VIDEO & PHOTOS: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Tours Marine Corps’ Clean Energy Initiatives, Meets with Military on Hawaiʻi Preparedness, Visits Farrington Anti-Bullying Program, Meets with Community Health Leaders
Today on Oʻahu, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) toured Marine Corps Base Hawaiʻi‘s (MCBH) sustainability initiatives and received 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. Later in the morning, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard received a classified brief from USPACOM Commander Admiral Harry Harris to discuss the ongoing threat of North Korea and measures to ensure Hawaiʻi and the United States are protected. The congresswoman also met with incoming 25th Infantry Division Commander Major General Ron Clark and US Army Garrison Commander Colonel Stephen Dawson to discuss military readiness, military construction projects in Hawaiʻi, and more. They also briefed the congresswoman on the Army’s upcoming plans to host community outreach on disaster preparedness, including preparedness for a nuclear missile strike.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard later met with Farrington High School’s Friends Program, which brings together general education and special education students to promote anti-bullying, inclusion, and respect. In the 2016-2017 school year, Farrington High School was one of three Hawaiʻi schools to receive national recognition from Special Olympics for their efforts to provide inclusive sports and activities for students with and without disabilities. Students who volunteer for the Farrington Friends Program shared stories with the congresswoman about the positive impact it has had in encouraging a culture of understanding and respect for all people, both in school and in their day-to-day lives.
In the afternoon, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard toured Kalihi-Palama Health Center (KPHC), where she heard about how gaps in federal funding are straining the center’s services and resources. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has been fighting for funding, as Congress has failed to reauthorize funding for community health centers, which expired on September 30, 2017. The congresswoman also discussed legislation she recently introduced to increase federal resources for Hawaiʻi’s COFA migrant community. Without federal funding, Hawaii’s state and local governments, Community Health Centers, and other healthcare providers, have faced tremendous strain and challenge in caring for the more than 17,000 COFA migrants in Hawai‘i. KPHC’s CEO and Executive Director Emmanuel Kintu briefed the congresswoman on the health center’s work to reduce hospitalization and emergency room visits, increase access to primary care in the community, connect at-risk patients with housing assistance, and more. In 2016, over 24,000 patients had access to primary and preventative care, including chronic disease prevention and management, through KPHC.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard also met with leaders from the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi’s Health Care Committee to discuss single-payer healthcare, and the committee’s support of the Expanded & Improved Health Care for All Act (H.R.676) in Congress. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a cosponsor of H.R.676.