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UHPA Helps Members Make Informed Mayoral Race Decisions

Typically, UHPA does not endorse candidates in mayoral races and has limited
its endorsements to federal or state races because of the impact these other candidates
can have on the UH and public higher education.  Rather than an outright endorsement, faculty
responding to the survey were open to receiving information about the
candidates, so they could make a decision for themselves.

Since mayors do not have direct involvement in
statewide issues or educational issues, faculty responding in the survey
indicated that UHPA should not make mayoral endorsements.  However, others pointed out that the
University of Hawaii system is a statewide organization that operates in many
counties and that there are other issues outside of education within the
county’s jurisdiction that can impact the quality of life for faculty and
students.  This is particularly true for
the Honolulu mayoral race, as underscored by the following comments from
faculty responding in the survey:

“UH issues
concerning UHPA members affect and are affected by  
          county leadership.”

    –     “…City
services and politics do impact UH-Manoa, West Oahu and
          the four community

    –     “County mayors are responsible for many
decisions that affect our
          campuses. Among other areas, these include: mass

          transportation, sewer lines, waste water treatment, trash pick up

    –     “There are issues that are tied to Honolulu
mayoral races affect
          our well-being and lifestyle that, in turn, influence our

          performance as faculty.”

As these faculty
noted, there are broader issues that can affect UH faculty and students outside
the scope of education.  It is important
to note that while serving in the Hawaii State House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008, Kirk Caldwell advocated for a number of issues  designed to improve the quality of life of
those who live and work in Manoa Valley, which included the University of
Hawaii.  He also served as chairman of the House Committee on Labor and Public Employment from 2004 to 2006.

Rail transit has been
a dominant part of the mayoral race. While
Ben Cayetano is opposed to rail, Kirk Caldwell would like to see rail continue
to proceed.  Based on the survey, there
are some faculty who also see the value of rail:

    –    “Rail is a major issue that affects UH.  It needs to be implemented
         and it needs to be
extended to Manoa.  Cayetano would
         this entirely, while Caldwell has expressed support for such an


    –    “Rail is a critical issue for UH growth and
development.  We should
         support the
candidate who supports rail.”

Finally, preserving the right to collective
bargaining is important to all faculty and the mayors of all counties vote on contracts
involving HGEA, UPW and Fire Fighters. Although these union members are county
employees, they can affect the contract negotiations with other public-sector
unions such as UHPA.  Many faculty who
have been with the UH system for more than 10 years may recall the 2001 faculty
strike under then Governor Ben Cayetano.  For more details, visit the UHPA website,
click on Faculty Contract in the menu on the left-hand column, then click on
Archives (1999-2001 Faculty without Contract).

As you make your voting decisions for the general election, please keep in mind
that county mayors do in fact influence the overall quality of life for you,
our students, and our campuses.