About Mazie Hirono
Mazie Hirono grew up on her grandparents’ rice farm in Fukushima, Japan. When she was nearly eight years old, her mother Laura made the courageous decision to escape her abusive marriage and take Mazie and her brothers to the United States in search of a better life. When they arrived in Hawaii, Mazie spoke no English and Laura worked low wage jobs with no job security or health benefits. In elementary school, Mazie worked as a student lunch cashier in exchange for lunch.
Mazie worked hard and graduated with honors from Kaimuki High School. She went on to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. It was during college that Mazie first experienced political action as a way to make social change in protesting the Vietnam War. She was part of a small group of young activists who recognized that protesting and marching wasn’t enough – they needed seats at the table to bring about change. Driven by her desire to be a more effective advocate for others, Mazie went to law school, graduating from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Shortly after law school and after a time serving as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaii, Mazie ran for and won a seat in the Hawaii State House of Representatives in 1980, where she earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for consumers. She was elected Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor in 1994, and was the first statewide elected official to stand up for marriage equality. Hawaii voters elected Mazie to represent Hawaii’s Second Congressional District in 2006, and to the U.S. Senate in 2012.
In Congress, Mazie has been a leading voice for immigration policies that keep families together; health care as a right and not a privilege; preserving the programs our kupuna rely on; and increasing access to quality, affordable education. Since the 2016 election, she has emerged as a leader in the resistance to the Trump administration’s attacks on our core values, including undermining the judiciary, degrading civil and voting rights, taking health care away from millions, and restricting immigration. In 2018, Mazie is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate to continue her fight for Hawaii families and people across the country whose voices are often not heard loud enough in Congress.
Mazie lives in Honolulu with her husband Leighton, mother Laura, and cat Kuromame. Her early endorsers for her 2018 reelection include the Hawaii State AFL-CIO, EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Americans for Democratic Action, the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, and End Citizens United.