Tulsi Gabbard representing the Second Congressional District of Hawaii (HI-02) paid a visit to Richmond Hill last Saturday evening to meet with Guyanese Americans and others to address current national issues including healthcare, foreign relations, and immigration worrying them. Organizers from the community used the opportunity to organize a fundraiser that generated several thousands for the re-election of Rep Tulsi. Greater Richmond Hill is settled by some 200,000 Guyanese and other Caribbean people and South Asians. Several Guyanese, including this writer, contributed to the Tulsi fund. Tulsi received a very warm Aloha, traditional welcome in Hawaii, similar to a namaste, from the patrons of the event, and she responded in kind. She was mobbed for pictures prior to and after the formal presentation. A few of us apprised the Congresswoman of problems affecting the community in America and gave an update on Guyana. She serves on two important committees that relate to relations with Guyana and other countries.
Tulsi is of multicultural background — American Samoan (father) and European (mother) background. Her father is a catholic leader who listens to Kirtan music. Her mother is Hindu. Tulsi embraces Hinduism, and is described as the first Hindu member of the US Congress.
Tulsi (known as Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo) served in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004, becoming at age 21 the youngest woman to be elected to a state legislature.
She graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 2009. She was deployed to Iraq. And she still remains in service in the military.
Tulsi is a Democrat. After returning from Iraq to Hawaii in 2010, she was elected to the Honolulu City Council, where she served from 2011 to 2012. She was elected to the House in November 2012. She has been a US Representative since January 2013, and she served as vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee until February 28, 2016, when she resigned to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
In the House of Representatives, Gabbard serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees. She is also a military police officer with the Hawaii Army National Guard.
At the Richmond Hill event, Tulsi spoke about current issues including health care, the immigration crackdown by Trump, foreign aid, the war on terror, and the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
She answered questions from the audience. Tulsi shouted out a Mahalo, traditional thanks, to everyone who graced the event.
Guyanese thanked the Congresswoman for taking time out from her busy schedule to socialize with community leaders and finding out about their national concerns.