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Democratic LG candidates take on school safety, firearms in Waikiki forum

It's the first time the major democratic party candidates for lieutenant governor appeared at a forum together in person.
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:12 PM HST|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 5:36 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Guns, school safety, affordable housing and other issues took centerstage Friday among members of Hawaii’s political community.

Democratic candidates for lieutenant governor convened in Waikiki as part of the party’s state convention.

Those vying for the lieutenant governor’s seat didn’t debate each other, but took questions through a moderator.

When asked about school safety, former Honolulu City Council chair Ikaika Anderson says the state needs to work with the police so officers can be on campus.

“I feel we could work with our police departments help our schools get up to speed in security and we can possibly even provide some uniformed officers from time to time in our schools,” said Anderson.

State House Finance Chair Sylvia Luke says the Legislature provided security cameras for many schools. But installing new locks that lock from the inside was an idea not supported by DOE and did not pass.

She hopes ideas like that can be reexamined.

“Just to make it harder for assailants to come into the classroom, we had a bill in the past we were able to lock from the inside but Department of Education opposed that,” said Luke.

Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii, wants to work with stakeholders on safety plans and uphold gun laws.

“Fortunately, Hawaii has one of the strictest gun laws and we need to ensure that we maintain that status here and to be vigilant and to see what more can we do to protect our schools in a keiki,” said Menor-McNamara.

While business executive and former candidate for mayor Keith Amemiya says school policies should be reviewed and there should be a focus on mental health.

“We also need to provide the proper mental health counseling and services for people who are troubled in our community. They are the ones that seem to be the perpetrators of these horrific acts,” said Amemiya.

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