Since Tulsi was young, she had an innate passion to protect the environment and empower other young people to do the same. At the age of 21, she stepped up to serve in the Hawaii State Legislature, followed by two deployments to the Mideast as a soldier in the Hawaii Army National Guard, and then she returned to serve on the Honolulu City Council. Today, she continues to serve as a fourth-term United States Congresswoman and a major in the National Guard. And now, she is offering to serve as President of the United States, calling for an end to America’s disastrous policy of regime-change wars, an end to the new cold war and nuclear arms race, and a renewed commitment to protecting our planet and rebuilding our communities here at home.
Though she’s been in the public eye for almost half of her life, Tulsi was incredibly shy as a young girl, preferring to be out in the waves instead of mixing it up on dry land. So how does a shy surfer girl become a warrior for peace on a mission to lead a government that puts people, planet, and peace ahead of partisan politics dominated by corporate interests and an agenda for war?
It all started on a small group of islands suspended in the Pacific Ocean called American Samoa.
Surrounded by swaying palm trees, pounding surf, and luscious mountain ranges on Tutuila Island, Tulsi was born to Carol and Mike Gabbard as the fourth of five children. Her mother was born in Indiana and grew up in Michigan, was raised Methodist, and later found her way to Hinduism. Her father grew up in the Deep South, the son of an Air Force Sergeant. Mike went to Catholic seminary as a young man and remains a lector in the Catholic church, while also practicing yoga meditation. Some of Tulsi’s earliest memories are of the bright colors, beautiful sounds, and fragrant aromas of both Christian and Hindu celebrations. Tulsi’s interfaith, interracial family is a reflection of the story of America, which taught her to accept and embody diverse perspectives and identities.
As is typical of many residents of Hawaii, she is of mixed ethnicity. She is of Southeast Asian (25.6%) French and German (24.6%), and Polynesian descent—as well as a mixture of 9 other ethnicities.
When Tulsi was two years old, her family moved to Hawaii. She grew up with sand between her toes—swimming, surfing, and playing on beautiful beaches with her four siblings and their friends.