VIDEO & PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Life of Officer Bronson Kaliloa, Leads Members of Congress to Survey Kīlauea Impact
Today on Hawaiʻi Island, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined thousands of people in Hilo to honor Police Officer Bronson Kaliloa, who was shot in the line of duty and died on July 18. Kaliloa was a 10-year veteran of the police force, and served in the Puna Patrol Division which has provided around the clock support to the community dealing with ongoing volcanic activity and lava flows from Kīlauea. The congresswoman presented congressional certificates to Officer Kaliloa’s wife Casey and to Hawaiʻi County Police Chief Paul Ferreira with a tribute to Kaliloa’s life that is printed in the Congressional Record.
Later in the day, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard led a congressional delegation to survey the impact of the recent Kīlauea eruptions in order to help determine federal actions that can be taken to support the community. Rep. Jason Smith (MO-08) of the U.S. House Budget Committee and U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, took an aerial tour of the impacted area with the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard, then joined Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and representatives from the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense in touring the FEMA Disaster Recovery Center at the Pāhoa Community Center, the new micro-homes project in Pāhoa, and Fissures 8 and 9 in Leilani Estates.
At the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC), the lawmakers were briefed by FEMA and SBA officials on managing support and resources for those impacted by the lava flows, including the challenge of a shortage of affordable housing and rental units in the community available for those displaced by the lava flow. The lawmakers also thanked FEMA Corps volunteers from across the country working at the DRC in Pāhoa who assist with processing claims and providing help to those in need.
At the Pāhoa micro-homes project site, the lawmakers were briefed by Brandee Menino of Hope Services Hawaiʻi and Gilbert Aguinaldo about how the 20-home project came together in less than one month with the support of the community and the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard. They also discussed how the project can serve as a model to the nation to meet emergency and transitional housing needs. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard will continue to work with lawmakers to help secure additional federal resources for the community.