Tulsi Gabbard Wikipedia

Tulsi Gabbard
Official 113th Congressional photo of Tulsi Gabbard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

from Hawaii's 2nd district
Assumed office

January 3, 2013
Preceded byMazie Hirono
Member of the Honolulu City Council

from the Sixth District
In office

January 2, 2011 – August 16, 2012
Preceded byRod Tam
Succeeded byCarol Fukunaga
Member of the Hawaii House of Representatives

from the 42nd district
In office

Preceded byMark Moses
Succeeded byRida Cabanilla
Personal details
Born(1981-04-12) April 12, 1981 (age 32)

Leloaloa, American Samoa, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Eduardo Tamayo (Divorced)
Alma materHawaii Pacific University

Officer Candidate School, Army
WebsiteRepresentative Tulsi Gabbard
Military service
Service/branchUS Army National Guard Insignia.svg Army National Guard
Years of service2004–present
RankUS-O3 insignia.svg Captain
AwardsMeritorious Service ribbon.svg Meritorious Service Medal
Army Commendation Medal ribbon.svg Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal ribbon.svg Army Achievement Medal with Oak leaf cluster
Army Good Conduct ribbon.svg Army Good Conduct Medal
CombatMedBadge.gif Combat Medical Badge
BW Military Proficiency Ribbon.png German Armed Forces Badge for Military Proficiency in Gold
Tulsi Gabbard (born April 12, 1981) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Hawaii's second congressional district since 2013. She is also a Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee. She is the first American Samoan, the first Hindu member, and, along with Tammy Duckworth, one of the first female combat veterans in the United States Congress.

Gabbard previously served on the Honolulu City Council and in the Hawaii House of Representatives; she was the youngest woman in the United States to be elected to a state legislature. She is currently a Military Police Company Commander with the Hawaii Army National Guard, and has served on two deployments to the Middle East.


          Early life and education

          Tulsi Gabbard was born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, the fourth of five children of Mike Gabbard and Carol Porter Gabbard. Her family moved to Hawaii in 1983 when Tulsi was two. Tulsi grew up in a multicultural, multi-religious household. Her father is of Samoan/European heritage and is a practicing Catholic who is a lector at his church, but also enjoys practicing mantra meditation, including kirtan. Her mother is white and a practicing Hindu. Tulsi fully embraced Hinduism as a teenager.

          The Gabbard family homeschooled Tulsi through high school, except for two years she attended a girls-only missionary academy in the Philippines. Gabbard graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in international business in 2009.

          Hawaii House of Representatives (2002–2004)


          In 2002, after a redistricting, Gabbard (as Gabbard Tamayo) ran for Hawaii's 42nd House District of the Hawaii House of Representatives. In a four-candidate Democratic primary, she won with a plurality of 48%. She defeated Rida Cabanilla (30%), Dolfo Ramos (18%), and Gerald Vidal (4%). Gabbard Tamayo won the general election, defeating Republican Alfonso Jimenez 65%–35%.

          In 2004, Gabbard Tamayo filed for re-election, but then volunteered for National Guard service in Iraq. Cabanilla, who filed for a rematch, called on the incumbent to resign, because she would not be able to represent her district from Iraq. Gabbard Tamayo thus decided not to campaign for a second term. Cabanilla defeated Gabbard Tamayo in the Democratic primary 64%–25%.


          In 2002, at the age of 21, Gabbard Tamayo became the youngest legislator ever elected in the history of Hawaii and the youngest woman elected to state office in the nation. She represented the Oahu 42nd District, which covers Waipahu, Honouliuli, and Ewa Beach.

          She played a key role, along with her Ewa colleagues, in securing funding for infrastructure on the Ewa Plains.

          She opposed LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and civil unions. When voting against legalizing civil unions, she stated: "To try to act as if there is a difference between 'civil unions' and same-sex marriage is dishonest, cowardly and extremely disrespectful to the people of Hawaii who have already made overwhelmingly clear our position on this issue...As Democrats we should be representing the views of the people, not a small number of homosexual extremists." In August 2004, she defended her then-Republican father's anti-LGBT work, and called supporters of U.S. Congressman Ed Case "homosexual extremists."

          Committee assignments

          • Economic Development
          • Education
          • Higher Education
          • Tourism

          Military service (2004–present)

          Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo in uniform as a Second Lieutenant in the Hawaii Army National Guard.
          In April 2003, while serving in office, Gabbard Tamayo enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She received several distinguished honor graduate titles and awards at Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training.[citation needed]

          In July 2004, Gabbard Tamayo asked to deploy with her Hawaii National Guard unit, volunteering for a 12-month combat tour in Iraq, where she served in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She learned that she would not be able to serve with her unit and perform her duties as a legislator, and thus chose not to campaign for a second term in office. Gabbard served at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq. While on a rest-and-relaxation tour in August 2005, she presented Hawaii's condolences to the government of London regarding the 7/7 terrorist attacks. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.[citation needed]

          Upon her return from Iraq in 2006, Gabbard Tamayo began serving as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka in Washington, DC. She was responsible for issues involving veteran affairs, energy and natural resources, judiciary, and homeland security. She served as a surrogate speaker for Senator Akaka on many occasions, and built a grassroots network with the veteran community in Hawaii.[citation needed]

          While working for the Senator, Gabbard Tamayo graduated from the Accelerated Officer Candidate School at the Alabama Military Academy in March 2007. She was the first woman to finish as the distinguished honor graduate in the Academy’s 50-year history. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and assigned again to the 29th Brigade Special Troops Battalion of the Hawaii Army National Guard, this time to serve as the Military Police Platoon Leader.

          She continued to work for Senator Akaka until 2009, when she again voluntarily deployed with her unit to the Middle East. During this second deployment, in addition to leading her platoon on a wide variety of security missions, she also conducted non-military host-nation visits and served as a primary trainer for the Kuwait National Guard.[citation needed] She was one of the first women to set foot inside a Kuwait military facility,[citation needed] and became the first woman to ever to be awarded and honored by the Kuwait National Guard for her work in their training and readiness program.[citation needed]

          In May 2010, Gabbard Tamayo (as Tulasi Tamayo) was one of thirty finalists for a White House Fellowship and one of three finalists from Hawai'i, although she was not selected as a Fellow.

          In June 2011, Gabbard visited Indonesia as part of a peacekeeping training with the Indonesian Army.

          According to her official U.S. House of Representatives Full Biography, Representative Gabbard continues to serve as a Captain in the Hawai'i National Guard.

          Honolulu City Council (2011–2012)


          After returning home from her second deployment to the Middle East in 2009, Gabbard Tamayo ran for a seat on the Honolulu City Council. Incumbent City Councilman Rod Tam, of the 6th district, decided to retire in order to run for Mayor of Honolulu. In a ten candidate nonpartisan open primary field in September 2010, Gabbard Tamayo ranked first with 33% of the vote. In the November 2 runoff election, she defeated Sesnita Moepono 58%–42% to win the seat.


          In her capacity as committee chair, Gabbard Tamayo took the lead on many issues such as medical waste, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), dengue fever, and creating new economic opportunities through Honolulu’s first Sister City Summit.[citation needed] As a Council member, Gabbard Tamayo introduced a measure to help food truck vendors by loosening parking restrictions.

          She also introduced Bill 54, a measure that authorized City workers to confiscate personal belongings stored on public property. The measure overcame opposition from the ACLU and Occupy Hawai'i, and a potential conflict with Hawai'i's constitutional law, Kānāwai Māmalahoe, which protects "those who sleep by the roadside". Bill 54 passed and became City Ordinance 1129.

          On April 30, 2011, the council member informed her constituents that she was resuming the use of her birth name, "Tulsi Gabbard," and that there would be no cost to city taxpayers for reprinting City Council materials containing her name.

          Gabbard resigned her council seat on August 16, 2012, to focus on her congressional seat bid.

          Committee assignments

          • Safety (Chair)
          • Economic Development (Chair)
          • Government Affairs (Chair)
          • Budget (Vice Chair)
          • Zoning and Public Works

          United States House of Representatives (2013–present)


          In early 2011, Mazie Hirono, the incumbent Congresswoman in Hawaii's second congressional district, announced that she would run for a U.S. Senate seat. Soon after that, in May 2011, Gabbard announced her candidacy for the Congressional seat. Gabbard was endorsed by the Sierra Club, Emily's List, and VoteVets.org. The biggest name by far in the crowded six-way primary was Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann. However, Gabbard won the August 11 primary in a major upset, taking 55 percent of the vote. Hannemann finished second with only 34 percent. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser described her win as the "improbable rise from a distant underdog to victory". She then announced on August 13 that she would resign her seat on the City Council, stating that she wanted to prevent the cost of a separate special election, and resigned on August 16.

          As the Democratic nominee, Gabbard traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina and spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. There, she credited grassroots support as the reason for her come-from-behind win in the primary.

          Gabbard won the general election on November 6, 2012 by defeating Republican Kawika Crowley 81% to 19%. However, the 2nd is so heavily Democratic that she had effectively clinched the seat with her primary victory.

          In December 2012, Gabbard applied to be considered for appointment to the Senate seat vacated by the death of Daniel Inouye, but despite support from prominent mainland Democrats, she was not among the three candidates selected by the Hawaii Democratic party.

          Committee assignments

          • Committee on Foreign Affairs
            • Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
          • Committee on Homeland Security
            • Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security

          Non-profit organizations and associations

          Gabbard co-founded Healthy Hawaiʻi Coalition, an environmental educational group of which she is Vice President and Educational Programs Coordinator. She is a lifetime member of the National Guard Association of the United States and the Military Police Regimental Association.[citation needed]

          Gabbard was also a cofounder of the non-profit Stand Up For America, which she and her father co-founded in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. SUFA's site profiled Gabbard and hosted letters from Gabbard sent during her deployments overseas. The Stand Up For America site came under criticism in September 2010 for promoting Gabbard's campaign for the Honolulu City Council. Gabbard said the improper addition "was an honest mistake from a volunteer", and the problematic page and link were immediately removed.

          Political positions

          Gabbard (Hawaii, District 2) speaking at a luncheon in February 2013.

          Abortion and contraception

          Gabbard is pro-choice and in favor of making contraceptives more accessible for women. On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, she stated her support for that decision and for affordable healthcare services "which can contribute to fewer unplanned and teen pregnancies".

          Same-sex marriage

          Gabbard is opposed to the Defense of Marriage Act and to a proposed state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between a woman and a man. She had previously opposed same-sex marriage but now promises to work to repeal DOMA and co-sponsor the Respect for Marriage Act, and asks state legislators "to pass legislation that will ensure fair and equal treatment for all of Hawai'i's citizens."

          She credits her tours of duty in the Middle East with triggering her change in views.

          It brought me to a deeper understanding of the meaning of freedom in our country.... We cannot afford to walk down that dangerous path of government overstepping its boundaries into the most personal parts of our lives.

          Her father, Mike Gabbard, is a staunch anti-LGBT Democrat (previously Republican) who is currently the State Senator for Hawaii's 19th District. The familial connection, and her previous stance, initially caused voters to doubt the sincerity of her new support for LGBT causes.


          Gabbard believes women should be allowed to serve in all military roles, including combat, and praised the US Department of Defense for lifting its ban on women serving in ground combat roles.

          Although she served in the war in Iraq, she said in late 2012, "I was against the war in Iraq. We never should have gone there in the first place." She calls for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan "as quickly and safely as possible". Rep. Gabbard believes that one problem with the US's involvement in Iraq is that victory conditions have not been clearly defined.

          Gabbard received the endorsement of Equality Hawaii regarding her support for "equal rights for same-sex military spouses (following the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell)".

          Responding to the Obama Administration's policy on using drones in the United States, Gabbard stated that "these tactics should never be used against our own citizens here at home." She said that she had

          a first-hand perspective on the value of these counterterrorism tactics and strategies-- during a time of war overseas in enemy territory. And that being the appropriate place for them, not here on American soil.

          However, her phrasing as a Representative, arguing that "drone strikes and other counter-terrorism tactics should not be targeting non-combatant U.S. citizens," has narrower language than her earlier statements in favor of protecting the rights of all American citizens to due process.


          On April 22, 2012, Gabbard received a Sierra Club endorsement in the Democratic primary election for Hawaii's District 2. Gabbard favors tax incentives for renewable energy startups.


          In her campaign materials and editorials, Gabbard calls for a restoration of the Glass Steagall Act, a ban on naked credit defaults, and forced breakup of the "big banks." She also condemned banks that foreclosed on the homes of deployed troops.

          Visa restrictions

          To encourage tourism, Gabbard aims to relax "outdated" visa restrictions for tourists, especially those originating in India and China. She will also focus on H-1B visas and legal immigration issues.

          Native Hawaiians as indigenous people

          Gabbard supports the Akaka Bill, "believe[s] the U.S. government through an act of Congress should more formally recognize the special legal/political status of Native Hawaiians," and supports Native Hawaiian health and education initiatives.

          Fiscal cliff and sequestration

          In opposing sequestration cuts, Gabbard has said that the cuts are being used as a "political tool" and that the "arbitrary, across-the-board cuts" would affect military readiness.

          Government-sponsored healthcare

          Gabbard is in favor of allowing Medicare to negotiate with prescription drug firms, stating that, on average, that would save US taxpayers "around $14 billion a year."

          Personal life

          Gabbard's first name, "Tulsi," comes from the name of a plant sacred in Hinduism. She is a vegetarian and a Hindu who follows Gaudiya Vaishnavism, and specifically follows Sanatan Dharma and the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Sampradaya. She especially appreciates the Bhagavad Gita as a spiritual guide, and used the Gita when she was ceremonially sworn in as a Representative. Gabbard describes herself as a "karma yogi" and credits her parents with instilling the value of "karma yoga" and being of service in her and her siblings. As a Vaishnava, Gabbard looks forward to visiting India, especially the holy sites of Vrindavan, after starting her Congressional term.

          Gabbard has said that she is pleased that her election gives hope to young American Hindus who "can be open about their faith, and even run for office, without fear of being discriminated against or attacked because of their religion". In 2002, Gabbard was a martial arts instructor.

          Gabbard was married to Eduardo Tamayo; they divorced on June 5, 2006. She cites "the stresses war places on military spouses and families" as a reason for their divorce. Tamayo donated $500 to Gabbard's House campaign.
          Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulsi_Gabbard )
          Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
          Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

          Latest Tulsi Gabbard News