Questions and Answers on the Candidate: Governor – Duke Bourgoin

Editor’s note: For the August 13 Hawaii primary, Civil Beat asked candidates to answer a few questions about where they stand on various issues and what their priorities would be if elected.

The following came from Duke Bourgoin, Democratic nominee for governor. Other Democratic nominees include Vicky Cayetano, Josh Green, Kai Kahele, Richard Kim, Clyde Lewman and Van Tanabe.

For general information, see the Civil Beat Election Guide and see other candidates on the primary ballot.

1. What is the biggest problem Hawaii faces and what would you do about it?

The biggest problem Hawaii faces is security. My solution is to clean up our environmental system and develop a clean circular economy system.

2. Many people have been talking about diversifying the local economy for many years, and yet Hawaii still relies heavily on tourism. What, if anything, should be done differently in tourism and business?

This eco-economic system naturally diversifies from tourism and creates economic output by providing local labor for needed services and products such as food, energy, bicycles, clothing, solar receptors, a walled internet system, the coordination of government, business and youth for technological development and be used.

3. The Legislature in this session approved spending of $600 million for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and an additional $300 million for other housing programs. What would you do specifically to create more housing for people with middle and low incomes?

Creating more housing for middle- and low-income residents is part of my project, where small cooperative community farm housing projects ensure food production security and wealth creation, with a place to live. My Hawaiian land project on the Big Island with the Army would offer lower building requirements and access to land and housing at a lower cost.

4. An estimated 60% of Hawaii residents are struggling to make ends meet, a problem that extends well beyond low income to the disappearing middle class. What ideas do you have to help the middle class and working class families who are struggling to survive here?

Help for the middle class and working families comes with tax cuts in exchange for public service responsibilities. The greenverde project can also participate with communal food production and income diversification.

5. The pandemic has been particularly difficult for Hawaii’s public schools. Should the way schools are run change? Would you support greater local control, including dividing each school district into sub-regions?

School governance can be decentralized (eg, individual school districts in sub-regions) with some home schooling, small local community groups, community support and education, and virtual school production programs.

6. Hawaii has recently experienced a string of high-profile corruption scandals, prompting the state House of Representatives to appoint a commission tasked with improving government transparency through ethics and lobbying reforms. What will you do to ensure accountability to the legislature? Are you open to ideas like calling for the Sunshine Law and Open Records Acts to be applied to the legislature?

Legislative ethics and lobbying reforms to ensure accountability to the legislature include requiring the Sunshine Law to be applied to statutes and open records laws to inform the public and control our legislative process.

I want to create the Hawaii Tonight Show for a nightly review of government and the citizen process.

7. Recently, a home on the North Shore of Oahu collapsed into the sea. Climate change is real and will force us to make difficult choices. What should Hawaii do first to counteract climate change instead of just reacting to it?

Climate change is at the heart of my plan to make Hawaii safe.

Basically, no more trash (no pollution of the environment) means a cleaner, safer environment. See my website for continuous inputs, dialogues and solutions.

8. Hawaii has seen growing divisions when it comes to politics, development, health mandates, and other issues. A governor represents all the people of the state. What would you do to bridge these gaps and bring people together despite their differences?

The division into politics, development, health mandates and other matters instructs the governor to represent all people of the state. Closing these gaps and bringing people together despite their differences requires listening, dialogue, participation and voting so that people can decide crucial issues under the guidance of the Hawaiian Environmental and Economic Cycle of Climate Change program.

9. In the past, governors and lieutenant governors have sometimes clashed publicly. How do you imagine the relationship between the top elected officials of the state?

Governor and Lieutenant Governor should work together for Hawaii. Coordination begins with finding key programs for the Lieutenant Governor to oversee.

10. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed numerous flaws in Hawaii’s structure and systems, from outdated technology to economic disparities. If you could take this moment to reinvent Hawaii, build on what we’ve learned, and create a better state, a better way of doing things, what would you do? Please share a great idea you have for Hawaii. Be innovative but specific.

A big idea for Hawaii is to return to a safe and clean environment as the basis for our people to thrive.

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