Full Name: Matthew Shelton LoPresti
Name on Ballot: Matthew (‘Matt’) LoPresti
Political Party: Democrat
Running For: House
Email Address: email@example.com
State representative; associate professor of philosophy and humanities, and chairman, Asian and Pacific Studies Program at Hawaii Pacific University
Place of birth: Pittsburgh
Campaign website: Matt4Ewa.com
Job history past 10 years:
State representative (2014-present).
Associate professor of philosophy and humanities & chairman of the Asian and Pacific Studies Program at Hawaii Pacific University (2007-Present)
Adjunct professor of philosophy at HPU, Chaminade University of Honolulu and Kapiolani Community College (2006)
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
State representative, District 41; lost in 2012 and won in 2014.
Elected to Ewa Neighborhood Board in 2011.
Other civic experience or community service?
Vice chairman, Sierra Club, Oahu Group, (elected 2011-2013, re-elected 2013-2015).
Member, Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (2015).
President, Townhomes at Ka Makana at Hoakalei (2010-present).
Volunteer with various community organizations like Surfrider Foundation and Ewa Beach Weed and Seed.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
Education is my top priority. In my first term I have already proven myself to be very effective in bringing millions and millions of dollars to address the overcrowding, overheating and underfunding of Ewa Beach’s public schools. With your vote I can continue this progress.
What makes you qualified to be a state representative?
After my first term I have a better understanding of the process and worked hard to earn the trust and respect of my colleagues. Furthermore, I apply the critical thinking and moral reasoning skills developed from more than a decade of teaching and writing as a professor of philosophy.
Gov. Ige says he will once again propose increases to the state gas tax, vehicle weight tax and state registration fees to help pay for state road projects. Do you support his proposal?
As vice chairman of the House Committee on Transportation I played a key role in killing this triple tax increase. It died in our committee after passing the Senate because, among other things, the justification for it remains abundantly unclear beyond (Department of Transportation) threats to cancel vital highway expansions without it.
If the Legislature is again asked to extend Oahu’s half-percent excise tax surcharge to finance construction or operation of the rail system, would you support such an extension?
Had the city been more forthright, I believe the state Legislature would have approved the full amount necessary to complete the project. Completing the project is essential to creating transportation equity for Leeward and Central Oahu, however, it is time the city comes up with its own funding mechanisms.
Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?
Yes. The problem is so pervasive that it is contributing to increased cost of living for everyone by taking available residences off the market. Illegal rentals also impacts hotel jobs and disrupts communities. If you have to break the law to afford extra property, then you cannot afford that property.
Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?
Yes. I authored a bill (House Bill 1738) that does just this while also working to protect citizens’ 4th Amendment rights to privacy. My bill was incorporated into the final Senate bill that would have made this law. Unfortunately, the measure died. I will try again next year if re-elected.
Dozens of police officers in Hawaii are disciplined each year for committing crimes or violating departmental policies, but little information is released about the officers or their cases. Do you think there needs to be greater public disclosure?
Yes, of course. That is why I supported several measures for greater transparency as well as to implement a law enforcement standards and training board. We entrust officers with our lives on a daily basis and it is not too much to ask for transparency for this sort of thing.