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Political Election Strategies

Aloha e,

We breathe a collective sigh of relief as the 2020 election is finally over! Several of the informants in our labor history archive collection remarked on the importance of combining economic bargaining with a strong political election strategy.

Seiko “Shirley” Shiroma, a Kahuku Plantation worker, tells us how plantation bosses allowed Republican Party candidates complete access to workers, and exerted pressure on their employees to vote “the right way”. Democrats were not allowed on the plantation and were forced to campaign from the road outside.

Yasu Arakaki was one of the leaders of the ILWU from the Olaa Plantation on Hawaii Island. He recalls the “political revolution” of 1954 when the union helped the Democratic Party prevail over the Republicans in winning a majority in the state legislature.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt our lives and the economy, we continue to move forward with our documentary about Ah Quon McElrath. We anticipate completion of the project by late 2021 or early 2022! Since March, we have received commitments for $32,000! We are almost there, but please help with a donation in any amount. It is easy, just follow the link:


Chris Conybeare

Executive Producer

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