U.S. Senate, Hawaii
Senator Mazie Hirono was born in Japan and lived on her grandparents’ rice farm. When she was eight years old her mother took her and her brother and escaped her father who was a chronic alcoholic and compulsive gambler. They boarded the President Cleveland in Yokohama and set sail to Hawaii where she grew up.
During her time at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hirono became interested in public service and advocacy. She then attended Georgetown University Law Center and worked in the Hawaii attorney general’s office in the antitrust division. She moved on to serve in the House and as lieutenant governor where she led efforts to revamp worker’s compensation insurance laws, improve early childhood education, and visa reform in order to promote the tourism industry.
Hirono is the first and only Asian American woman and first woman senator from Hawaii. As a senator she has been a leading voice on immigration issues and authored 11 amendments to the immigration reform bill - including letting Filipino WWII veterans reunite with their families, ensuring Medicaid coverage for COFA migrants, and protecting women and families.
Currently, Hirono lives in Honolulu with her husband, Leighton Kim Oshima, her mother Laura, and is a stepmother to Malia Oshima Paul. A fan of the arts, Mazie was able to get back to working with ceramics a few years ago. She’s also an avid e-reader and tries to keep up with her friends by playing Internet Scrabble.
Senator Mazie Hirono is running for re-election as Hawaii’s Senator. She was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer in May and most recently delivered an emotional and powerful speech on the Senate Floor against the Republicans’ “skinny” Obamacare repeal and demanding compassion from her colleagues for the American people. Her involvement in student protests during the Vietnam War and her continued championing of progressive issues ignites her sense of possibility over what ordinary people joining together can accomplish.