Council to take up Kihei school name resolution

The Maui County Council will take up a resolution Friday urging the state Legislature and Gov. Neil Abercrombie to support naming the new Kihei high school after Maui-born U.S. Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink.

Council Member Riki Hokama introduced the resolution. There is a bill in the state Legislature requiring the state Department of Education to name the new Kihei high school after Mink. The measure currently is before the state Senate Committee on Education, chaired by state Sen. Jill Tokuda. A hearing is scheduled at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“Patsy Mink’s accomplishments in promoting educational access bring tremendous pride to the Maui County community,” said Hokama. “Naming the Kihei high school in her honor will serve as a reminder to students that, with perseverance and hard work, one person can make a difference.”

Mink was born in Paia in 1927 and graduated as valedictorian from Maui High School in 1944. In 1964, Mink became the first Asian woman elected to Congress. She represented Maui County and other parts of Hawaii in Congress from 1965 to 1977 and again from 1990 until her death in 2002.

In 1972, Mink co-authored Title IX, which prohibits gender discrimination in education. Title IX was subsequently renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act.