Like so many people in Hawaiʻi, family roots come from the Philippines, China, and Portugal.
His great grandparents from the Tam side came from China as blacksmiths and laborers to work in the sugar plantations on Maui. His great, great grandparents from the Chang and Kong families came from China as some of the first Chinese Christians to arrive in Hawaiʻi.
The extended Kong family founded St. Peter's Church which still stands proudly in Downtown Honolulu today. His Filipino ʻohana - the Torralbas and Villas from Badoc, Ilocos Norte, and the Guavis family from Cebu - came to Hawaiʻi as sakadas in the early 20th century.
And on the Portuguese side, the Dos Santos family came from
the island of Madeira to work as storekeepers on the ʻAiea Plantation.
Tyler's parents, Dr. Roland Tam in ʻalewa Heights and work at St. Francis Hospital in Liliha. They’ve dedicated their lives to the health of our community. Through their example of compassionately caring for their patients, they showed Tyler and his brothers the importance of caring for others.
Tyler's grandfather Gideon is a retired Aloha Airlines pilot, and taught Tyler the value of hard work. He would go to the airport at 5AM every morning, fly dozens of inter-island routes, and still come back home and clean the yard, take care of his pets, and fix up the house.
His grandmother Dolores dedicated her career to countless community endeavors, including the Portuguese Genealogical Society, various orchid clubs, the Hawaiʻi Heritage Center, and UH scholarship fundraisers, among many others. Through her nonprofit work, Tyler learned the value of being involved in the community.
Tyler carries on these values of caring for others, hard work, and community involvement as a strong advocate for local families at the Hawaiʻi Construction Alliance, as a leader in the Democratic Party, through various nonprofit groups, and as Chair of the Neighborhood Commission.