comscore 2020 Election: Ernest Caravalho | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

2020 Election: Ernest Caravalho

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  • Ernest Caravalho
Name on ballot:

Ernest Caravalho

Running for:

Honolulu mayor

Political party:

Aloha Aina Party

Campaign website:

Current occupation:

Aloha Care Health Insurance



Previous job history:

Air Force

Previous elected office, if any:

Former Vice Chair of NB 13 Chinatown Downtown/Former Chair House District 29 Democratic Party

Please describe your qualifications to represent the people of Oahu.

This question gets asked a lot for some reason but, my answer is simple: the constitution of both the United States and the state of Hawai’i qualifies me to run for office.

I know some people may expect a different answer but that is what it is. Anything beyond that and we aren’t talking qualifications anymore. Then we would be talking arbitrary made up preferences and credentials which can vary from person to person drastically.

Aside from that, what qualifies me? I have traveled a great deal. Lived abroad, served in the military and had a real world education through life experiences. This has instilled in me a sense of integrity with a strong moral root and a capacity to adapt to scenarios, learn quickly and to stand up for the greater good. Something missing from most people running for office. There is no greed in my heart, no corruption, no need to make a career out of politics, no hunger for power and no false platitudes. I am as real as real can get. I tell it like it is, admit when I am wrong, and I make it a habit to tell the truth.

What is the most pressing need for the people you seek to represent, and what can you do to address that need?

Affordable housing and just being able to live here in our own aina.

I realize that to many, what you will read, might be controversial in light of the current status quo. But, in light of the problems that we have in the housing economy of Honolulu, I believe we must have a resident first approach. This approach must solve the problems at the root, and there lies the big difference. Almost all other solutions you hear are only band aids that skirt the problems and keep them in perpetuity while simultaneously blame shifting. Why? Because who wants to commit political suicide by talking about real solutions to permanently fix problems? Certainly not elected officials that are also corporate sponsored politicians.

Regardless, it does not change the truth: we need to seriously consider ideas that will actually solve our housing issues. Ideas like resident first housing, tax increases on the rich, change the rules for those that do not reside in Hawai’i and yet purchase land and housing from afar, new housing construction methods and materials, new rules and taxes for Airbnb style rentals, decriminalizing Houselessness, and actually helping the kupuna who are on fixed income with their housing so that they do not become houseless. In the end there is no easy way out of the housing crisis we are in. And these are but a few of the ideas we will be introducing.

As Hawaii faces the COVID-19 pandemic, what more should county government do to protect residents’ health?

As we move forward the county must begin by testing more. We need to test our residents to protect everyone on Oahu. Oahu must continue to allow all workers both private and public to continue to work from home, this will mean we need to upgrade our island wide Wi-Fi system to give free internet to everyone.

We must insist that all tourist coming from the mainland be put on a 14 to 21 day quarantine. With the rise of covid-19 state side we cannot afford having tourist from the mainland running around wild here on Oahu.

As we have been lifting our quarantine on Oahu we must watch how this plays out. If it continues to climb we may have to start to close certain business that are contributing to the rise. Only time will tell for now. We must also continue to wear our mask.

What should county government do to help residents who have been economically affected by the pandemic?

Our county government must do everything in their power to assure that our residents are taken care of. We must insure that un-employment benefits continue to flow. With the deadline coming up at the end of July we must be sure that there will not be any interruption in un-employment.

We must ensure that our residents will not be kicked out of their apartments due to none payments. We must continue to ensure that we extend this benefit. We must also extend this to the landlords so that they will not lose their buildings because they cant pay the taxes on it.

In the end we must find a way to forgive all these payments as to not cause a wave of Houselessness and foreclosures.

Should public worker furloughs, pay cuts or downsizing be used to help the county deal with lower tax revenues and higher expenses during the pandemic? Why or why not?

I don’t believe we have to have pay cuts for our public workers or furloughs. Instead what we need to do is look at switching public employees and Medicaid to an admin-simple self insured system per the HHA, in this way we can save up to 350 million a year

What specific solutions do you propose to combat homelessness?

The City and County of Honolulu must revamp its outlook on the houseless to meet the needs of our population. We must be compassionate and loving while at the same time we must be the parent to the child by helping to educate, empower and uplift. We must find creative ways to help our most vulnerable citizens such as looking at what other states are doing.

•Restructure, replace if necessary, and properly fund current programs, both public and private, first.

•Unite and cooperate with all groups and activists both public and private in order to have a well organized mission.

•Create state of the art rehab, addiction and transition centers for the houseless.

​•Apply multi stage solutions in order to decrease the houseless population by at least 70% by the end of four years time.

​•Create and establish education and a culture of respecting all houseless individuals and families by setting an example for the rest of the world through aloha.

•Start the process of getting away from traditional home design and construction with old materials and begin introducing new modular designs with eco friendly materials.

•Create prefab housing with local manufacturing. Explore 3d printed homes.

​•Begin mapping all old homes in dire need of repair or replacing and work with home owners to assure they do not become houseless.

​•Income based housing on no more than 30% base income after taxes.

​•Restructure the housing authority to actually house low income people.

​The simple bottom line is: anyone that works a full time job should not live in poverty or be homeless. We can no longer allow situations like this to keep manifesting and to continue.

Do you support or oppose stopping construction of the rail project at Middle Street? Please explain.

Lets keep it simple, we have been lied to from the get go. You, me, and everyone else and no matter how you view the rail that is an undeniable fact. If you look back at what we were told and then sold versus what has transpired, it is clear it was all lies. If you believe nothing else look up how much we were told it would cost versus how much it has cost. It is, per capita, the most expensive rail project in the world, and is expected to get even more so.

The rail must pause at Middle Street while we sit down with the federal government and figure out what options we have. We must also take into consideration that from Middle Street to Ala Moana the rail is being built in a flood zone. Do we continue the route that is laid out or do we permanently stop at Middle Street all these questions are to be answered at a later date when we get into office.

Do you support or oppose using new city funds to cover any shortfall in HART’s construction or operating costs? Please explain.

I do not support any new city funds to cover any shortfall in HARTS construction or operating cost. We have paid out to much and now must look at taking care of our people first.

we need to raise the taxes on the rail lines for the property owners that will benefit form rail and we must continue the forensic audit being done by the federal government. As I stated previously we shall pause at Middle Street.

Do you support reforms to policing in Hawaii? If yes, please explain what reforms you support.

Let me be straight, I do support reforms but we shall not defund our police department.

We need to understand that the police are here to protect us and they are not here to be behavioral therapist on the streets. They are not trained in that manner. So I would like to see a Behavioral Health division added to the force.

I would like to see more transparency in the force. We need to weed out the bad apples that give our force a bad name. We must also realize that our officers are that, officers and not a paramilitary force.

We need to see the stop of racial profiling of our local people who are arrested at a larger rate then anyone else in Hawaii.

We need our police force to start going on the beat and getting to know their neighbors again.

We need the police to rebuild their trust with the people.

we need to have a true public police commission that consist of the public and not appointed by the elected politicians.

We need the city, prosecutors office and HPD to all be on the same page. They must work together.

What can county government do to mitigate the affects of sea-level rise on Oahu?

Sea level rise is going to happen. In my first 100 days I will call for a climate change symposium of all the leaders in the pacific as we can only do this as a collective.

We must plan today for tomorrow.

We must stop building in flood zones and look at other alternatives.

We must look at managed retreat, seawalls, and all options out there and come to a solution today that works for all of us even including floating communities.

We can do this but we must work as a collective.

Is there anything more that you would like voters to know about you?

I believe that for too long the people of Hawai’i have had to live as third-class citizens in their own home. Struggling to make ends meet by working two to three jobs just to survive here. For too long our leaders have put their interest a head of the interest of the people by siding with the corporations, lobbyists, developers and foreign investors who are using Hawai’i to increase their financial portfolios.

We can no longer stand still and allow business as usual to continue if we want to build a better Hawai’i for all of us and our generations to come. We need to stand as one and stand up to the corruption and greed which is destroying our beautiful Aina. If we do not, then Hawai’i as we know it shall never be Hawai’i. We must take a stand and say enough is enough and take control of what happens here for all our generations.

I am running for Mayor to serve the people in a way in which they have not been served by their elected officials in decades, To right the wrong that has been done to the people of Honolulu and to set a new course in the way we do business in Hawaii.

I aim to make sure that we serve and take care of all our people and to put their interest before that of any politician, lobbyist, or corporation. I plan to heal the Aina, and to protect the Wai and Kai from irreversible damages that we have caused by decades of greed and neglect.

I also aim to clean our environment and protect our agricultural lands from more destruction. To pave the way for a better education and health care system so that we may secure a better future for all our generations to come.

Lastly, because of the political climate in our country and the climate crisis, the time has come for someone to step up and truly lead.

​If elected Mayor by the people of Honolulu, I shall accomplish all that and more.

View more candidate questionnaires or see more 2022 Hawaii elections coverage.
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