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Hawaii Teachers Union Endorses Hirono, Hanabusa, Hannemann

Hawaii, meet the 'H Team.'

If you are a political candidate for Hawaii and your last name begins with ‘H,’ chances are you got an endorsement from the state’s teachers union this week.

U.S. Senate candidate Mazie Hirono announced today that she has snagged an endorsement from the 13,000-member Hawaii State Teachers Association.

The union also threw its support behind incumbent Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann in their races for Hawaii’s first and second Congressional seats, respectively.

Hirono’s campaign issued the following press release today:

RELEASE: Teachers pledge support to Hirono, Hanabusa, and Hannemann

The Hawaii State Teachers Association Board of Directors is pleased to announce their recommendations for the 2012 Congressional elections.

They have selected Representative Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa as the incumbent in the first congressional district, and Mufi Hannemann for U.S. House of Representatives from Hawaii’s second congressional district.

“This is an important time to plan for Hawaii’s future and the many challenges we face. With a strong congressional delegation, we will have leaders that will be a strong voice for Hawaii’s children and working families,” said Wil Okabe, a teacher and current President of HSTA.

  • U.S. Representative Mazie Hirono has been an unwavering champion of education and labor. She supports many of the educational tenets we believe in and understands that funding and support for teachers is a critical part of Hawaii’s future.
  • U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa has been a strong voice for the middle class. She has been a reliable member of Hawaii’s congressional delegation and will continue to make contributions on President Obama’s initiatives.
  • Mufi Hannemann’s knowledge of issues important to Hawaii equips him to work toward bold solutions to put our nation back on track and to make contributions that will allow our children to choose to call Hawaii home. His existing relationships with current members of Congress give him a solid foundation from which to begin.

“Education is at the core of investing in our future. These candidates have the right values and vision to stand up for teachers and students in Congress. They recognize just how important good teachers are to our communities and our country and they will work to create new opportunities for students from pre-school to graduate school,” Okabe said.

Candidates seeking the HSTA recommendation completed a vigorous review process that included research of voting records, written responses on education issues, and an interview with teachers on the HSTA Government Relations Committee. After much deliberation, the Committee recommendations were approved by the HSTA Board of Directors. Teachers will be working hard to get out the vote for their endorsed candidates. They know their votes matter!

The HSTA Government Relations Committee and Board of Directors are composed of teachers from every island. They are volunteers who are elected by teachers from the Districts they serve. The President of HSTA is a teacher on release time from his assigned school and elected by all of the teacher members. HSTA’s teacher leaders set the course for action in the Association.

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is the exclusive representative of more than 13,000 public school teachers statewide. As the state affiliate of the 3-million member National Education Association, HSTA assists teachers with collective bargaining and contract issues, legislative advocacy, and provides professional development in curriculum and leadership. There are also 4000 retired teachers in an affiliate relationship with HSTA, the HSTA-R’s.

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