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Tam To Serve As Only Open LBGTQ State Lawmaker

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Adrian Tam is the new state House representative for District 22 covering the Kakaako and Waikiki area.

He will make history as the only declared LGBTQ elected official in the state Legislature.

Tam says his main objective will be to diversify Hawaii’s economy away from just tourism, construction and military.

Beyond economic diversification, Tam wants to focus on public safety and homelessness.

He’s aware his election is noteworthy.

"Representation does matter. It’s important to have someone at the seat of the table to just kind of keep perspectives in the room. You know, as elected officials, we’re elected to represent everyone. I’m proud of the fact that I’m going to bring some diversity, some new perspective into that building," Tam said.

Tam says although COVID-19 made it more difficult to campaign, he used social media and community events like giving out masks and food drives to connect with voters.

Tam beat Republican Nick Ochs, who drew controversy as part of the alt-right, Proud Boys group.

Ochs focused on cracking down on crime and vagrancy. He complained that he had been censored,  pointing to Facebook's decision to delete his campaign page for violating its terms of service and community standards.

Ashley Mizuo
Born and raised on O’ahu, she’s a graduate of ‘Iolani School and has a BA in Journalism and Political Science from Loyola University Chicago and an MA in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.
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