Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is scheduled to hold what her staff is calling a “meet and greet” in Koreatown Saturday in her first public appearance in the Los Angeles area since declaring her candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The free event at the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles was set for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Gabbard is among three candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination set to speak in Los Angeles on Saturday.
California Sen. Kamala Harris and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker were both scheduled to speak later at the Human Rights Campaign’s Los Angeles Dinner in downtown Los Angeles, according to officials with nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a potential candidate for the nomination, was in Los Angeles Friday to be interviewed on the HBO talk show “Real Time with Bill Maher” and conduct a series of private meetings, according to his communications adviser Lis Smith.
Buttigieg has formed an exploratory committee to study a possible presidential campaign.
Gabbard announced her candidacy Jan. 12 during an appearance on “The Van Jones Show” on CNN, saying the main reason she was running was “the issue of war and peace.”
In her Feb. 2 speech in Honolulu launching her campaign, Gabbard, a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, said she would “bring a soldier’s principles to the White House — restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency. And above all, love for our people and love of country.”
While serving in the Hawaii House of Representatives in 2003, Gabbard enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard. She volunteered to deploy with her fellow soldiers in 2004, dropping plans to campaign for a second term.
Her first deployment was a 12-month tour at Logistical Support Area Anaconda in Iraq, serving in a field medical unit as a specialist with a 29th Support Battalion medical company. She was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal at the end of this tour.
Gabbard again voluntarily deployed with her unit to the Middle East in 2009, leading her platoon on a variety of security missions, conducting non-military host-nation visits and serving as a primary trainer for the Kuwait National Guard.
She was one of the first women to set foot inside a Kuwait military facility and became the first woman to be awarded and honored by the Kuwait National Guard for her work in their training and readiness program, according to a biography provided by her congressional office.
Between her deployments, Gabbard was a legislative aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, advising him on energy, homeland security, environmental and veteran issues.
Gabbard was first elected to office in 2002 as a member of Hawaii House of Representatives. At 21, she was the youngest person elected in Hawaiian history, a congressional aide said.
Gabbard was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010. She was elected to the first of four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, the first Hindu member of Congress.
Gabbard was born April 12, 1981, in American Samoa. Her mother is white, born in Indiana, grew up in Michigan, was raised Methodist and later converted to Hinduism.
Her father is of Samoan and European descent, grew up in the South, attended a Catholic seminary and is a lector in the Catholic church.
Gabbard’s family moved to Hawaii when she was 2 years old. Gabbard was home-schooled through high school except for two years at a missionary academy for girls in the Philippines.
Gabbard received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University.