Tuesday’s election brought some religious firsts for Congress, with a victory for Tulsi Gabbard, who will be the first Hindu congresswoman, and Mazie Hirono, the first Buddhist senator. Both are Democrats from Hawaii.
Mazie Hirono’s record and commitment related to improving education for Hawaii’s children.
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has won the Democratic primary in Hawai’i for an open U.S. Senate seat, setting up a race in November against former Hawai’i Gov. Linda Lingle.
At a time when too many people are struggling to make ends meet, hoping the American Dream is still alive — one candidate for United States Senate knows firsthand what it means to struggle against the odds and build a life on the unique opportunities America has to offer.
Hawaii’s own… Mazie Hirono.
Mazie would be the first Asian-American woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate and would be a people’s senator — a leader who comes from humble beginnings, and has overcome difficult obstacles.
Born in Japan, Mazie spent her early years on her grandparents’ rice farm, sent there by her mother to escape a father whose chronic alcoholism and compulsive gambling left the family with few means and even less stability. When nearly eight years old, Mazie, her mother and her older brother fled Japan in search of a better life. Her mother had to make the wrenching decision to leave Mazie’s baby brother with her grandparents.
With one suitcase with all their belongings, the three crossed the Pacific in steerage and arrived in Hawaii.
The National Geographic Society Education Foundation today named Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) as a Geography Legislator of the Year for her steadfast support for improving K-12 geography education.
“Geography is more than where countries are located on the map; we are formed by the lands we inhabit. As an island people, we have a unique perspective and a close relationship with our ‘aina. We are also a multicultural people, with close familial ties to many of the nations of Asia and the Pacific,” said Congresswoman Hirono, a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.
“We need to make sure that our young people are prepared to succeed on the world stage. Geography education is central to working with people from other states and other countries. It also helps us better understand our own special corner of the world. That’s why I support strengthening geography education and why I am so humbled to receive this award.”