Hawai‘i faces a tremendous shortage of affordable housing units—for every 100 families in need of affordable housing, only 29 affordable housing units are available. This affordable housing shortage makes it increasingly difficult for families with limited resources to find a safe place to live, put food on the table, and make basic ends meet.
Our criminal justice system is broken and unsustainable, both for our government and society. Our prison population is rising—30 years ago in Hawaiʻi, our prison population was under 1,000. Last year, it was over 5,500, including 1,300 sent to Arizona because of prison overcrowding.
Education is necessary for young people to thrive in our global community. In Hawai’i, many families face unique challenges in gaining access to a high-quality, affordable education. Tulsi has fought to protect funding for education programs, accountability standards, and for disadvantaged and underserved children.
Our healthcare system is broken and it needs to be fixed. People across the country are in desperate need of serious reforms that better serve them and their families. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took an important step forward by insuring close to 20 million Americans, many issues—such as escalating costs on individuals and small businesses, and high copayments and deductibles—remain.
Equal treatment and opportunity are fundamental rights for all Americans. For decades, Hawaiʻi leaders like Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, and Congresswoman Patsy Mink broke down barriers, challenged the status quo, and fought to ensure a better future for the next generation.
Our military service members and veterans deserve the highest respect and honor. Taking care of our brothers and sisters in uniform who have selflessly served our country must be a priority for Congress and for our country. As a soldier and veteran, Tulsi takes seriously the responsibility of giving voice to the concerns of our post-9/11 veterans, and veterans from conflicts past.
Our nation has been responsible for some of the most important technology innovations in the last century. We must continue to encourage and support the innovation that is at the core of this part of our economy.
Infrastructure is the foundation that connects our nation’s businesses, communities and people. Our nation’s public infrastructure system not only ensures the continuous transportation of people, goods, and services, but it also protects the health, safety, and welfare of the public. However, the infrastructure systems we rely on today are failing to keep pace with current and expanding needs.
Since 9/11, millions of Americans have been kept in the dark about the collection of personal data by our own government in the name of national security, without any evidence that such intrusive actions were effective in preventing attacks on our country. In 2013, the sweeping collection of innocent Americans’ personal data by the National Security Agency was exposed.
In Hawai‘i, we import more than 85 percent of the food we eat. At the same time, the average age of a farmer in Hawai‘i is almost 56 years old.
In 2008, our nation was shaken by the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The livelihoods of hard-working families in Hawaiʻi and across the country were put at risk; millions of Americans lost their homes, and many saw their life savings wiped out – all because of risky banking practices by “too big to fail” banks.
As a soldier and a veteran, Tulsi has seen the true cost of war firsthand. She is acutely aware of the tremendous toll that over 15 years of ongoing conflict have had on our service members, veterans, military families and our country’s resources.
Tulsi supports Native Hawaiian efforts to determine their own future and the kind of relationship they choose to have with the U.S. federal government.
Hawai‘i continues to lead the nation in renewable energy production. In 2015, Hawai‘i became the first state in the country to set a 100% clean energy goal by 2045 and our state and counties have made great progress toward this goal. We must continue to utilize our abundant renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, and more, and move away from foreign oil and fossil fuels.
As the debate over guns and our constitutionally-guaranteed Second Amendment rights continues, what is often overlooked are common sense actions that many advocates on both sides of this issue agree on. There are practical steps that both the public and gun owners recognize as necessary to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not own or use them.