Home Letters Congresswoman meets Guyanese Americans in Richmond Hill
Congresswoman 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 the Indian/Bangla/Punjabi diaspora, to address current national issues worrying them.
Organisers from the community have hosted a fundraiser that generated several thousand dollars (US) for the re-election of Rep Tulsi. Greater Richmond Hill is settled by some 200,000 Indo-Caribbeans and South Asians. Several Guyanese, including this writer, contributed generously to the Tulsi fund. Some patrons even pledged to support a ‘Tulsi for President’ committee, and urged that Tulsi give it consideration. 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 picture opportunities prior to and after the formal presentation.
A few of us apprised the Congresswoman of problems affecting the community in America, and gave her 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 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 find out about their national concerns.