UHPA has completed the production of a second TV and radio commercial endorsing Neil Abercrombie for governor, and the new spot began airing this week. Click below to see this latest TV commercial.
Personal endorsements speak volumes about a political candidate, so this new commercial features UH faculty sharing in their own words why they believe Neil Abercrombie is the best candidate for governor. The faculty members in the commercial represent different campuses and departments, and together create a strong voice of support for Neil and encourages others to vote for him.
Lilikalā Kame`eleihiwa, professor with the Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies in the Hawai`inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge at UH-Mānoa, is one the faculty featured in the TV and radio commercial. She has been with the UH for the past 24 years and earned a BA, MA and Ph.D., all from the University of Hawaii.
“Neil has always been a champion of the underdog. He believes in higher education for Native Hawaiians and for all the people of Hawai`i, not just the privileged few,” said Lilikalā, whose Ph.D. is in Hawaiian and Pacific History. “Neil has experience in Washington, and is the hanai uncle of the president of the United States. He befriended President Obama’s dad when it was unpopular to reach out to African Americans. This shows the type of person Neil has been and is today.”
Another faculty member who knew Neil when he also taught at the UH is Barbara Saromines-Ganne, a Art History professor. She has been with the UH system for 42 years and currently leads online art history classes through Leeward Community College and originally started teaching in sociology. She has considered Neil a colleague and friend for the past 40 years. In fact, she led two study abroad tours with Neil that combined American Studies and Art History. Barbara is also credited for helping Abercrombie run his first campaign in his bid for a seat in the State House of Representatives.
“There’s a lot at stake and Neil needed to come back from Washington to lead Hawaii,” Barbara said. “We have an opportunity to elect one of the great leaders for our state in Neil Abercrombie. We need new leadership — leadership we can trust. Our state has suffered economically and from leadership problems, and Neil will help our state thrive at a new level.”
Keith Kashiwada, a Speech professor at Kapi`olani Community College, also supports Neil for governor.
“Change never needs justification. Neil has an eye for hope – sensible, practical hope – and sound decision making. He can bring people together. We’ll need an outside, objective perspective that Neil can bring back to Hawaii,” said Keith, who earned a BA in English and professional teaching diploma from UH before receiving an MA in Speech Communication from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. “Neil has always been a straight shooter. He likes to tell it like it is. He doesn’t get caught up in the political-ese.”
“He came from academia; he was a teacher and education is important to him,” Keith added.
Also in the TV spot is Karla Hayashi, Professor and Writing Coordinator in the English Department at UH-Hilo, where she has served since 1984. Karla also serves on the UHPA Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Collective Bargaining Committee.
“Neil has a vision for the state that encompasses not only business and the environment, but also one that includes education as a critical component. This is something that has been lacking in past elected officials in Hawaii,” said Karla, who was born and raised in Hilo and earned a BA in Journalism and an MA in English from UH-Mānoa. “Education can enhance the quality of life for Hawaii’s citizens because it provides opportunities for businesses and develops entrepreneurs. Neil has clearly shown time and time again that he has a comprehensive view of education from pre-K through university.”
“If Neil is not elected governor, we will continue to see a reliance on tourism as our primary economic engine, but tourism will not create high-paying jobs for Hawaii’s people,” Karla said.
“This election is not only about what’s going to happen now, but also about what will happen in the future.”