comscore District 04 - Joy San Buenaventura (D)

District 04 – Joy San Buenaventura (D)

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Full Name: Joy San Buenaventura

Name on Ballot: Joy San Buenaventura

Age: 57

Political Party: Democrat

Running For: House

District: 4

Email Address:

Current Job: State representative

Place of birth: Manila

Campaign website:

Job history past 10 years

Solo-practice attorney specializing in family law and appeals.

Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?

2014, successfully defeated incumbent by over 20 percent margin in the primary and the Republican opponent by over 40 percent margin

Other civic experience or community service?

Volunteered as a mediator with Kuikahi Mediation since 2007, as an arbitrator with the Court Annexed Arbitration Program since it started in the 1990s, as an attorney-adviser with the Judiciary’s Self-Help center since it started and with Volunteer Legal Service’s Divorce workshop as an attorney. I have accepted court-appointed cases with the latest being a successful writ of certiorari to the Hawaii Supreme Court that vacated an unjust conviction.

Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?

Although I was born in the Philippines, my grandfather was a sakada who worked in a Waikapu, Maui sugar plantation farm where my mother was born. I grew up in Honolulu where I graduated from McKinley High. I am now married to “Weldin” Sheldon Lehman of Hawaiian Acres.

What makes you qualified to be a state representative?

I am the incumbent. My over 30 years as a lawyer, mostly in general practice, serving the poor and the working class puts me in a position to know how everyday people are affected by the laws created by the legislature.

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?

Only if federal monies are in fact being used. I would rather a combination of weight & mileage tax, using the odometer readings reported by safety inspectors, be considered that way hybrids and electrical vehicles which use the roads pay their fair share of road use.

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?

Only if there is an audit or complete report as to why the new projected cost is 400 percent of the original projected cost which was determined after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants; and what the County intends to do to keep new costs down.

Should the state play a role in cracking down on illegal vacation rentals in Hawaii?

It’s the county’s job to determine if its zoning or ordinances are being violated. The county, which receives most of its revenue from property taxes, has an incentive to ensure that people do not lie on their property tax forms by not claiming resort/mixed-residential use.

Should the Legislature require that police officers in Hawaii use “body cameras,” and help to fund the use of those cameras?

I introduced a resolution that sought a determination of cost (not only of implementation but of storage of the videos taken), privacy issues especially of bystanders, public/press disclosure, etc. Only after we determine all aspects of body/dash cam usage should we implement it and find its funding.

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?

The public’s frustrations with lack of police accountability is what has fueled the Dallas and Baton Rouge police killings. However, a police officer cannot do his/her job if minutiae is being released. Thus, increased disclosure, especially of crimes, but balanced with the need to not compromise law enforcement.

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