Category Archives: Daniel Akaka

Send Your Aloha to Sen Akaka


Sign Senator Akaka's digital mahalo card.

Last week, after nearly four decades in Congress, my dear friend Senator Dan Akaka took to the floor of the Senate to deliver a heartfelt final speech.

Senator Akaka brought Hawaii’s spirit of aloha to Congress in everything he did, and he will be sorely missed here.

Please join me in thanking Senator Akaka for his many years of service, and wish him all the best as he returns to Hawaii to spend time with his five children, 15 grandchildren, and 15 (soon to be 16) great grandchildren.

Click here to sign our digital “mahalo” card to Senator Dan Akaka today!

Last week, I also received my official Senate committee assignments, and I’m pleased to announce that I will be following in the footsteps of Senator Akaka by serving on the Veterans Affairs committee — as well as the Energy and Natural Resources and Judiciary committees.

These are three great committees, and I can’t wait to get started.

Serving on these three crucial committees will give us a tremendous opportunity to help move our islands and our country forward — by supporting the brave men and women who have served our country so honorably, helping to make America and Hawaii more energy independent, and addressing the many issues in the Judiciary committee’s purview, from judicial appointments to immigration reform.

I’m excited to start my work, and I can only hope that I will bring the same aloha spirit to the Senate — every day — that Senator Akaka has done for so many years. He’s leaving me big shoes to fill.

Please join me in wishing Senator Akaka well in his retirement!


Mazie Hirono

U.S. Senator-elect


Sign the card

Press Release on Sen. Akaka’s Event

August 29, 2012
Contact: Troy Hashimoto, 281-3906

Maui Democratic Party Honors Senator Daniel K. Akaka

Caption Information:
IMG_5948: Mrs. Shirley Yokouchi greets Senator Akaka.

IMG_6169: Hawaii State Senate President Shan Tsutsui speaks with United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka.

IMG_6590:  Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo along with Councilmember Mike White, Michael Victorino, Don Couch and Joseph Pontanilla presents a Congratulatory Certificate to Senator Akaka.

IMG_6706 & IMG_6740: United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka thanks over 400 well-wishers for their continued support.

IMG_6858: Senator Daniel K. Akaka and his wife Millie Akaka after singing Hawaii Aloha with supporters.

Photo Credit:  Maui Democratic Party / Troy Hashimoto

Summary of Event/Background Information:
Over 400 supporters and well-wishers gathered this past evening at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort to celebrate the career and accomplishments of United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka.

The event hosted by the Democratic Party of Maui featured remarks by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Carmen ‘Hulu’ Lindsey, union representatives, a presentation of a Congratulatory Certificate by Maui County Council Chairman Danny Mateo, a Proclamation by Mayor Alan Arakawa presented by Managing Director Keith Regan and an introduction by Hawaii Senate President Shan Tsutsui.  Akaka was welcomed with a standing ovation and thanked the crowd for their support through the years.

Akaka, who has tirelessly worked for the people of Hawaii for more than three decades, has made extensive contributions towards helping veterans and their families, protecting the rights of Native Hawaiians, and strengthening our education system.

First elected to the U.S. House in 1976, Congressman Akaka was appointed to the Senate when Senator Spark Matsunaga passed away, subsequently winning election to the office in 1990, and re-election in 1994, 2000, and 2006.  He will be retiring in January after 36 years of congressional service.

Sen Akaka on Maui

United States Senator Daniel K. Akaka thanks over 400 well-wishers for their continued support. Photo by Troy Hashimoto

Mahalo nui loa to everyone who attended Wednesday evening’s Maui Democratic Party benefit dinner honoring Senator Daniel K. Akaka. We are deeply grateful to have been able to host a wonderful event for one of Hawaii’s most beloved leaders. It was a sell out night at Makena Resort and our distinct honor to host Senator Akaka and his wife, Millie.

Our thanks to event chair Roy Silva and his committee of: Candy Sakugawa-Baisa, Dottie Binder, Jason Medeiros, Leslie Ann Yokouchi, Mahina Martin, Michelle Del Rosario, Steve West and Todd Craine.

See more photos on Facebook.

Akaka humble, effective public servant who benefitted Hawaii

U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s recent announcement not to seek re-election in 2012 has made me reflect greatly on his impact on past, present, and future politicians in Hawaii and his impact on our residents. We have been so fortunate to have been represented in Congress by a man such as Akaka. He is a man who has continually dedicated himself to initiatives that benefit his constituency, a man who has won the hearts of those in Hawaii as well as Washington, D.C., due to his affable nature and genuine concern for people, a man who epitomizes humility, a rare characteristic for many politicians.

Akaka has passionately and ably served not only the people of Hawaii for several decades, serving in both houses of Congress as well as a teacher and principal, but also his country in the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. This demonstrates his desire throughout his distinguished career to help better people’s lives and the lives of others. He has been a trailblazer, serving as the first Native Hawaiian senator and always demonstrating a progressive attitude on issues.

Over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons from Akaka, both as an elected official and as an individual. He has worked tirelessly for the people of Hawaii, veterans and for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians. During his tenure in the Senate, Akaka advocated for all of his constituents, young and old and especially those who are disadvantaged and indigent. He authored the Native American Veterans Home Loan Program in 1992 to provide Native American veterans residing on trust lands with direct loans to build or purchase homes on such land. In 1993, he co-sponsored the Apology Resolution, where the United States formally apologized to Native Hawaiians for its participation in the overthrow as well as a formal commitment to a process of reconciliation.

For women, he increased the Medicare reimbursement rate for pap smear lab tests to ensure that it remains reasonably priced for and available to all women. As chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, he led the passage of the Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007, which provided veterans’ pensions to Filipino veterans of World War II.

For the County of Maui, Akaka was instrumental in securing tens of millions of dollars for countless Maui projects. Such recent projects include Honoapiilani Highway realignment, Kahului Airport improvements, the West Maui watershed, and as well as several projects on Haleakala.

Akaka is not a “show horse” but a “work horse,” using his political prowess and ability to work with those on the other side of the aisle to create meaningful assistance to Hawaii’s residents. In my short tenure at the state Senate I have learned “those who roar the loudest are not necessarily the most effective.” Akaka is a stellar example of focusing on others rather than himself and has never forgotten that he represents all of the voters who elected him to office.

He is a tremendously approachable, down-to-earth individual who is truly interested in each person he encounters. Simply put, he is a good and honest man and public servant, who always conducts himself in a dignified and respectful manner. When he went to Washington in 1976 to serve in Congress, he never forgot who he was: a local boy who wanted to help others. He has spent his entire life serving the people of Hawaii and he has done it conveying a sense of warmth and aloha to all.

He has served as an inspiration to many, myself included, and is a constant beacon of knowledge for all in the state. Thank you, Sen. Akaka, for all of your hard work and diligence that has greatly benefitted our state.

Shan S. Tsutsui is the president of the state Senate and represents Senate District 4, which includes Kahakuloa, Wailuku, Waikapu, Kahului and lower Paia.