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Profile of Sen Mazie Hirono of Hawaii

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Profile of Sen Mazie Hirono of Hawaii
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Sen Mazie Hirono of Hawaii:

Democrat Mazie Hirono was elected as U.S. senator in November 2012, an election that marked many political U.S. Senate firsts, including:
  • First Asian-american woman elected U.S. senator
  • First Buddhist elected U.S. senator
  • First native of Japan elected U.S. senator
  • First woman elected from Hawaii
Before the U.S. Senate, Mazie Hirono served three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, from 2007 through 2012, and eight years as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, from 1994 through 2002. She was a member of the Hawaii legislature from 1981 to 1994. In 2002, she ran unsuccessfully for Hawaii governor.

Mazie Hirono's Political Stances:

Congresswoman Hirono is a strong advoate for public education, including pre-K education, and of college education and affordability. She voted YES in 2010 for the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.

Like most Congressional members from Hawaii, Mazie Hirono is deeply concerned about protecting the environment and preserving the natural beauty and resources of Hawaii and the U.S. She firmly believes that "curbing emissions of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming" must be a national priority.

Her website states that she "believes we must be responsible stewards of both our islands and the planet. She is committed to preserving coastal areas and open spaces in Hawaii, protecting rare native habitats and the endangered species that depend on them, and ensuring funding for our national parks and wildlife refuges."

Personal Data:

  • Birth - November 3, 1947 in Fukushima, Japan, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Education - Public schools in Hawaii, graduating from Kaimuki High School in Honolulu. B.A. in psychology, 1970, University of Hawaii. J.D. in 1978, Georgetown University Law School.
  • Family - Married to Leighton Kim Oshima. Stepmother to one adult daughter, Malia Oshima Paul. Two grandchildren, Mehana and Kainoa,. Religiion - Buddhism

Sen Mazie Hirono on the Issues:

On the Need to Develop Renewable Energy Technologies

"Congresswoman Hirono believes if we speed up the development of renewable energy technologies, we can wean ourselves from oil dependence... Unfortunately, when it comes to developing clean energy, too many in Congress disagree. They want to pursue an energy policy that's outdated and wrong. Just look at the budget passed by House Republicans – it would continue giving the oil companies billions in subsidies yet cut investments in clean energy that have helped Hawaii companies and provide a path to energy independence. We know we need a different approach. That's why Congresswoman Hirono worked with clean energy leaders to create a plan on what Hawaii – and the nation – needs from Washington to become more self-sustainable."

On Ensuring Access to Health Care

"Congresswoman Hirono believes access to quality, affordable health care is critical to the well being of America. Central to this is addressing the needs of the 46 million uninsured Americans, strengthening Medicare, providing health insurance to our low-income children, funding cutting-edge research into cures for diseases, and giving patients the clout to challenge the decisions of health insurers. Only through action on these critical issues can we meet the pressing health care concerns of our nation...

"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act establishes health care reform in a way that reduces the deficit, provides stability and security for Americans who currently have health insurance, and an affordable, quality option for those without coverage. This law stops insurance companies from denying coverage to children because of a pre-existing condition—including thousands of children in Hawaii.

"It stops the insurance companies from saying that being a woman is a pre-existing condition and we can charge you more. It enabled 56,000 seniors in the Second Congressional District to receive Medicare preventative services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductive discount; and provided 10,000 seniors in the district with prescription drug discounts worth $3.1 million. Now, young people can stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26, an important reform..."

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