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US Rep. Jill Tokuda brings local military, agriculture issues to House committees

Jill Tokuda 011823 Capitol.JPG
Sophia McCullough
FILE - U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda attends the opening day of the 2023 state legislative session at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on Jan. 18, 2023.

U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda is back warming up at home after a break in session at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. The first-term lawmaker has just been named to key House committees: Armed Services, Agriculture, and the latest, a Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic.

"We fought hard to make sure that the committees that I was able to get on really reflected both the need and the opportunity for Congressional District 2. The Agriculture Committee is particularly important this year with the farm bill up for reauthorization, this only happens every five years," said Tokuda, who represents all the neighbor islands and non-urban Oʻahu.

"Then of course Armed Services. It impacts every single island, all of our communities. So how can we balance the needs of our defense posture for the Indo-Pacific with our community and our people right here at home?"

The Conversation spoke to Tokuda in person about reaching out to constituents and setting up her new offices.

She is set to tour the Navy Red Hill fuel storage facility and its health clinic for military families impacted by the 2021 leak. Tokuda said she's also pressing for more information on the firefighting foam spill in November 2022.

Tokuda returns to Washington next week and plans to hold community town halls starting in March.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Feb. 22, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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