UHPA Endorses Mayoral Candidate Rick Blangiardi

 

UHPA Endorses Rick Blangiardi for Honolulu Mayor

After carefully evaluating the needs of the University of Hawai‘i faculty and the vision of the two Honolulu mayoral candidates, the University of Hawai‘i Professional Assembly (UHPA) has decided to endorse Rick Blangiardi for mayor. The decision was based on the recommendation of UHPA’s political endorsement committee, which is composed of UH faculty.

UHPA regularly endorses candidates in gubernatorial and state legislative races, and typically has not endorsed mayoral candidates or those running in city or county races. The exceptions have been for Eileen Anderson and Jeremy Harris.

“We felt it was important to weigh in on this year’s mayoral race for the upcoming general election because there are great needs in the community as a result of the pandemic,” said Christian Fern, UHPA’s executive director. “The mayor has the ability to influence how effectively and efficiently O‘ahu recovers from the pandemic and becomes more resilient.”

Affordable housing was a major concern for faculty even before the pandemic, and now it is a top priority, especially since housing is key to recruiting and retaining faculty and ensuring the standards of quality instruction and research remain high at the UH.

Blangiardi has an affinity for the University of Hawai‘i. While he was a UH undergraduate in the mid-1960s, he served as linebacker with the Rainbow Warriors. He returned to Massachusetts with his mother and graduated from Springfield College. After serving in the U.S. Navy and being stationed at Pearl Harbor, he made Hawai‘i his home, and earned a master of arts degree in educational administration from the UH in 1973. He later served as a defensive coordinator and associate head coach for the Rainbow Warriors. He eventually changed careers to television, and was most recently general manager of Hawai‘i News Now.

After listening to both candidates, the political endorsement committee felt Blangiardi understood the needs of the faculty and the important role of unions. UHPA is proud to endorse Blangiardi for mayor.

UHPA Endorses Rep. Richard Onishi, House District 3

UHPA continues to endorse Representative Richard Onishi.  Rep. Onishi continues to brings a vast array of knowledge regarding retaining and recruiting faculty, the importance of research funding and an understanding of the economic challenges that face our islands.  We appreciate the opportunity to work with Rep. Onishi.

UHPA Endorses Rep. Lisa Kitagawa, House District 48

UHPA is pleased to continue to endorse Rep. Kitagawa  She remains up-to-date on Labor issues that are before the Hawai‘i Labor Relations Board.  She understands the struggles of protecting Chapter 89 and demonstrates understanding of the issues pertaining to the University of Hawai‘i system confronting the UH faculty we represent.  Rep. Kitagawa’s background continues to serve her well as an advocate for UHPA and her community.  We are excited to endorse her.

UHPA Endorses Rep. Aaron Johanson, House District 31

Rep. Johanson is the Chair of Labor and Public Employment.  UHPA has found a strong advocate in Rep. Johanson.  He not only understands the issues but seeks to work with us in finding solutions.  The work he has advanced on behalf of the faculty demonstrates his understanding of the issues pertaining to the University of Hawai`i system and economic issues confronting UH and the UH faculty that we represent.  We have appreciated working with him over the years and look forward to many more.

UHPA Endorses Rep. Sylvia Luke, House District 25

Representative Luke is the Chair of the House Finance Committee.  UHPA has been fortunate to have a strong working relationship with Rep. Luke.  Her commitment to ensure the resources needed for faculty to further their work throughout all the campuses is of benefit to all.  Rep. Luke brings a vast array of knowledge and understanding of the issues on economic conditions pertaining to the University.  We look forward to a continuing strong working relationship with Rep. Luke.

UHPA Endorses Speaker of the House Scott Saiki, House District 26

Speaker of the House Saiki has been busy keeping UHPA informed on the issues before the House over the past two years.  He has continued to engage UHPA in conversations to provide input on important issues that impact faculty.  The work on behalf of the faculty demonstrates his understanding of the issues pertaining to the University of Hawai`i system and economic issues confronting UH and the UH faculty that we represent.  We have appreciated working with him over the years.

UHPA Endorses Senator Brian Taniguchi, Senate District 11

UHPA is pleased to announce continued support for Senator Brian Taniguchi.  Sen. Taniguchi Chairs the Labor Committe (LCA) and has provided extensive support for UHPA initiatives over the past few years.  We appreciate his open door and open communication policy.  His understanding of the issues challenging UH and his commitment of support is appreciated.  We look forward to more time together.

UHPA Endorses Senator Gil Keith-Agaran, Senate District 5

UHPA appreciates all the energy and time Senator Keith-Agaran provides in his capacity as Vice Chair of  the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  His efforts to ensure that the resources needed for faculty to further their work throughout the islands is of benefit to all.  Senator Keith-Agaran brings a vast array of knowledge and understanding of the issues pertaining to the University  We appreciated working with the Senator.

UHPA Endorses Senate President Ron Kouchi, Senate District 8

UHPA continues to endorse President Kouchi.  UHPA appreciates President Kouchi’s commitment to open communications.  He brings a vast array of knowledge to the Senate regarding faculty and the importance of research funding and understanding the economic challenges that face our islands.  We appreciate all his time and efforts.

UHPA Endorses Patrick Branco, House District 50

UHPA is pleased to endorse newcomer Patrick Branco for House District 50.  Patrick graduated from Kamehameha Schools, received a full scholarship to Hawai‘i Pacific University and went on to receive his Master’s degree from John’s Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC.  Patrick earned fellowships at the US Embassy of the Republic of Korea and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  He has served in the U.S. Foreign Service.  The PEC felt strongly that Patrick understood our issues, the economic difficulties facing the University and the legislature.  They also felt that his background would serve him well in working with others in the legislature in advancing the work that needs to be accomplished.