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.