Tulsi, by nature, is a public servant who possesses the humility to listen respectfully to all sides of a debate, the experience to handle any challenge, and the courage to make the right decision and get the job done.
Dedication to Service
From a very young age, Tulsi has shown a passion for public service. Her commitment to serving the community and making a positive impact has influenced every major decision in her life. Her service has included working with at-risk youth, joining the Hawaiʻi National Guard and deploying twice to the Middle East, being elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature and the Honolulu City Council, having the honor of serving Hawaiʻi's people in the U.S. Senate as legislative aide to Senator Daniel K. Akaka, continuing her ongoing work and leadership on environmental issues and projects, and now serving in Congress as the Representative for Hawaiʻi’s 2nd Congressional District.
The Early Years
Learning First-Hand About Small Business
Tulsi learned the challenges and rewards of small business at an early age, helping her parents with two successful family businesses, including “Hawaiian Toffee Treasures.” The long hours, hard work, and uncertainties inherent in getting a small business off the ground gave Tulsi first-hand experience in the business world and prompted her to focus on business in college, graduating from Hawaiʻi Pacific University with a degree in International Business.
The Youngest Person Ever Elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature
A Truly Remarkable Military Career Highlighted by Self-sacrifice and Bravery
In 2004, when Tulsi's fellow soldiers from the 29th Brigade were called to war in Iraq, Tulsi volunteered to join them. She didn't need to put her life on the line. She could have stayed in the State House of Representatives, but in her heart, she felt it was more important to stand in solidarity with her fellow soldiers than to climb the political ladder.
Her two deployments to the war-torn and dangerous Middle East revealed both Tulsi’s natural inclination to self-less service and her ability to perform well in situations demanding confidence, courage, and the ability to perform well as a member of a team. The same maturity and character that served Tulsi well in the Middle East makes her exceptionally effective in the political world.
Serving Hawaiʻi’s people in the U.S. Senate as legislative aide to Senator Daniel Akaka
Protecting Our ʻAina - Co-founding the Healthy Hawaiʻi Coalition
Serving on The Honolulu City Council
Elected to Congress
In 2012, Tulsi Gabbard ran for U.S. House of Representatives for Hawaiʻi's 2nd Congressional District and defeated the former mayor of Honolulu in an upset victory in the Democratic Primary. Tulsi went on to win the general election by nearly 80 points. Tulsi’s upset victory in the 2012 House race marked her latest achievement in a life filled with one extraordinary accomplishment after another. But Tulsi was not done setting “first ever” milestones.
On January 3, 2013, the day that Tulsi Gabbard took her official oath of office in the U.S. House of Representatives. She is currently the youngest female serving in Congress and is also one of only two female combat veterans in the U.S. House (the other is Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois). Finally, Tulsi is the first American Hindu ever elected to Congress.
Like her mentors, the late U.S. Senator Dan Inouye and former U.S. Senator Dan Akaka, Tulsi embodies the aloha spirit unique to the island state of Hawaiʻi. As a mixed race woman, combat veteran, martial artist, lifelong vegetarian, and practicing Hindu, she also is the embodiment of the type of diversity which is at the very heart of what America was founded upon.
Tulsi brings to Washington an impressive list of credentials and achievements, a wealth of real-world experiences, and a deep storehouse of personal strengths and leadership qualities. Most political observers expect her to represent and serve the people of the state of Hawaiʻi and the nation in the U.S. Congress as aggressively and as well as she has done during her tenures in the Honolulu City Council and the Hawaiʻi State Legislature. And in fact, Tulsi barely paused to take a breath before she hit the ground running in Washington. As a freshman representative she has already succeeded in introducing and passing legislation to make airline travel easier for disabled veterans.
Tulsi possesses the rare combination of youth and experience. With a lifetime’s experiences seemingly compressed into three decades, it is easy to see why many people perceive in Tulsi Gabbard a maturity and depth beyond her years.