Editor’s note: For Hawaii’s Nov. 8 general election, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer some questions.
The following came from Will Espero, a Democratic candidate for state Senate District 19, which includes Ewa Beach, Ewa by Gentry, Ocean Pointe, Ewa Villages and Iroquois Point. There is one other candidate, Republican Kurt Favella.
Name: Will Espero
Office seeking: State Senate, District 19
Community organizations/prior offices held: Former state representative; Ewa Neighborhood Board; West Oahu Economic Development Association; Ewa By Gentry Community Association; AYSO soccer coach; Ewa Beach Boys and Girls Club; Friends of the Ewa Beach Library; Oahu Filipino Jaycees; Ewa Beach Lions Club
Age as of Aug. 13, 2016: 55
Place of residence: Ewa Beach
Campaign website: winwithwill.com
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 Legislature is run?
I support government reform that leads to trust, transparency and accountability.
2. Hawaii is the only Western state without a statewide citizen’s initiative process. Do you support such a process?
Undecided but probably not. I support the legislative process. More checks and balances.
3. Hawaii has long been dominated by the Democratic Party establishment. Should this change, and if so, how?
Elections and voters decide who will win. The will of the people prevails.
4. What specific steps would you take to strengthen Hawaii’s lax lobbying, ethics and financial disclosure laws?
More transparency where possible and more reporting where needed
5. Would you support eliminating Hawaii’s high fees for access to public records when the request is in the public interest?
Yes. I will introduce a resolution addressing this problem if re-elected.
6. Voters complain their elected officials don’t listen to them. What would you do to improve communication?
I listen to everyone. I use social media, newsletters and attend public meetings. I am accessible.
7. What do you see as the most pressing issue facing your district? What will you do about it?
The issues involving growth and development such as transportation and job creation.
8. There is a desire to grow the economy through new development, yet also a need to protect our limited environmental resources. How would you balance these competing interests?
Working with all stakeholders; open communication; realistic goals; community involvement.
9. What should the Legislature do to improve police accountability?
More and better civilian oversight, More authority to police commissions, standards and training board, certification and decertification.
10. Hawaii is the fastest-aging state. What would you do to ensure we’re taking care of our kupuna?
Keep their living cost and expenses down; subsidize their needs and services where applicable and necessary. Support elderly care issues
11. What would you do to improve Hawaii’s public education system?
AC for all schools that want it; funding for teacher and principal training; strong no-bullying campaign and efforts in the schools. Use technology to the fullest and maybe laptops for all students.