by Diane Ako
(KHNL) - 49 year old Nestor Garcia is no stranger to politics. He serves on the Honolulu City Council representing the communities of Waikele, Waipahu, Village Park, Makakilo, Kunia, and Mililani. Prior to becoming a councilmember, Garcia served in the State House of Representatives for eight years, and worked in Washington as press secretary for Hawaii's senior senator Daniel Inouye.
But before entering politics, Garcia questioned the politicians. Hewas a news reporter for KHON for ten years. A 1980 graduate of the university of hawaii garcia has worked as a bank executive and serves on numerous non profit organizations.
"I know tourism is the engine that drives our economy" says Garcia.
Nestor Garcia gets to know voters at K5's political speed campaigning event. The Honolulu City Council member believes to be a key issue in this year s congressional campaign is the war in Iraq.
"We are spending $400 billion in a war where the reasons for getting into that war are dubious. I know that I would like to d like to withdraw when we can."
In Hawaii, Garcia says the biggest issue is growth and expansion.
"Growing pains. Development that's unplanned and uncoordinated. The infrastructure is not there to support whatever housing, resort development."
Dovetailing into that is the current city debate about mass transit options.
"I hope it's rail, and then I hope I'll be in the congressional delegation to follow up and make sure that the federal funding is there for mass transit."
Garcia says he's all for a greener planet. He also says supporting Hawaii s infrastructure, including mass transit, brings him full circle, back to the war in Iraq.
"We all know the real reason we re in the Middle East. That's where the oil and gas is."
In the wake of 9/11, Garcia worries the crackdown on terrorism conflicts with US civil liberties.
"When you forsake freedom in the name of security, you deserve neither. So let's be careful about what we do when westart to shut ourselves off from the rest of the world."
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