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Beth's story

Beth Fukumoto was first elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 2012. The youngest woman in the United States to hold a legislative caucus leader position, she served as Minority Leader until she was stripped of her title for her vocal opposition to President Trump at the Women’s March in Hawaii.

 

Citing racism, sexism, and differences in values, Beth left the Republican Party where she had been labeled a “Progressive Republican” for her efforts to end income inequality and push improvements to women’s health care. After a rigorous vetting process, the Democratic Party of Hawaii agreed that Beth’s values and votes aligned, and she became an official member of the Democratic Party. Honolulu’s local newspaper, Star-Advertiser wrote, “Fukumoto is one of the most credible local critics of President Donald Trump.”

 

With female minority voices being more important than ever, Beth’s story gained significant national attention. Beth made appearances on Chelsea, Jim Jeffries Show, and Liz Plank’s Divided States of Women, as well as being featured in publications such as Elle, Slate, Wall Street Journal and Teen Vogue. A short documentary on Beth’s decision to leave the Republican party, produced by The Outline, was recently nominated by the American Society of Magazine Editors for an Ellie Award.

 

Beth was named one of the Washington Post’s “The Fix’s 40 under 40” rising political stars, and awarded a James Madison Fellowship by the Millennial Action Project for her demonstrated success in transcending partisan lines. She recently accepted an invitation to join the Aspen Institute’s Rodel Fellowship Program, which has included both Tom Perez and Julian Castro.

 

The great-granddaughter of Japanese and Irish immigrants, Beth serves as one of the few elected female Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices on issues facing women and minorities nationally. As a legislator, she focuses on increasing access to affordable housing, improving access to healthcare, closing the wage gap, ending income inequality and fixing Hawaii’s aging infrastructure. Today, Beth believes it is time to take these messages to Congress and is running for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional as a Democrat in 2018.