Hawai‘i’s Senior Member of Congress Models Compassionate Governance for Up-and-Coming National Leaders

Ida Yoshinaga

Mazie Hirono laughs in surprise when I offer congratulations on her latest honor, the Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award, which the National Park Trust will on June 25 present to Hawai‘i’s senior member of Congress, the first woman of color to receive this recognition.

“Oh, thank you! I’m a big supporter of our national parks; in fact, I have a lifetime pass,” she shares. The U.S. Senator deploys wry humor to deflect the conversation away from the decades of quiet work she has performed to earn this annual award that since 2001 has acknowledged American political leaders that marshal both bureaucratic innovation and legislative skills towards protecting public lands and waters.

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