Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mazie Hirono and Mark Takano make history

Japanese Americans Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mark Takano (D-California) made history in yesterday's elections.

Hirono is making history on multiple fronts:
  • Hawaii's first female senator.
  • First Japanese American female senator.
  • First Asian American female senator.
  • First person born in Japan (or anywhere in Asia) to be elected to the Senate.  She is also the first foreign-born Asian woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.
  • First Buddhist senator. She is also one of two Buddhists who were the first to be elected to the House of Representatives.

Takano is making history as the first openly LGBT Japanese American, Asian American, and person of color to win a Congressional seat. He was one of eight LGBT candidates running for Congress this year. Of the 8, 6 have won and 1 is too close to call 7 won. Two other LGBT candidates also made history: Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), as the first openly gay person to be elected to the Senate, and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), as the first openly bisexual member of Congress. Takano was recently featured in The Huffington Post's list of The Most Influential LGBT Asian Icons at #38.

Hirono and Takano join four other Japanese Americans in Congress. Omedetō gozaimasu!

List of Japanese American Senators and Representatives:
Update 12/18/12: Sen. Dan Inouye passed away yesterday. Gov. Neil Abercrombie will appoint a successor who will serve until 2014, at which time they'll have an election for someone to fill the remainder of Sen. Inouye's term (until 2016). Sen. Inouye wanted Rep. Colleen Hanabusa to succeed him.

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