Full Name: Margarita Leyson Hopkins
Name on Ballot: Margarita “Dayday” Hopkins
District / office: Hawaii County Council District 2
Email Address: Dayday@hawaii.rr.com
Current Job: Economic Development Specialist (retired)
Place of birth: Massin, S. Leyte, Philippines
Campaign website: www.daydayhopkins.com
Job history past 10 years:
Economic Development Specialist, County of Hawaii, 1989 to 2012
Instructor in economics, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo, 1989 to present (not every semester)
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Hawaii County Council District 2, 2014, lost (2nd place)
Other civic experience or community service?
Member – Hawaii Agribusiness Development Corporation Board, 2014 – present
Member – West Pacific Area Institutional Biosecurity Committee, 2013 – present
East Hawaii Liaison – Roman Catholic Diocesan Planning & Building Commission, 2013 – present
Secretary– Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council, 2000 -present
Member – Hawaii Office of Language Access Advisory Council, 2012 – 2015
Member – Hawaii Forest Stewardship Advisory Committee, 2004 – June 2012
Member – Hawaii Sea Grant Advisory Committee, 1999 – 2004
Public member – Hawaii Real Estate Appraisers Advisory Committee, 1997- 2000
Public member – Hawaii Board of Examiners in Optometry, 1992 – 1997
Former president of Congress of Visayan Organizations
Former president Big Island Filipino Community Council
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I am first and foremost a public servant. I dedicated my life to helping communities here in Hawaii and previously in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. I will be a voice for common sense and integrity in Hawaii County government.
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
I have lived and worked on the Big Island for 28 years including 23 years as a county economic development specialist plus 10 years working overseas on economic development programs. I know how government and private sectors operate and what we must do to accomplish anything.
What are your top five priorities for the county?
1. Proactively address the needs of the community based on its resources.
2. Reduce homelessness and its negative impacts on the entire community.
3. Support private efforts to create jobs with livable wages
4. Support alternative sources of energy production and distribution
5. Support our farmers.
What is your one big idea?
Change the culture of the Council to one in which we proactively meet the needs of the community based on our resources. The first step is be totally transparent about where county money comes from and spent. Then, focus on community development that has a real chance of being sustainable.
The Hilo landfill is nearing capacity. When it closes, should trash from East Hawaii be hauled to the Puuanahulu landfill, or not?
My preference is to deal with East Hawaii’s solid waste in East Hawaii. But if the available alternatives to do so are all significantly more expensive than processing it at Puuanahulu, we may have to do so until a cost-competitive option is possible in East Hawaii.
The basic fare for the Hele-On bus system is $2, but the system still requires taxpayer subsidies to operate. The county has demonstrated that a lower fare can increase ridership. Should the fare be reduced, increased or left the same?
I strongly support reducing the bus fare and increasing both the number and frequency of routes. A strong public transportation system will greatly improve access to economic opportunity for persons without cars. Further, it might help with our traffic problems, particularly in West Hawaii.
The gasoline tax in Hawaii County is now 8.8 cents per gallon, about half that of Kauai, Maui and Oahu. Do you support increasing the county gas tax to provide more funding for maintenance of county roads and the Hele-On bus system?
I do not support increasing the gas tax to levels in other counties as Hawaii County citizens must drive much farther than people in other counties. I think we can