trying to be the world police and we need to end the war on terror by establishing measurable goals and deadlines to our foreign interventions.
For over a decade we have been at war, my brothers and sisters in arms have given the ultimate sacrifice and continue to give even to this day. It’s time to bring an end to this conflict and the first step would be bring back the decision-making powers to go to war under the control of Congress.
7. The country is torn apart. What would you do to rebuild bridges?
At the end of the day we’re all Americans and I have faith in my fellow citizens to recognizes that our differences are what make us great. We as a people are the most fortunate in the history of earth to be living today. Things that we take for granted and don’t even have second thoughts about are the things that wars have been fought over. We are where here today because, in spite of our differences, there is a common appreciation for the ability to work together and respect one another. E Hana Kākou, let’s work together and overcome our differences to continue to do great things for our nation and for the world. That’s what I hope to represent as your congressman.
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