Presidential Campaign Launch Speech
February 2, 2019 — Honolulu, HI
Thank you so much.
Growing up here in Hawaii, I loved swimming, surfing, and having fun in this paradise we are lucky to call home.
But I gradually realized that I was actually happiest when I was doing things for other people, doing things to protect our water, oceans, and beaches.
This was a different kind of happiness than what I experienced when just thinking of myself. It was a deeper happiness, that stayed with me.
I knew that no matter what path I chose…
I am proud to be the first Hindu American to have been elected to Congress, and now, the first Hindu American to run for president.
And while some of the headlines covering my announcement could have celebrated this historic first, maybe even informed Americans at large about the world’s third largest religion, they have instead fomented suspicion, fear, and religious bigotry about not only me, but my supporters.
That Hindus, alongside countless Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, agnostics, and atheists, support me should not be newsworthy. But some media outlets have chosen to craft a false narrative of intrigue by profiling…
My LGBTQ+ Statement
In my past I said and believed things that were wrong, and worse, hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community and their loved ones.
Many years ago, I apologized for my words and, more importantly, the negative impact that they had. I sincerely repeat my apology today. I remain deeply sorry for having said them. My views have changed significantly since then, and my record over the last 6 years in Congress reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
I also want you to know I’ve taken these past…
Syria is once again faced with an inevitable battle and tragedy — this time in Idlib, a northwestern Syrian city that is a major al-Qaeda stronghold. In order to greatly reduce civilian casualties from this battle between Syrian government forces and al-Qaeda, the Trump administration must immediately put its full support behind the UN’s proposal to create a safe corridor that would allow civilians to evacuate Idlib.
With UN supervision and support by the US and neighboring countries, UN Envoy Staffan de Mistura’s proposal could drastically reduce the number of casualties and allow civilians to clear the city before the…
In the last two weeks, two neocon warhawks have been chosen by President Trump to fill key cabinet positions. First, it was CIA Director Mike Pompeo selected to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Now, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is out, and former UN Ambassador and unapologetic Iraq War champion John Bolton is in.
Like so many of my fellow veterans who served in Iraq, I witnessed the cost of war firsthand during my 12-month tour in 2005. This was a major motivation for me to offer to serve in Congress — so that I could do everything…
December 1, 2017 will forever mark a dark day for Hawai‘i, for our country, and the world. Today marks the first day of a new era, in which the lives and future of the people of our state have indelibly changed, as they’ll be reminded every month with nuclear warning siren tests that at any moment, we, our children, our families, and our precious ‘āina will be vulnerable to a nuclear attack from North Korea — with mere minutes notice.
I’ve been raising the issue of the increasing threat from North Korea ever since I came to Congress because the…
Veterans Day is special to me. It’s a day when I often get to spend time with fellow veterans from many different generations, share stories, and remember our brothers and sisters who never made that long trip home. We will never forget.
Senator Mazie Hirono and I worked together for years on legislation that finally awards the well-deserved Congressional Gold Medal to World War II Filipino veterans — legislation that Barack Obama signed into law as one of his final acts as president. …
A little over two years ago, I was disinvited from the first Democratic presidential primary debate after publicly disagreeing with the Chair’s decision to limit rather than expand the number of Democratic primary debates. Throughout the presidential primary, we saw deep divides within the Democratic Party that went far beyond substantive issue differences. I wish I could tell you that things have gotten better — that the Democratic National Committee has listened to voters across the country and has returned to our roots as an inclusive party of the people. But that’s not the case.
At a time of growing divisiveness in America, where too many are “other-izing” those who may look different, worship different, or hold different political views, it is more important than ever to live aloha, to love and treat all others with respect, to be inclusive rather than exclusive. The divisiveness that threatens the fabric of our nation — whether due to race, religion, political ideology, gender, sexual orientation, or other — must end.
One reason I’m grateful to call Hawaiʻi home is that the people of these islands embrace diversity and celebrate the colorful fabric of race, ethnicity, and religion…
From California wildfires that have reduced entire neighborhoods to ash, to the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where people are still suffering over a month after a catastrophic hurricane, to 672,000 gallons of oil being dumped into the Gulf of Mexico from a burst pipeline, it has never been more clear that we must rid our country of its dangerous addiction to fossil fuels. This crisis facing our country is serious and will only worsen the longer it continues to go unchecked.
That’s why I introduced the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (H.R. 3671), a…
Soldier. Veteran. Surfer. Member of Congress. Doing my best to be of service.