Public Trust: Accountability, Transparency, and Communication

Throughout our communities, there are many pressing issues that need immediate attention — lack of affordable housing, the high cost of living, crumbling infrastructure, rampant homelessness, and public safety concerns to name a few.  The people of Honolulu need elected officials who will treat everyone with Aloha and Respect, listen to their concerns, implement necessary change, and not be afraid to take on challenges on their behalf. 

If elected, I pledge to: work hard to bring honesty, dedication, and transparency back to the City Council; ensure adequate funding to the Honolulu Ethics Commission to enable them to clear their backlog and continue to provide quality ethics training for all city employees; and, to follow the Standards of Conduct as laid out in our Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu and uphold its principles of accountability as referenced:

“Elected and appointed officers and employees shall demonstrate by their example the highest standards of ethical conduct, to the end that the public may justifiably have trust and confidence in the integrity of government. They, as agents of public purpose, shall hold their offices or positions for the benefit of the public, shall recognize that the public interest is their primary concern, and shall faithfully discharge the duties of their offices regardless of personal considerations.”

Through accessibility and open lines of communication, I will keep our community informed, involved, and in contact (not just during election time).  While there may be times when we disagree on an issue, I will always be respectful and listen to our community’s voices as everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard.

Mahalo for your consideration.  I’d be honored to have your trust and respectfully ask for your vote in this upcoming election. 









Improving Access to Public Government Records and Transparency

I wholeheartedly support the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) and Sunshine Law (our open meetings law).  The Office of Information Practices needs to be well staffed with qualified personnel in order to provide education to government workers and the public on what’s considered privileged under UIPA, what’s a violation of transparency in Sunshine Law for State and County Boards when conducting official business, and making timely determinations for appeal of denial to public requests to access records and complaints of Sunshine violations.

I support the imposed deadlines for requests and possible fines if departments are non-compliant.  As mentioned, the problem is administrative and public education as to what is deemed public and private.  It’s a common-sense standard, not another rigid legal application of administrative law.  The government should not have anything really, to hide. 


The Blue Hawaii Podcast's Path to the Primary: Tommy Waters

After our long anticipated wait, The Blue Hawaii Podcast is finally here. Mahalo 🤙🏼 again to Josh Michaels and Ryan Little for giving me the opportunity to discuss 🎤 the issues that are important to our constituents. Hope you'll take a listen and give props to our hosts!

Click Here to Listen to The Blue Hawaii Podcast's Path to the Primary: Tommy Waters

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Our Community Deserves Transparency

Over the past few months, our East Honolulu City Councilmember supported Bill 35, a measure that would have restricted and regulated transportation network companies, or rideshare companies, to the point of their inability to operate in the Hawai'i market. That's why I was just as surprised as the many people who called me over the weekend asking why he would send a mailer implying his support for ridesharing companies.

In actuality, my opponent accepted direct campaign contributions from the owners from multiple traditional Taxi companies and then immediately voted to restrict Uber and Lyft drivers and cap their surge pricing. This pay-to-play politics destroys the level playing field and demonstrates no support for our resident drivers and riders.

I believe our community deserves a Councilmember that will be honest and transparent. I will always provide effective Leadership with Aloha. Please feel free to read excerpts of my testimony below.

Tommy's 05/23/2018 testimony:
"Having lived in East Oahu for most of my life, I’ve sat through my share of traffic. Hawaii residents endure some of the worst traffic conditions in the nation, with many of us spending an hour or more getting to and from work every day. There’s no question we need to do more to provide our residents with better, more reliable and more affordable transportation options.

Regulating transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft won’t solve our transportation crisis — it’ll create a larger problem. TNCs provide a valuable service to our community, and placing regulations on their operations will only make it harder for them to Written serve our residents.

Regulating transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft won’t solve our transportation crisis — it’ll create a larger problem. TNCs provide a valuable service to our community, and placing regulations on their operations will only make it harder for them to serve our residents.

Our kupuna rely on TNCs to get to their doctor’s appointments or run errands. Local people use TNCs to get to work, reducing the number of cars on the road, or to get home after a night out, reducing DUI rates. TNC fares are on average 40 percent cheaper than a regular taxi. This price difference matters a lot to those who struggle with high cost of living expenses, especially seniors who live on limited incomes.

TNCs have introduced much-needed competition in our market. Taxis have had to adapt their services to become more consumer friendly to survive, which has resulted in kamaaina fares, mobile apps and other features that benefit local people. Finally, TNCs create job opportunities that help our residents earn a living. Becoming an Uber or Lyft driver offers a part-time, flexible way to supplement or serve as a main source of income.

Despite these benefits, the City Council is considering a bill that will effectively make it impossible for TNCs to operate here in Hawaii. We are known as one of the worst states to do business due to over regulation, needless bureaucracy and an unwillingness to embrace innovation. All this is clearly at play in the consideration of Bill 35.

Bill 35 will create a number of regulations for TNCs, none of which will benefit the local consumer. It will result in higher fares with no real increase in passenger safety for more than tOO,000 Uber riders. It will remove incentives for 3,000 Uber drivers to work during peak hours, resulting in longer wait times and lower wages. Is this really what the people want? Does Bill 35 really have the community’s best interests in mind?

I urge the City Council to consider how important TNCs are to our state, our residents and our transportation industry and vote no on Bill 35. Instead of regulating TNCs, we should spend our time and efforts creating more ways for people to get around safely, easing traffic and improving transportation for everyone."

Respecting Our Laws and Setting the Example for Others to Follow

This race is going to come down to accountability, transparency, and communication. You deserve a representative that will respect our laws, to include Sunshine Law, and will set the example for others to follow. You deserve a representative that will listen to you and not silence your voice by circumventing the process and cutting off your opportunity to weigh in on issues before the Council. You deserve Leadership with Aloha!


Honolulu Civil Beat: City Council Ignores Open Meeting Laws to Hear Bike-Sharing Bill

Open Lines of Communication

From keiki to kupuna, we need Leadership with Aloha and a Councilmember that will actively represent our community while keeping open lines of communication. Every vote really does count and I humbly ask for your support in the upcoming election. Mahalo!


Honolulu Civil Beat: The Struggle For Power In Honolulu Is Coming To A Head

Level Playing Field

My opponent accepted direct campaign contributions from the owners of Charley's Taxi ($1500), TheCab ($3500) and Signature Cab Holdings ($500), and subsequently voted to restrict Uber/Lyft drivers and cap their surge pricing. This is pure pay to pay politics which destroys the level playing field and demonstrates no support for our resident drivers and riders. No Leadership. No Aloha.


Honolulu Civil Beat: City Council Votes To Cap Uber and Lyft Prices

Distraction From the Issues at Hand

This is a red herring and an attempt to distract from the major issues in our race and the concerns of East Oahu residents. This complaint demonstrates my opponent's cynical nature -- he has a long history of attempting to punish people who don't support him politically -- and I know he's aware that we have canvassed over 5,000 households and our campaign is picking up steam.


Honolulu Star Advertiser: Councilman files ethics complaint against Caldwell appointee

Communication is a Priority

Thank you to the Griffin Ohana for hosting a coffee hour for me. As I go door-to-door, I look forward to hearing what people have to say. If elected, I will make it a priority to stay in contact with my community.

Tommy in the District Video - Neighbor to Neighbor Hour

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