In the last 6 days of voting, encourage voters to participate and support UHPA endorsed candidate David Ige.
Where: State Capitol by Father Damien Statue
When: Thursday, October 30, 2014
Arrive : 10:00-10:15 a.m.
Press Conference: 10:30 a.m.
Why: REMIND THE PUBLIC HOW DAVID SUPPORTED THE EFFORT TO KILL THE PENSION TAX, ALTHOUGH REPUBLICANS ARE SAYING DAVID DID NOT DO THIS AND BROKE HIS PROMISE TO SENIORS
Richard Creagan, MD, is the Democratic candidate running in District 5, which covers the area on Hawaii Island extending from Kailua-Kona to Naalehu. Governor Neil Abercrombie appointed him to complete the legislative term after Rep. Denny Coffman resigned in January 2014 to take care of his daughter who is battling cancer on the Mainland.
Dr. Creagan has served in the emergency department of Kona Community Hospital for the past 23 years and currently is Vice Chief of Staff.
He also served as a Bioterrorism Preparedness Epidemiologist for the state Department of Health where he helped investigate and monitor disease outbreaks.
He also helped found and operate the Hualalai Urgent Care clinic, and is Vice President of Kiolakaa Mountain Farms, which he founded with his wife, Marilyn, in 1994.
He first came to Hawaii in 1966 while training for the Peace Corps on Molokai in preparation for a two-year stint as a health care worker in the Marshall Islands. He speaks fluent Marshallese.
Creagan graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and then received a Medical Degree from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He returned to school and earned a Certificate in Plant Tissue Culture in 2005 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2009 from the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
Before his medical career, Creagan was a student and Human Genetics Researcher at Yale University and the University of Connecticut Medical Center. He later helped found and run San Francisco-based AGRI, a firm which focused on animal vaccines and human blood products. The start-up company was eventually bought after five years, which led to his move to Hawaii.
As an educator, Creagan assisted in teaching junior scientists at Yale and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer, seventh and eighth grade Math and Science in Pittsburgh, and has tutored students in English at Naalehu Elementary School.
Jarrett Keohokalole is the Democratic candidate running in District 48, which covers Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley and Mokuoloe.
Keohokalole serves as a legal fellow with the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species and an assistant faculty specialist with the William S. Richardson School of Law. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Hawaii-Manoa and a Law Degree from the UH William S. Richardson School of Law, with a certificate in Native Hawaiian law.
Keohokalole, 30, says he brings a fresh, new perspective to the legislature. He believes his legal background and experience working around the legislature gives him a keen understanding of legislative processes. Beyond being an advocate for those in his district, he sees his role as that of a facilitator of open dialogue in the community. Providing access for people to share their voices will be one of his priorities.
He believes the actions taken by the legislature, administration, and EUTF trustees in recent years have allowed the state to regain control of its liabilities, but as more baby boomers retire, proactive steps should be taken now to prevent placing the state in the same precarious situation it found itself during the recessions of the 1990s and in 2008.
While the Legislature is not a party to collective bargaining, Keohokalole believes it is the legislature’s duty to provide fiscal oversight and ensure we take a balanced approach to shoring up the state’s financial liabilities. This requires an active role in consultation with stakeholders such as the public employee unions, the EUTF, health insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and others in the medical community.
Chris Lee, who has been a legislator for the past six years, is the Democratic candidate for District 51, which covers Lanikai and Waimanalo. In 2013, he served as chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection. He also served on a number of House committees, including Consumer Protection and Commerce, Judiciary, Ocean, Marine Resources and Hawaiian Affairs, Tourism, and Water and Land.
Reducing the state’s debt is a priority for Lee. In 2013, the legislature made a decision to pay down the burden of state debt accumulated over the past 50 years. The first step was to put $100 million back into the Hurricane Relief Fund and Rainy Day Fund to prepare Hawaii for future disasters without having to borrow more money. These actions help to maintain Hawaii’s credit rating and lower the state’s interest rates on construction loans so the cost of building new schools and roads can be manageable.
Under a new Hawaii law, the State will be paying more than $500 million a year to pay down debt. One of the biggest battles in the last legislative session was a push to impose a new tax on people’s pensions. Fortunately, with the help of businesses, unions, and other organizations such as AARP, the proposal was defeated.
Matthew LoPresti is the Democratic candidate for District 41, which covers Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe and West Loch.
He currently serves as Associate Professor of Philosophy and Humanities and Chair of the Asian and Pacific Studies program at Hawaii Pacific University, where he has taught since 1999.
He obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii-Manoa, and Bachelor of Arts Degrees in History and Philosophy and a Master of Arts Degree in Philosophy from the University of Toledo.
LoPresti believes the state’s unfunded liabilities create an extra burden on the current generation of taxpayers. While some may propose cutting benefits to public employees, he believes that would break promises made to those who served a lifetime of work. Instead, those elected need to exercise greater fiscal restraint and set budget priorities and eliminate funding of special projects.
David Ige knows the importance of an affordable college education. After graduating from Pearl City High School, he applied to the University of California at Berkeley, MIT and other schools known for their engineering programs. Ige was accepted at those schools, but didn’t tell his parents because he knows the cost would not be affordable for them.
Instead, Ige went to UH Manoa, where he received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in decision sciences. His personal character, the quality education he received from the UH, and the 34 years of experience he gained as an engineer in the private sector allowed him to be an effective leader in the Hawaii State Legislature. Ige ended his role in the legislature in July 2014 to run for governor.
While serving as chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Ige had been an ally of the University of Hawaii and a supporter of the faculty. He proactively reached out to UHPA and the faculty to seek our perspectives on issues affecting the UH.
UHPA looks forward to working closely with Ige over the next four years. The faculty’s new two-year contract includes an across-the-board 4% pay increase each year. It also raises the minimum salaries and clarifies workload issues for our colleagues in the community colleges. However, these contract terms are contingent upon approval of funding for the contract in the next legislative session.
U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz represents a fresh, new era for Hawaii in Congress since the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka and the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye. He offers a fresh perspective and new insights on key issues affecting UH faculty, students, and the local economy.
Making Headway in Congress
When he was appointed U.S. Senator, he immediately reached out to UHPA and our members to ask how he could help address the university’s budgetary concerns. He has proven he can effectively make headway on federal legislation that affect us in Hawaii and will continue to look after the best interests of Hawaii, now and in the long term.
Advocating for Affordable College Education
For example, he introduced the College Affordability and Innovation Act of 2014, which supports colleges that provide an affordable, high-quality education. He also sponsored a bill to let student borrowers refinance their student loans at lower interest rates as a way to make their college debt more manageable after graduation. Sen. Schatz also helped to pass another bill to cut the interest rate of student loans in half.
Long-Term Impact for Hawaii
Sen. Schatz serves on the Senate committee for commerce, science and transportation, which oversees policies and legislation that have many implications for our island state. He also serves on the committee that addresses Native Hawaiian concerns.
Mark Takai is running against Republican Charles Djou for the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional District 1. This district covers urban Honolulu, from Hawaii Kai in to Waipahu in west Oahu and Mililani in central Oahu. The district also includes Aiea, Pearl City and Waimalu.
Supporting Affordable A College Education
If elected, one of Takai’s priorities will be to create better paying jobs by closing the gap between the 1% and everyone else by raising the minimum wage, by making college more affordable, and by strengthening the middle class.
He is a proud University of Hawaii alumnus. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s of public health degree in health education, both from the University of Hawaii.
As chair of the House Committee on Higher Education in the State Legislature, Takai was instrumental in creating the Hawaii College Savings Program to make college more affordable for Hawaii’s working families. The 529 College Savings Program allows parents to save money for their children’s college education and earn tax-free interest on the savings.
Working Across Party Lines
During his 20 years of service as a State Legislator, Mark Takai showed that he can work collaboratively across the party lines to promote bipartisan legislation that result in policies that benefit Hawaii residents. If elected to Congress, he has pledged to be a voice of reason in search of practical solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. He believes too many in Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, are placing partisan rhetoric ahead of national interest.
Reducing Our Nation’s Deficit
Takai believes that Congress must make hard decisions about the nation’s increasing deficit. He proposes a multi-faceted approach to restore the nation’s economy that includes reducing government spending, identifying additional savings opportunities and creating an equitable system that will balance the budget and forge a sustainable fiscal path.
UHPA has published a list of candidate endorsements for the 2014 General Election.