District 35: Pearl City-Waipahu


POSTED: Thursday, October 16, 2008


Henry James Aquino


Age: 31

Job: Waipahu Community Association

Past: Master's de-gree, communica-tion; bachelor's, public/justice admin.

What is the most important issue facing your district, and what would you do about it?

I believe that the most important issue facing our district is the need for public safety. Safety is essential to the livelihood of any community and cannot be com-promised. If elected as state representative, I will introduce and support legislation that will address and ensure that our streets and neighborhoods are safe for our families, neighbors, children and seniors. Increasing law enforcement to address crime, sustaining drug prevention and education efforts, and pedestrian and road safety are areas I will strongly support.


What qualifies you to be a state representative?

I believe that a state representative should know the community and have the experience to carry out needed initiatives. As a program coordinator for a Waipahu-based nonprofit organization and an active member of various civic-oriented organizations, I have worked closely with our community leaders and residents to address diverse needs in Waipahu. I enjoy working with people and making a difference for the future of our community and state. 

What is one thing you would do in office to improve the local economy?

Our local economy can be strengthened by being more welcoming to businesses, which would provide better jobs for our local workforce. To make this happen, we need to support local businesses. In addition, government needs to be responsible and efficient in its spending and services to the people. When this is done, savings should be passed to the people and to businesses. Policies that reduce the cost of government will help to reduce the tax burden on everyone

Do you support convening a Constitutional Convention? Please explain.

I do not support a Constitutional Convention at this time. Constitutional rights such as environmental, workers and cultural rights may be vulnerable to unnecessary changes that would affect many of our island residents. 

Do you support Oahu's planned rail-transit system ? Please explain.

I support Oahu's planned rail-transit system. It is an alternative that will alleviate our traffic congestion problems and would provide many job opportunities for our local workforce. A transit system, along with our current transportation infrastructure (TheBus, TheBoat, etc.) would provide a variety of ways to get around Oahu. However, I believe that community input on the development of the transit stations should be strongly considered and addressed by government and the developers. 

What can the Legislature do to improve Hawaii's public education?

Public education can be improved through the hiring and retention of more teachers, investing more funding for our schools, and modernizing our schools' facilities and equipment. Our Legislature should support the need for more quality teachers for every public school which would ensure that each student will receive a good education at every level. In addition, we need to invest more state funding for our schools and commit to reducing the backlog of facility repairs. This would allow our schools to be safer for our students, teachers, administrators and community members.

» Steven Antonio (R)