I hope all you are aware that a few days ago, the White House announced that President Obama had posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Hawaii Congresswoman Patsy Takemoto Mink. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is one of the highest civilian awards in the United States. Congresswoman Mink was a licensed Hawaii attorney who passed the bar in 1953 and is the first woman of color to be elected to congress. She is remembered for co-authoring Title IX, the law requiring gender equality in education. The award ceremony takes place later this month on the Monday before Thanksgiving.
While I am proud that this honor is being bestowed on Patsy Mink, I am elated that the nomination was prepared by the Hawaii State Bar Association Civic Education Committee chaired by Ted Pettit and Ruth Oh. The other members of this fine committee are The Honorable Leslie A. Hayashi (retired), Carol K. Muranaka, Troy Andrade, Matt Mattice, Carol Kitaoka, Rosanna Fukuda, Michelle Moorhead, Lisa K. Johnson, Daniel Jacob, Ryan M. Hamaguchi, Liam Skilling, Mike Dunford, and Sara Ayabe.
Ted and Ruth co-signed the thoughtful and well worded January 24, 2014 nomination letter addressed to President Obama.
This accomplishment is just one of the many fine projects the Civic Education Committee has been spearheading. The other projects are voting projects, teacher training projects, a day highlighting Civil Liberties and the Constitution, and a state wide calendar contest for social studies students.
I applaud our Civic Education Committee members and want to acknowledge their dedication and sterling work. I urge everyone to attend the future Civic Education Committee events that will further highlight the life and legacy of Patsy Mink.