A perspective we can’t afford to lose in the Senate
Born in Fukushima, Japan, Mazie Hirono is the only immigrant currently serving in the U.S. Senate. After spending the first few years of her life living on her grandparents’ rice farm, Mazie moved to the United States when she was almost eight years old, after her mother made the decision to escape from her abusive marriage to Mazie’s father, taking Mazie and her brother across the Pacific Ocean to Hawai‘i with all of the family’s possessions packed into one suitcase. In Hawai‘i, Mazie’s mother worked as a typesetter for a Japanese-language newspaper during the day and for a catering company at night, while the family lived in a rented room at a boarding house, sleeping sideways to share one bed. Mazie started elementary school in Hawai‘i before she could read or speak English and helped earn money to cover her family’s expenses by working as a student cashier at her elementary school and delivering newspapers after school.
After graduating from high school, Mazie worked her way through college at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and through law school at Georgetown, moving back to Hawai‘i after finishing her degrees to work as an attorney. In 1980, she successfully ran for a seat in the Hawai‘i House of Representatives, where she served until 1994, when she was elected as the state’s lieutenant governor. In 2006, Mazie was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives after winning a highly-contested, 10-way primary for the Democratic nomination with the early support of EMILY’s List. In 2012, Mazie ran for the U.S. Senate and won, becoming the first woman ever to represent her home state in the Senate and the first Asian American woman ever to serve. Now Mazie is running for re-election — and with Donald Trump’s Republican Party pushing its dangerously anti-woman, anti-immigrant agenda, we must do everything we can to ensure she is able to continue her fight in the Senate.
A commitment to the issues that matter
After Donald Trump issued a dangerous, unconstitutional executive order on immigration during the first weeks of his presidency, Mazie was one of the strongest voices speaking out to hold his administration accountable, invoking the internment of thousands of Japanese Americans during the Second World War and forcefully declaring her commitment to never “stand by as President Trump repeats the discrimination and hysteria directed at minorities and immigrants throughout our history.” In the Senate, Mazie has fought for the issues that matter time and time again, from calling on the Department of Homeland Security to protect unaccompanied children detained at the U.S. border to defending our right to make our own reproductive health care decisions to strongly supporting legislation to protect the environment and increase investment in renewable energy. There is no question that we need her values, perseverance, and perspective in the Senate now more than ever before.
A voice for families working hard for a shot at the American dream
When Mazie was first elected to the Senate, she pledged to be “a voice for veterans, women, seniors, teachers, and young people who just want a chance at the American dream,” and she has kept that promise. Mazie needs our support, and needs it early on to build a strong campaign, ensure her message is heard, and to continue her fight for hardworking families in the Senate.