District and DC Highlights

It was great to be home for a few days recently in between votes in Washington. Here are a few highlights:

  • Toured Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi‘s (MCBH) sustainability initiatives and receiving an update on the base’s renewable energy projects, including its rooftop solar production, ongoing wave power research, and other renewable energy projects that contribute to Hawaiʻi’s 100% clean energy goal

  • Met with Farrington High School’s Friends Program, which brings together general education and special education students to promote anti-bullying, inclusion, and respect

  • Toured Kalihi-Palama Health Center (KPHC) to discuss the need to reauthorize federal funding for our community health centers, caring for our COFA migrant community, and more

  • Met with leaders from the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi’s Health Care Committee to discuss single-payer healthcare and the Medicare for All legislation I’ve cosponsored

  • Thanked Hawaiʻi Island kūpuna that have dedicated over 100,000 volunteer hours over the last year through the Hawaiʻi County Retired & Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP)

  • Hosted a pop-up Congress On Your Corner in Hilo to talk story with residents, share how my office can help with federal agencies, and more

  • Met with members of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby-Hawaiʻi Chapter to discuss the OFF Act (H.R.3671)—legislation I’ve introduced to put the United States on a pathway to replace fossil fuels with 100 percent clean energy generation and use by 2035

  • Met with Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA) on Oʻahu to discuss boosting our economy by bringing UFC to Hawaiʻi

  • Met with Hawaii military leaders to discuss our military readiness and the Army’s upcoming plans to host community outreach events on disaster preparedness, including preparedness for a nuclear missile strike

I met with Farrington High School’s Friends Program and heard their stories of using Aloha and respect to bring students together

 

Here are some additional highlights:

 

Introduced Legislation to Ensure Civil Defense Accountability and Preparedness

The false ballistic missile alert sent out across Hawai‘i corroded public trust and revealed gaps in preparedness measures at every level of government. Given the threats we face and the vulnerabilities that have been exposed, there are serious changes that need to take place at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure this kind of colossal failure never happens again.

Along with providing the people of Hawaii with timely answers into what went wrong and why, we also need to investigate the gaps that exist at home and across the country that could trigger or perpetuate future emergencies. I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to ensure the lessons learned from Hawaii’s false alert are used to identify and fix preparedness gaps nationwide.

My bill, H.R. 4949, the Civil Defense Accountability Act of 2018 would:       

  • Address the vulnerabilities that allowed the false alert to go out to more than a million people across the state and go uncorrected for 38 minutes;       

  • Ensure transparent investigations into the incident through online public disclosure requirements;       

  • Establish best practices to strengthen state and national preparedness and disaster communications plans; and   

  • Evaluate and strengthen preparedness nationwide to respond to biological, chemical, radiological, or nuclear attacks to the United States.

Empowering Survivors of Human Trafficking

Thousands of men, women, and children right here in the United States are enslaved by human trafficking every year. In Hawai‘i, an estimated 1,500 to 2,500 victims are impacted each year, with girls as young as 10 and 11 years old recruited and kidnapped from malls, beaches, and schools.

Even after the horrors that these individuals go through of rape, physical abuse, kidnapping and so much more, these survivors are too often charged as criminals, thrown in jail, and shackled with a criminal record that follows them wherever they go.

We need to end this cycle of criminalization and give survivors an opportunity to heal and move on with their lives by passing the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act. I’m pushing my colleagues to pass this important legislation and empower change for those who need it the most.

Click to watch my speech on the House floor urging Congress to pass the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act.

 

Other additional highlights:

  • Congratulated Tua Tagovailoa, a St. Louis alum from Ewa Beach, for the big national football championship win

  • Urged a living wage for the people of Hawai‘i because 31% of families in Hawai‘i don’t earn enough money to cover basic needs including housing, food, transportation, child care, and taxes without government or outside help

  • Met with Ridhika Batra, Director of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) to discuss hosting a tri-lateral meeting between the U.S., India, and Japan in Hawai‘i

  • Announced that our Aloha state will receive $11,762,496 to support 35 homeless assistance programs in Hawaiʻi

  • Introduced the Compact Impact Relief Act to increase federal funding for Hawaii’s state and local governments that have faced tremendous strain and challenge in caring for the more than 17,000 COFA migrants in Hawai‘i

  • Spoke out against Attorney General Sessions’ latest attack on the legal marijuana industry and pushed for my bill, H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which removes marijuana from the federal controlled substances list

  • Urged Equal Banking Access for State-Licensed Marijuana Businesses

  • Passed legislation to find ways to help small businesses, which employ nearly 270,000 people in Hawai‘i, obtain loans after a natural disaster

  • Met with Debbie Cabebe, CEO of Maui Economic Opportunity to discuss Community Services Block Grant and Head Start

  • Passed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act (S. 534) to strengthen reporting requirements and increase protections for young athletes across the country

  • Announced resources on my official website for Hawai'i constituents to submit federal appropriations requests for the upcoming fiscal year

With aloha,

Tulsi

Office Locations