Brian Schatz

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Brian Schatz

Brian Schatz is a US Senator from Hawaii.


Schatz was born in Ann Arbor, MI and moved to Hawaii with his family when he was two years old. He attended Punahou School (the same school President Obama graduated from 11 years earlier, in 1979) and went on to Pomona College in California where he received a BA in philosophy. While in college, Schatz spent time studying in Kenya and upon graduating, became a community organizer in Hawaii.

From 1998 to 2006, Schatz represented the 25th District (Makiki, McCully, and Tantalus) in the Hawaii State House of Representatives. In 2006, Schatz ran in a ten person Democratic primary race for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Mazie Hirono (now representing Hawaii in the US Senate) ultimately won the primary by 845 votes.

That same year, Schatz formed a group with other Hawaii Democrats to back Barack Obama’s presidential run, one of the President’s earliest endorsements. He worked as a spokesman for the campaign in Hawaii in 2008. In 2010, Schatz ran for Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii and won the seven-person Democratic primary race with 34% of the vote.

Prior to becoming Abercrombie’s running mate in 2010, Schatz served as the founder and Executive Director of Youth for Environmental Service, CEO of Helping Hands Hawaii, a non-profit that delivers goods and services to needy Hawaiians. Schatz also served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii and Director of the Makiki Community Library and Center for a Sustainable Future.[1]

Heir to Patsy Mink

In the the hotly contested '06 Hawaii 2nd Congressional District Congressional campaign, both Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono tried to invoke the legacy of Patsy Mink.

Schatz noted he'd led progressive non-governmental organizations, such as Youth for Environmental Service, just as Patsy Mink had run organizations like the Americans for Democratic Action. Schatz said he found much common ground with Mink on issues ranging from peace to reproductive freedom to social justice. "The next Patsy Mink just might be a skinny Jewish kid," he said, implying that ideas and principles are more important than gender, race or background.[2]

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus

In May 2013, Brian Schatz was listed as a member the Executive Board of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.[3]

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood of Hawaii, on February 16, 2013, held "our most successful gala ever" at the magnificent Monarch Room of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, attended by over 400 political and community leaders.

During dinner, Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng accepted the Bette Takahashi Service Award given to Madelyn Dunham, President Barack Obama’s grandmother, posthumously. Ms. Dunham served on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Hawaii starting in 1976.

The Bette Takahashi Service Award is given in recognition of Ms. Dunham’s commitment to women’s rights, reproductive freedom, and her enormous positive influence on our President in his formative years. During the presentation, guests watched a tribute video from President Obama, Love and Values of a Quiet Hero , produced by Rai Saint Chu, Gala Advisory Committee Chair.

Rep. Marilyn Lee, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Senator Mazie Hirono, Senator Brian Schatz, and Mayor Kirk Caldwell attended the event. Co-Chairs of the event, Chivas Nousianen and Karen McKinnie, were in attendance, as were Honorary Co-Chairs Dr. Nancie Caraway and Dr. Linda Schatz.[4]

Council for a Livable World

In December 2012, Sen. Brian Schatz (D) was appointed to fill the seat of the late Senator Daniel Inouye (D) by Governor Neil Abercrombie (D). Gov. Abercrombie had three candidates to choose from to serve in the Senate until the 2014 special election: Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who Council for a Livable World’s PeacePAC endorsed in her successful 2012 House run and former congressional candidate Esther Kiaaina.[5]

2014 endorsement


The Council wrote of Schatz;

At the age of 40, Schatz is one of the youngest members of the US Senate and has been working hard to build in-state as well as national support for his reelection campaign. He has gained over a dozen early endorsements, including the League of Conservation Voters, Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council, the University of Hawaii Professional Assembly, many other environmental and labor groups – and of course Council for a Livable World. The Schatz campaign has also assembled a team of veteran campaign specialists who have worked on numerous successful US Senate campaigns. In the first fundraising quarter of 2013, Schatz raised $1.1 million, 88% of which came from individuals and nearly 80% from in-state donors.
Even with the outstanding work early Sen. Schatz has done, he may need to overcome a tough primary in August 2014 in order to win in the special general election in November. The primary could be filled with Senate hopefuls from both parties. Hawaii special elections are “winner –take-all” with no runoff, and the candidate who receives a plurality of votes will be the winner.
We believe that Brian Schatz has the background and drive to prove that he will be an enduring voice for progressives in the US Senate for decades to come.[6]

Council for a Livable World 2016


Council for a Livable World Senate endorsed candidates in 2016 were Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Deborah Ross (D-N.C.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), Ted Strickland (D-Ohio).[7]

According to the Council;

After joining the Senate in 2012, he took strongly progressive positions on national security issues. When the President was considering a response to Syrian use of chemical weapons, Schatz opposed a military strike:
“Though all of us are outraged by the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons, I have concluded that a military strike against Syria is not the answer. Therefore, I will oppose this resolution.”

Schatz was also one of the few Democrats running in 2014 who resisted pressure to co-sponsor the Menendez (D-NJ)-Kirk (R-IL) bill to impose additional sanctions on Iran and undermine chances for a deal to stop Iran’s nuclear program. He scored a perfect 100% on the Council’s legislative scorecard for 2013-2014.

JStreet endorsement

The socialist infiltrated, anti-Israel "two state solution" JStreet PAC endorsed Brian Schatz in his 2014 Senate run from Hawaii. [8]

JStreet endorsed him again in 2016.

He has traveled to Israel on numerous occasions and is an outspoken supporter of US leadership toward a two-state solution, as well as the administration's efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff diplomatically. JStreetPAC was proud to support Senator Schatz in a very hotly contested and closely watched primary in 2014, and we look forward to helping him gain re-election in 2016.[9]

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Progressive Change Campaign Committee helped 5 candidates from the "Elizabeth Warren wing" of American politics including Ruben Gallego (AZ-7), Brian Schatz (HI-Sen), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Mike Honda (CA-17), and Pat Murphy (IA-1) defeat more conservative opponents in tough 2014 primary battles.[10]

Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015

S 299, the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act of 2015, principal sponsors are Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.[11]

By May 20, it had accumulated 33 co-sponsors, including 26 Democrats - Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall, Dick Durbin, Thomas Carper, Amy Klobuchar, Barbara Boxer, Jack Reed, Debbie Stabenow, Jeff Merkley, Chris Murphy, Benjamin Cardin, Chris Coons, Dianne Feinstein, Jeanne Shaheen, Sherrod Brown, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Tammy Baldwin, Ed Markey, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill, Ron Wyden, Tim Kaine, Al Franken, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Martin Heinrich . [12]

"Principles for a Progressive Foreign Policy"

"Principles for a Progressive Foreign Policy- What Congress Must Do" by Senators Chris Murphy, Brian Schatz, and Martin Heinrich was published in Foreign Affairs, June 8, 2015.

The new world order demands that the United States think anew about the tools that it will use to lead the world, including reaching beyond the military budget to rediscover the power of non-kinetic statecraft. As relatively new members of the U.S. Senate on the Foreign Relations, Appropriations, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees, we believe that Congress needs to help chart a new course to meet these challenges and play a more active role to help shape foreign policy coming out of the executive branch...
Human rights and gender equality should not be viewed as secondary to security issues, but appropriately recognized as essential to long-term global stability.
Finally, we believe climate change presents an immediate threat to the world, and the United States must invest time, money, and global political capital to address this crisis. In 2007, a group of 11 retired three-star and four-star admirals and generals unequivocally stated that climate change is a “significant national security challenge” that can serve as a “threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world.” The United States must acknowledge what the science and national security experts are already saying—climate change is real, it is happening now, and it is solvable if the United States acts quickly.[13]

Resolution to Honor Civil Rights Hero Fred Korematsu

February 6, 2017, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a resolution honoring Fred Korematsu, who challenged the internment of Japanese Americans.

Wyden and Merkley said the resolution honoring Korematsu’s work and advocacy of the civil rights and liberties of all people is timely, given the president’s executive order establishing a Muslim ban.

"Fred Korematsu’s brave advocacy for the civil rights of 120,000 Japanese Americans remains a timeless example of courage that resonates today and every day,“ Wyden said. “I am committed to fighting for the continued advance of civil rights he spent his life defending, and against those who would betray both the law and our history to impose an unconstitutional religious test on immigrants."

"Heroes like Fred Korematsu demonstrate the importance of fighting fiercely for our core American values, even when it is hard,” said Merkley. “His story reminds us that the time is always right to stand up for what is right. We must keep fighting for the freedom and equality that define our nation, and ensure that the Statue of Liberty continues to stand as a beacon of hope around the world."

The resolution is cosponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Maria Cantwell, Elizabeth Warren, Richard Blumenthal, Tim Kaine , Patty Murray, Chris Coons, and Dick Durbin.

A broad coalition of advocacy organizations support the resolution, including the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & Defending Dissent Foundation, Demand Progress, Free Press Action Fund, Restore the Fourth, The Yemen Peace Project, and Fight for the Future.[14]

Single Payer Bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) unveiled Wednesday September 13, 2017 a new version of his plan to give everybody government-run health insurance, potentially opening a new chapter in the ongoing debate over how to make health care in the U.S. more affordable and available.

The plan calls for an overhaul of American health insurance with a souped-up, more generous version of Medicare replacing nearly all private health insurance ― and government exerting far more control over the cost of medical care. It would arguably be the most ambitious social welfare initiative in U.S. history, but Sanders told HuffPost in an interview Tuesday that he believes America is ready for it.

“The American people are catching on to where the Republicans are coming from, they see the limitations of the Affordable Care Act and they’re looking at the alternatives,” Sanders said. “And this is a rational alternative.”

That roster of co-sponsors includes a who’s-who list of potential Democratic presidential candidates for 2020, including Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Also backing the bill are Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Al Franken of Minnesota, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall of New Mexico, Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.[15]



NIAC April 12, 2018 · NIAC Action is proud to stand alongside U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Brian Schatz , U.S. Senator Tina Smith, Rep. Ro Khanna​, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee​ to demand that the U.S. Senate block the confirmation of Mike Pompeo. #StopPompeo

Thank you to and all the other amazing organizations and grassroots activists for this event! We're lucky to have allies like Indivisible Guide​, J Street, Center for Victims of Torture, Win Without War​, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights​, CAIR​, and many, many more!!!

Yasmine Taeb also spoke.