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Monday, June 8, 2020

HSTA supports Colleen Hanabusa for Honolulu mayor

Recommendations for Honolulu City Council also announced

For the first time, the Hawaii State Teachers Association announced Monday its support for a Honolulu mayoral candidate. The union says former congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is the best person to lead Honolulu Hale for the next four years.

“I've had the privilege of working with Colleen Hanabusa for the last few years and know she is a passionate advocate, an out-of-the-box thinker, a highly intelligent person, and someone who has always fought for a better Hawaii,” said HSTA President Corey Rosenlee.

In 2016, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission said that teachers could not accept free travel for chaperoning field trips, and commission staff suggested educators would have to pay for field trips out of their own pockets.

“Colleen Hanabusa stood with HSTA and the keiki of Hawaii. She took our case to Circuit Court and won. That allowed our teachers and our keiki to learn outside the classroom once again,” Rosenlee said.

When Maili Elementary School was besieged with flies and the smell of pig farms, Hanabusa fought and won to get air conditioning for the school. 

Rosenlee said Hanabusa “has vowed to continue to improve education as mayor for the City and County of Honolulu by finding ways that the city can use government land to help retain and recruit teachers by creating teacher housing.

“During crises, we need a proven leader who can hit the ground running. That is why the Hawaii State Teachers Association is proud to announce our support for Colleen Hanabusa for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu,” Rosenlee said.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to receive the backing of Hawaii’s teachers,” Hanabusa said, “and it’s even more special to me because this is the first time that HSTA has entered into the county arena to support candidates.”

Hanabusa said there are numerous success stories of people whose life trajectories were influenced by a teacher. “In Waianae, where I grew up, I always think of Candy Suiso, who recently retired from the DOE,” she said. “Nearly single-handedly, Candy influenced a whole generation of Waianae students to become engaged digital natives before digital media even became a ‘thing.’ The success of Searider Productions not only put Waianae High School on the national map, but the high graduation and college going rate of Candy’s SP students really speaks to how teachers have the ability to inspire, engage, encourage and motivate youth to reach for their dreams.”

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

Recommendations for Honolulu City Council

HSTA has supported candidates for governor, and state and congressional House and Senate for decades. This year, the union decided to make recommendations on a county level.

“As educators, we know that the concerns of our keiki and our families do not begin nor end at the doorsteps of our schools. Whether it’s teacher housing, homelessness, or the land next to our schools, city issues become education issues,” Rosenlee said.

“HSTA needs leaders who make all of our keiki a priority whether at the state Legislature or Honolulu Hale. Since this is the first time we have gotten involved in county races, HSTA is recommending candidates in one county only, Honolulu, so we can use this as a model for future recommendations in other counties,” Rosenlee added.

The HSTA is supporting the following candidates for the Honolulu City Council:

District 1: Anthony Makana Paris 
District 5: Calvin Say
District 7: Ryan Mandado
District 9: William Espero

“These candidates are strong supporters of public education and are committed to creating a better future for our keiki,” Rosenlee said.

For the first time in Hawaii’s history, our primary and general elections will be conducted by mail, and your home is your new polling place. Check now to make sure you are registered so you can cast your vote from the privacy of your own home in August and November.

The primary election is Aug. 8, with a voter registration deadline of July 9. The general election will be held Nov. 3 and you have until Oct. 5 to register to vote in that contest.

Although Hawaii offers same-day registration, please note there are very limited voter service centers this year.

Click here for information on voter service centers as well as places of deposit, where you can drop off your ballot in addition to a mailbox.

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