November 25, 2013

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: HIRONO TALKS SEXUAL ASSAULTS IN THE MILITARY, IMMIGRATION REFORM & IMPORTANCE OF POLITICAL DIVERSITY WITH WMC LIVE

Washington, D.C. – Last week, Hirono appeared on WMC Live with Robin Morgan. WMC Live is a weekly talk radio show hosted by the Women’s Media Center, which strives to increase the visibility of women in media. Introduced as “the new rock star of the United States Senate”, Hirono updated listeners on legislation to address sexual assaults in the military, comprehensive immigration reform and the importance of building a political pipeline for women and minorities:

On sexual assaults in the military:
“We’re just continuing to push to get the support we need,” Hirono remarked on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act, legislation to make the military justice system fairer to survivors of sexual assaults. “We’re not quite there, but we’re calling for the recognition of sexual assault in the military as really just a scourge in the military, just calling for something more than the smaller steps we have taken in Congress over the years that have not resolved the problem.”

On immigration reform:
“As a member of the Judiciary Committee it was very purposeful work for me to engage on amending that law and particularly continuing to emphasize how important family unity is as a guiding principle on immigration reform,” Hirono said on the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate. “Clearly women were disadvantaged by the new merit system that’s in the Senate bill and so I began to talk with the women in the Senate to have them support what came to be known as the Hirono Women’s Amendment that would give women from these countries a much fairer opportunity to immigrate to our country. And ultimately, there were hundreds and hundreds of amendments filed with the immigration bill in the Senate and we were negotiating which would come to the floor for a vote. I ultimately did get Lindsey Graham to support my amendment for women and it became the number one amendment that the Democrats were negotiating to bring to the floor.”


On diversity in politics:
“We need to support women and minorities to run at the local level,” Hirono said. “We need to get us into the pipeline because I don’t think that we just come and say ‘Hey, I think I’m going to run for the U.S. Senate now.’ We need to find good people to run.”


You can listen to the entire show by following this link. Hirono’s interview begins at the 29-minute mark. The full episode is also available for free as a podcast on iTunes.

Robin Morgan is an award-winning poet, novelist, political theorist, feminist activist, journalist, editor and best-selling author. Morgan co-founded the Women’s Media Center in 2005 with Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem.