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Rep. Gabbard Encourages Opportunities for Native Hawaiian Community

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) addressed the 3rd Annual Native Hawaiian Organizations Association Business Summit Conference which took place Aug. 24, on Oʻahu.

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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard visits with local businesses on Kauaʻi. Photo Courtesy

The event’s theme was “Kākou” and focused on legislative, legal and business issues relevant to small businesses in the federal contracting industry, while connecting Native Hawaiian Organizations, 8(a) certified companies, and other locally-owned businesses with Department of Defense contracting officers and government representatives.

During the conference, Rep. Gabbard reiterated support for Native Hawaiian housing, education, and healthcare programs that help thousands of families in need each year, and discussed opportunities and challenges for the Native Hawaiian community under the changing political climate.

Congresswoman Gabbard then met with Kamehameha Schools’ leadership and the Native Hawaiian Legislative Hui- a group of organizations that includes the Department of Native Hawaiian Homelands, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Hawaiian Education Council, Papa Ola Lōkahi, and others. They discussed various legislative proposals to empower and support Native Hawaiian communities across the state, and opportunities to support the hui’s work at the federal level.

Gabbard then flew over to Kauaʻi and visited with local small business owners in Līhuʻe. She toured the Wilcox Medical Center in Līhuʻe, where she received an update on the hospital’s recent developments and continued expansion plans to meet the needs of a growing population.

In the evening, she kicked off the Kauaʻi County Farm Bureau Fair- a four-day event that supports local farmers, businesses, non-profit groups, 4-H and other agricultural commodity and hobbyist groups. The congresswoman joined county representatives and Kauaʻi community leaders in recognizing the late Michael Roy Strong, who contributed to Kauaʻi’s farming and agricultural community for decades before his death in October 2016.

The congresswoman provided updates on key agriculture initiatives she is leading in Congress, including the 2018 Farm Bill, and visited with local vendors and residents at the fair.