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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Preemptive Strike: UHPA Endorses Schatz
By News Release @ 9:27 PM :: 5229 Views :: Democratic Party, Congressional Delegation, Labor



University of Hawaii Professional Assembly Endorses Brian Schatz for U.S. Senate


News Release from UHPA March 21, 2013

The University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), the union that represents nearly 4,000 faculty at all 10 campuses within the statewide University of Hawaii system, has announced its endorsement of Sen. Brian Schatz for another term in the U.S. Senate.

The UHPA Board of Directors voted to endorse Sen. Schatz for the special election for the U.S. Senate that will be held in 2014. The board noted the early endorsement was the result of unprecedented changes in Congress with the retirement of Sen. Daniel Akaka and the passing of Sen. Daniel Inouye, and the need for a fresh perspective and new insights on key issues affecting UH faculty, students, and the local economy.

“From his first day as Senator, Brian Schatz immediately reached out to UHPA and our members to ask how he could help address the university’s budgetary concerns. In his relatively brief time in Congress, Sen. Schatz has proven he can make headway on federal legislation that affects us in Hawaii,” said Adrienne Valdez, UHPA Board President. “We believe he will continue that momentum as he looks after the best interests of Hawaii, now and in the long term. We’ve been able to count on him to provide pragmatic, realistic solutions, and he has earned the respect and confidence of faculty.”

“I’m honored to be endorsed by a group that is such an important part of Hawaii’s cultural, economic and academic fabric,” said Senator Brian Schatz. “I sought out input and advice from the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly as soon as I took the oath of office and have continued to work with them to achieve our shared goals. Whether through my committee work or individual pursuits, I have focused on issues like clean energy development, economic growth, job creation, and Native Hawaiian programs. In 2014, I hope the people of Hawaii will vote to allow me to continue working hand-in-hand with groups like UHPA that are making education and economic development its priorities.”

The UHPA Board noted that Sen. Schatz has quickly been appointed to key positions that have direct influence over many areas important to UH faculty and the state. He currently serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Committee on Indian Affairs, which addresses Native Hawaiian issues. He also serves on the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, serving as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water and Power. Schatz was one of the only freshman senators to be named chair of a subcommittee, which gives him greater power to work effectively on clean energy and environmental legislation that may have many implications for Hawaii.

“Brian is well acquainted with the unique challenges here in our Islands and his involvement on these key committee assignments align with issues that are priorities for our state, the University of Hawaii, faculty and students: clean energy development and energy security, resources for economic development and job creation, funding for academic research, and preserving Native Hawaiian cultural values and rights,” Valdez said.

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