INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
CANDIDATES – JUNE 18 BROADCAST
Other Candidates in the race for Honolulu Mayor
Pictured left-right: David (Duke) Burgoin, Ernest Caravalho and Wong Ho Yin (Jason). Not pictured is mayoral candidate Karl Dicks.
A total of 15 candidates are running in the race for Honolulu Mayor. Eight of them appeared in a live broadcast of Insights on PBS Hawaiʻi on Thursday June 18, 2020. PBS Hawaiʻi invited the other seven candidates to share their views on issues facing the City and County of Honolulu in written form up to 750 words. The candidates are David Bourgoin, Ernest Caravalho, Karl Dicks, Tim Garry, Audrey Keesing, Micah Laakea Mussell and Ho Yin (Jason) Wong. Four of them responded to the invitation by the June 12, 2020 deadline. Their responses are below.
Views on the Issues for PBS Hawaii , by Duke Bourgoin for Mayor: duke4mayor.com duke4mayor.com One of the biggest issues in Honolulu today is what is the future and how does it affect me? Economic collapse, the end of tourism as we know it, the environment in crash with climate change heating, storms, pollution, politics, homeless, housing, money, food, health, peace, quiet and quality living…..
My platform answer is Sustainability. That means economic self sufficiency developing our own Honolulu economy centering on pure quality organic food agriculture in the city community, local farms, and greenverdefarms.com type communal farming for housing, health, and work.
The brand “Pure Hawaii” is the base for employment, housing, social balance, and the environment. Pure Hawaii should be a top quality brand with the highest standards equal to the isolation Hawaii portrays with clean or cleaner water, air, land, and resources than any other place in the World, at least within the USA and with security, sophistication, and unmatched visual beauty.
Let’s make Honolulu clean again with selected street corridors for people only movement. The buses should be quieter, cleaner, with electric power, without air-condition for cleaner air circulation not to mention the cold to hot differential for health, and fuel savings for the environment.
Each Oahu rep district should have community sharing centers for use by the public and controlled by the public for daily events, gatherings, music, arts, education, farming, cooking, eating, the place to go,
Also consider community storage areas for food and filtered water available for daily use and emergencies. Increase community participation with benefits like reduced taxes, discounts, opportunities to charge for services or goods, community friendship, etc.
Should also create other industries with local resources as technology centers in cooperation with the State. There are great resources at the University that could help, while developing our younger students in planned tech areas should make Honolulu a tech hub for the Pacific and the World. Entrepreneur hubs should be encouraged with incentives like no rent in partnership with the City.
Back to the Environment, let’s clean up the Ocean. Stop dumping sewerage off shore, clean up chemical use on highways, streets, farms, homeowners, businesses.
Consider tracking and controlling our toilet disposal contents and numbers of use, The ‘Honolulu Community Universal’ can cooperate with City organizations to develop a whole catalog of pure organic foods, drinks, value added products, farming methods for mixed balanced planting of crops for rebuilding soil and pest control, and planned beauty for the neighborhood.
Design, seeds, consultation, products, should fund an industry to promote sustainability for local circular consumption and export promotion,
Lets figure out a way to control prices especially real estate considering wealthy foreign ownership and its affect on local home owners and renters,
Tourism should be addressed, do we want rapid increase in tourism, is this even possible anymore, what about all the jobs lost, where does the profit go after the wages are paid.
Like to close for now with the rapid transit system. Let’s keep all the costs and revenues in the State, and finish the center of town corridor. At the ends of the corridor in Honolulu say airport/kalihi to Kahala can be terminals for local and distant transportation, keeping much of the buses out of the center of town.
Limit cars to the city with some method lfor cleaner air and reduction of noise-tension pollution. A cleaner sustainable self sufficient habitat for quality living with security and independence from offshore. Sustainability is self sufficiency with organic living.!
There is no reason why Hawai’i should not have single payer healthcare, otherwise known as universal healthcare, for everyone. It is passed time that we move beyond complicated systems of healthcare that are completely for profit and where human life is dependent on the bottom line.
Honolulu and the state of Hawai’i must step up and do what is right for our people.
As for housing there are many different approaches that can be taken to tackle the housing issue. Most politicians or career political pundits believe that people just need to get an education and then get a good paying job and they will be able to afford a home. Those types of ignorant statements, and ways of thinking, completely ignore what is happening all around us and the circumstances that manifested our status as a state. Moreover, the general attitude is that the rights of residents come secondary to investors, large property owners, and large landowners.
I believe we must have a resident first approach. This approach must solve the problems at the root, and there lies the big difference. Almost all other solutions you hear skirt the problems and keep them in perpetuity while simultaneously blame shifting. With residency first we must agree to what constitutes a resident and how many years lived in the islands. We will have to also challenge the equal protection clause.
We need to seriously consider ideas that will solve our housing issues. Ideas like resident first housing, tax increases on the rich, change the rules for those that do not reside in Hawai’i and yet purchase land and housing from afar, new housing construction methods and materials, decriminalizing Houselessness, and actually helping the kupuna who are on fixed income with their housing so that they do not become houseless.
The handling of our state’s infrastructure is no small task. Scientists and engineers of all types, work on the issues that we have. Certainly, there is no easy answer or even one answer to solve them all. We must look at a private public partnership.
My goal as Mayor is to revamp all our infrastructure to make all of Hawai’i more resilient and adaptable to the changes the future is bound to bring.
We need to do to create a more sustainable Hawai’i and to clean up our food is to increase investment in local food production, reclaim agricultural lands and prevent any development on those lands, Create major incentives for small farms and organic farming to kick start the industry in Hawaii, Reduce our imports of food to 10% and increase our food production to 90%, Mandate that supermarkets prioritize purchasing local fruits and vegetables before importing them, Prevent any landowner, corporation, business, or individual from redirecting water to prevent others from using and we must build a resilient food supply
I want to be perfectly clear, the houseless are the byproduct of our systems of just doing things. We must first admit that Houselessness is a byproduct of our society and find ways to eliminate Houselessness in our Island home. People are struggling. The rent is just too high. We must be compassionate and loving while at the same time we must be the parent to the child by helping to educate, empower and uplift. We must find creative ways to help our most vulnerable citizens such as looking at what other states are doing.
We must restructure, replace if necessary, and properly fund current programs, both public and private, first, Create state of the art rehab, addiction and transition centers for the houseless, Apply multi stage solutions in order to decrease the houseless population by at least 70% by the end of four years’ time, Create and establish education and a culture of respecting all houseless individuals and families by setting an example for the rest of the world through Aloha, Income based housing on no more than 30% base income after taxes and restructure the housing authority to house low income people.
The simple bottom line is, anyone that works a full-time job should not live in poverty or be homeless. Right now, couples are working three jobs, while going to school, who are homeless. We can no longer allow situations like this to keep manifesting and to continue.
In closing we must bring the Kanaka Maoli to the table and make Pono what was made Hewa. The solution to Hawaii is listening to the Kanaka, the indigenous people of Hawaii.
Aloha, my name is Karl Dicks.
I was born and raised in Iowa. I lived and worked around the Sioux City area till age 28. During this time I graduated Sgt. Bluff-Luton High school, class of 1979. I was married had 2 daughters. I was a volunteer fire fighter 1, and a EMT-A for 8 years in the city of Salix Iowa. I was an officer in the volunteer fire department.
I was a City Councilman in Salix. I was Jaycee president Salix chapter and was awarded fastest growing chapter in my district, and obtained many other awards for community projects. I worked at AGP a soybean processing facility.
I was a union steward in the Teamsters union at AGP. I was also a member of the Carpenters Union. I moved to Oahu Hawaii in 1989. I had no family or friends here but decided it was time for a change. I went to work in Carpenters Union till I found employment with a mechanical contractor H& H Engineering as a Millwright.
I worked on both the interisland cruise boats, Constitution and Independence. H&H had a contract with the C&C of Honolulu for some maintenance activities at its waste water treatment facilities.
In 1990 I started working in metal fabrication of railings, fences and gates using specialty metals like stainless, brass, copper and titanium. I have owned small businesses in this field, done consulting, cad drawings, designing, estimating, and certified payrolls, worked on military facilities and residential and commercial projects for the past 30 years.
Currently I see a need for me to be Mayor of Honolulu, and bring my life skills and put them to work for the people of Oahu.
Wong Ho Yin (Jason)
I was born and raised in Hong Kong during British colonial period. In 1991, my family immigrated to Vancouver, BC, Canada when I was 13 years. I started my Grade 8 education in Canada. I completed my 4-year Bachelor of Arts degree, major in economics, in 3 years. Later, I completed my 2-year Master of Business Administration degree, major in Human Resource Management and Negotiation, in 1 year.
For the last 20 years, I have worked in banking, finance, software development, cloud computing, risk management, quality management, information security management, retail, commercial and residential real estate sectors.
In 2007, I traveled to the State of Hawaii for leisure. I was attracted to the natural charm and beauty of the environment, friendliness of the locals, diversity of. In December 2008, I relocated to Honolulu from Vancouver, since then, I have called Honolulu my home.
The initial “honeymoon” period to get to know Oahu was pretty amazing. I met interesting people, explored outdoor natural wonders, observing various cultural and community events in this world class city. My Hong Kong and Vancouver friends were all jealous of my new home.
In 2014, I started seeing the homeless population was getting bigger. During that time, I entrusted the local government would take active control of the situation. Just like many locals, I continued going to work, and paying taxes without questioning too much about our representatives who should be working the best interest of the residents of Oahu.
Today, Honolulu is plagued with not only homeless issue, but also many infrastructural, financial, social, economic & ego problems.
During the pandemic lock-down period, I witnessed a homeless person who was defecating in front of Ala Moana Center at 10:05 am. At that moment, I was telling myself, I could:
- Leave Oahu and return to Vancouver, BC, Canada for good;
- Make a difference by playing an active role in our community.
At that time, choice #1 has been growing stronger in my mind…
I have lived in Downtown Honolulu, and currently I am living in Ala Moana neighborhood, and I get to know many neighbors and acquaintances who are professionals, such as banker, insurance executive, beautician, restaurant operator, attorney, accountant, general contractor, dentist, surgeon, pharmacist, nurse, teacher, store manager, active duty veteran, real estate operator… 9 out of 10 people expressed huge disappointment about the decaying pace of these social missteps are eating away Honolulu. On the same page, they did not want to bother anything to deal with politics because they got burned by politicians who have made many lofty promises over the years, yet, in every single term, not only very little (or no) improvement was made, but also more problems were being introduced. In other words, most Honolulu locals have lost their trust and faith about what the City officials can do…
Around April-May 2020, I watched a 6 o’clock news, and one particular news segment was very disheartening: a lady was driving her car to receive charitable donation of produce for her family. She tried to smile in front of the camera, but after 4 seconds, she broke down into tears saying, she could not believe, she was here to ask for community help for such basic needs – food. That candid footage scarred my mind …
On May 27, 2020, Civil Beat published an article about the candidates for Honolulu Mayor.
To be an effective Honolulu Mayor…
- S/he must be neutral, impartial – break free from any special interest groups;
- S/he must possess strong economic background;
- S/he must be free from previous generations of political baggage;
- S/he must be the “walk-the-walk” person, meaning, s/he has rolled up the sleeves and worked hands-on with different business sectors from front-line-position to executive decision maker.
By going through the list of candidates, I failed to find anyone who resonated to my thought. On May 28, 2020 at 2:30 am, an idea (or epiphany) struck my mind, instead of complaining or dodging all these social issues, why not exercise my civic duty by running for Honolulu Mayor as an independent candidate who has no political baggage nor affiliation with any special interest group. Since then, my journey of running Honolulu Mayor campaign has been my full-time commitment. My campaign motto is simple: “Pursuit of Happiness”. Happiness cannot be measured by monetary value; it is a state of mind. My tenacity will bring back happiness and prosperity to Honolulu residents.
WONG, Ho Yin (Jason)