Pahoa High School, Pahoa, Hawaii. USCG Licensed Boat Captain and Commercial Fisherman, supplying our local Hawai‘i Island seafood market and community marine service needs (i.e. charters, rescues, funerals, cultural gathering practices).
Master in Professional Slack Key Guitar Music, sharing Hawai‘i with people worldwide through a creative form that inspires an appreciation and a deeper understanding of our history, our unique arts, how our environment plays a large role in how we live our lives, and honoring the Aloha and music of my ‘ohana from our lanai at Kapa‘ahu that was buried by lava in the 1980s.
Most visibly, I was the Founder of Pu‘uhonua O Puna, a community relief center during the 2018 Kīlauea eruption for lava evacuees. We offered all kinds of supplies (clothing, bedding, diapers, pet food, tents and other essentials) as well as information and hot meals, for which we were honored by the State House of Representatives. Both PRiMO and the T. George & Sunday Paris Foundation awarded me for most outstanding community service statewide. I continue to advocate for Puna fishermen to reopen Hawaii State’s third most profitable boat ramp at Pohoiki, while recently supporting our front-line health care workers and food distributors responding to the pandemic. I have loved working for my community my entire life, and can’t list everything!
After witnessing major gaps in our county government firsthand in the 2018 eruption, I know we need a leader with Aloha to pull people together. Someone who rolls up their sleeves and gets the job done. I am a goal-oriented, strictly-structured, focused human being who willingly loses sleep over my business, my employees, my work, my community, my family, my acquaintances and even over strangers. I make decisions based on a vision, expert input, facts, cultural and environmental impact, law and common sense all while keeping our island morals and ethics close to heart. I bring proactive leadership, better communication, a focus on our keiki, and a fresh vision with a ‘can-do’ attitude and motivation to match my passion for my home island.
1: Reunite the people with the local government. The relationship between the government and its people is broken. Every relationship, in life or business, starts with trust, communication and transparency. Our people should be heard, respected, cared for and involved in our solutions.
2: Economic recovery through sustainability & better spending. Replacing 10% of our food imports not only keeps $313 million dollars in our state, but brings a large share to our food-producing island. We must also nurture our lands through green agriculture & sustainable farming. Budget-wise, let’s reduce the amount of money leaving the island and instead invest locally, while preserving county jobs by using in-house salaried workers instead of outsourcing.
With climate change, we can expect more storms, more flooding, and more potential to disrupt our island’s imports and its crops. We need to be resilient in an increasingly unstable world, and that means investing in self-sustaining food production like farming, hunting and fishing as well as local processing, modernizing our Civil Defense to deal with more frequent and long-lasting challenges, and making sure that our renewable energy investments are well-managed and pono within their local communities. Fixing our recycling and waste management program is a big priority so we don’t contribute to the problem, and set a good example for our keiki. Finally, we need to protect our oceans and reefs and fight opportunistic invasive species.
JD, Whittier Law School;
BA, University of Hawai'i at Manoa
Roth is a founding member of the Hawai‘i Island Visitor Aloha Society (VASH), the Community Coalition for Neighborhood Safety, NexTech STEM opportunities for youth, and has helped bring the Citizens Emergency Response Teams (CERT) to Hawai‘i Island.
He is dedicated to helping young people achieve their goals. Roth is a board member of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Island and of Camp Agape Big Island, a four-day camp for children of incarcerated parents. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Hilo and of Hilo Exchange Club.
He also volunteers with RYLA, the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. In the past, he served on the YMCA corporate board, and an officer of Turning Point for Families.
I’ve lived in Hawai'i for over 35 years. My wife and I chose to make Hawai'i Island our home and raise our children here because we love this island and its people. I've been your elected County Prosecuting Attorney for nearly 8 years. During that time I’ve had a look behind the curtains of government and seen a lot of problems- many of which are longstanding. I’m running for mayor to meet today’s challenges for a better tomorrow. As an attorney, division head, and trained problem solver, I have the unique skills and experience that will help us find solutions and make Hawaiʻi Island’s future brighter. Throughout my career, I've solved problems by bringing the right people to the table and leading with integrity.
My top two goals as Mayor are to improve the way the county runs and to create a better future for next generations through a diverse and dynamic economy. These goals are tied, as we must meet the challenges of today if we’re going to create a brighter future for tomorrow. A big challenge our county faces now is funding. I plan to streamline our budget by working collaboratively and proactively with departments, and making sure the county is negotiating and writing procurement contracts to get the best value for our taxpayer dollars. I also plan to refocus our county government to allow businesses to thrive, encourage entrepreneurship, and support industries that diversify our economy while preserving our island’s culture and values.
In my first 100 days I plan to set the stage to host a sustainability summit. The outcomes of this summit should be in line with the Hawai‘i 2050 Sustainability Plan, with actionable strategies that will help Hawai‘i Island become more self-sustainable, provide opportunities for residents, and allow for alternative energy sources on this island.
I also pledge to address the Hilo landfill issue, which is now an urgent environmental problem. Fixing our landfill is complicated and can’t be solved overnight. However, what we can do immediately is convene a working group with a hard deadline for recommendations, vigorously promote recycling to reduce waste, and decrease the current number of trips to the West Hawai‘i landfill.