Will Espero

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Will Espero (born November 6, 1960) is an American politician who has served as a state senator for the 19th district of the State of Hawaii since 2000. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life and education[edit]

Born on November 6, 1960 at a United States naval base in Yokosuka, Japan, Espero is the son of Victor and Paulina Espero. Originally from Bacnotan, La Union, Philippines, Victor served in the United States Navy for 21 years while his wife, Paulina, originally from Santiago, Ilocus Sur, Philippines, retires as a licensed practical nurse. As entrepreneurs, Victor and Paulina also operated a restaurant, catering service, and carehomes.[1]

Growing up in a military family, Espero lived in Vallejo, California, Jacksonville, Florida, Athens, Georgia, Norfolk, Virginia, Oak Harbor, Washington, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Naples, Italy, and Yokosuka, Japan.[1]

Espero attended Seattle University where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Management in 1982. Later that year, he moved to Hawaii and established a home. He worked in the finance and banking industry, property management, local home development, and the Coalition for a Drug Free Hawaii. A few years later in 1987, he entered politics, working with former mayor Frank Fasi and his administration as the Executive Secretary of the City and County of Honolulu Neighborhood Commission.[1]

Political career[edit]

In 1992, Espero lost an election to the Hawaii State House of Representatives as a Republican before switching to the Democratic Party.

Then in December 1999, Espero was appointed to the Hawaii State House of Representatives by Governor Ben Cayetano to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of then-representative Paul Oshiro. In 2002, he ran a successful campaign and was elected into the Hawaii State Senate where he has been serving for the past 13 years.[2] He represented District 20, which stretched from lower Waipahu to 'Ewa Beach, where Espero resides. After the reapportionment of Hawaii's districts, Espero became the senator for District 19 which now includes 'Ewa Beach, Ocean Pointe, 'Ewa by Gentry, Iroquois Point, and a portion of 'Ewa Villages.[2]

Espero is currently the Majority Floor Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (PGM). He is a member of both the Committees on Transportation and International Affairs (TIA) and Ways and Means (WAM).[2]

Leadership positions[edit]


  • Serving the West side of Oahu as State Senator, 2000 - present
  • Majority Floor Leader, 2010 - present
  • Chair, Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, 2010 - present
  • Co-Chair, Transportation and International Affairs

Legislation introduced[edit]


  • Act 094, SLH 2002[4] (main sponsor) - Hawaii's version of Kelsey's Law
  • Act 101, SLH 2012[5] (main sponsor) - creates opportunities for space tourism in Hawaii
  • Act 235, SLH 2012[6] (main sponsor) - appropriates funds for an advisory group for Honouliuli Camp Site, a World War 2 internment camp on Oahu, Hawaii
  • Act 070, SLH 2011[7] (main sponsor) - designates Gold Star Family plates to the family members of fallen soldiers
  • Act 125, SLH 2011[8] (main sponsor) - requires persons convicted of violation of privacy in 1st degree & all persons convicted of promoting prostitution in 1st degree to register as sex offenders
  • Act 027, SLH 2010[9] (main sponsor) - requires Office of Veterans Services to ensure the burial & inurnment of veteran's remains who is without immediate surviving family members
  • Act 165, SLH 2010[10] (co-sponsor) - establishes the crime of intentionally or knowingly taking of a Hawaiian monk seal as a Class C felony
  • Act 160, SLH 2009[11] (co-sponsor) - clarifies animal cruelty law by prohibiting the confinements & restraining of a pet animal in a cruel or inhumane manner
  • Act 133, SLH 2008[12] (co-sponsor) - creates new misdemeanor offense of harassment by impersonation
  • Act 164, SLH 2008[13] (main sponsor) - allows the Hawaii teacher standards board to suspend a teacher's license when the teacher has been convicted of sexual offenses & to initiate proceedings to permanently revoke their license
  • Act 127, SLH 2005[14] (main sponsor) - designates the path from Halawa landing to Waipahu as the Pearl Harbor Historic Trail

Community involvement[edit]


  • 'Ewa Beach Boys and Girls Club, Board of Directors
  • Friends of the 'Ewa Beach Library, Founder and president
  • Friends of the Hawaii State Art Museum, Board of Directors
  • Mele Murals and Estria Foundation, Advisor
  • Operation Homefront of Hawaii, Board member
  • Re-entry Collaborative Population Management, Board member
  • State Council for Interstate Adult Offender Supervision, Board member
  • West Oahu Economic Development Association, Founder and board member
  • Workforce Development Council, Board member
  • Clean and Sober Homes and Halfway House Task Force, Member
  • Government Contracting Task Force, Member
  • 'Ewa Beach Lions Club, Member
  • 'Ewa Beach Community Trust Fund, Member
  • Steering Committee of the Hawaii Justice Reinvestment Initiative, Member
  • Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee, Member
  • Correction Population Management Commission
  • 'Ewa Beach Community Association
  • 'Ewa by Gentry Community Association
  • 'Ewa Neighborhood Board
  • Hawaii Fashion Month
  • Hawaii Impaired Driving Task Force
  • Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision
  • Oahu Filipino Jaycees
  • Oahu Going Home - Reintegration of Ex-Offenders
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help Knights of Columbus



  • Civil Air Patrol, Certificate of Appreciation
  • 'Ewa Beach Lions Club, Distinguished Service Award
  • Kanu O Ka'aina, Certificate of Appreciation
  • Oahu Metropolitan Planning Organization, Certificate of Appreciation
  • 'Olelo Community Media, Certificate of Appreciation
  • USS Ronald Reagan, Honorary Naval Aviator on Board

U.S. House of Representatives 2014 election[edit]

On Sunday, July 21, 2013, Espero announced his candidacy campaign for the 1st Congressional District of Hawaii, the seat current Hawaii U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa will be vacating to run against Hawaii U.S. Senator Brian Schatz.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Win With Will, [1], Biography - Senator Will Espero.
  2. ^ a b c d Espero for Congress, [2], Espero for Congress - About Will, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Senator Will Espero, [3], Hawaii State Legislature. 2013.
  4. ^ Senate Bill 2247, [4], Hawaii State Legislature. 2012
  5. ^ Senate Bill 112, [5], Hawaii State Legislature. 2012
  6. ^ Senate Bill 2678, [6], Hawaii State Legislature. 2012
  7. ^ Senate Bill 883, [7], Hawaii State Legislature. 2011
  8. ^ Senate Bill 52, [8], Hawaii State Legislature. 2011
  9. ^ Senate Bill 2139, [9], Hawaii State Legislature. 2010.
  10. ^ Senate Bill 2441, [10], Hawaii State Legislature. 2010.
  11. ^ Senate Bill 1222, [11], Hawaii State Legislature. 2009.
  12. ^ Senate Bill 2456, [12], Hawaii State Legislature. 2008.
  13. ^ Senate Bill 2080, [13], Hawaii State Legislature. 2008.
  14. ^ Senate Bill 1378, [14], Hawaii State Legislature. 2005.
  15. ^ Garcia, Oksar, [15], "The Associated Press." May 2, 2013.

External links[edit]