American Flags and Hawaii State Flags to fly at half-staff Sunday, February 24th in Hawaii in honor of former state Rep. Helene Eleanor Hale.
According to the office of the governor:
Hale was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2000, serving for three terms. As chairwoman of the House Committee on International Affairs, she championed a more proactive global role for Hawaii. Hale was a key advocate of House resolutions in 2003 that expressed reservations about going to war in Iraq without United Nations backing and invoked the aloha spirit in urging negotiations.
Born in Minnesota, Hale worked as a teacher before moving to Hawaii Island in 1947, continuing as an educator for a time at Konawaena Intermediate School. She went on to become the first African-American elected to office in Hawaii and first woman to hold an executive position in local government since Queen Liliuokalani. Hale was elected to Hawaii County’s Board of Supervisors in 1954 and chairman and chief executive officer (the equivalent of mayor) in 1962, helped to establish the Merrie Monarch Festival, and served on the Hawaii County Council from 1980 to 1984 and 1988 to 1994.