The quality of life in the Bay Area is impacted by issues such as increasing water rates, rising crime, growing traffic congestion, and unaffordable housing. Fire safety is a serious concern. High-speed Broadband needs to be a universal, because it is a key tool for getting ahead in the 21st century. We need to reduce air traffic noise and preserve our beautiful, natural open spaces.
As your Representative, I will address these issues, enabled by a proven track record and a strong vision for California.
Over 30 million people in America do not have adequate access to health insurance. And for the rest who do, it is often inadequate and expensive.
Healthcare costs have become a significant burden for our working families and are one of the primary causes of U.S. bankruptcies. It is time we explored better, cheaper healthcare options for the American people.
As your Congressman, I will push for healthcare reform. I will fight back against burgeoning healthcare costs and rising drug prices. Many countries of the world have a high quality single payer system; America can too.
I support Medicare for All (H.R 1384), which would guarantee affordable healthcare to everyone in this country, and the Bring Drug Prices Down Act (H.R 1046), which allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.
Big Pharma and health lobbyists have penetrated their way into our government. I have taken the pledge to not receive special interest money or PAC money, including health insurance and pharmaceutical money.
Here are 6 things we can do to reduce the cost of healthcare now:
With bold leadership and determination we CAN solve our healthcare challenges.
My wife Seema works in the Silicon Valley networking industry, and has experienced first-hand the challenges that confront women in the workplace every day. Institutional barriers still plague our workplaces, impacting women and many underrepresented gender identities.
In Congress, I will be a fierce advocate for women’s rights and economic security. I will address gender bias, income inequality, work-life balance, and unequal growth opportunities. I will work to promote, create, and fund opportunities for girls and young women of Silicon Valley to explore and pursue successful, high-paying, and fulfilling careers.
As a city councilmember, I supported Saratoga’s designation as an “Age Friendly city.” I will continue to support our seniors in Congress. I will adopt a long-term-care policy to address the largest unfunded need of the Baby Boom Generation as they age. I will roll out federal policies and programs through the lens of combating against ageism to prevent age-based discrimination in the workplace. I will support updating the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow benefits to help those caring for an older relative.
I am committed to being a good steward of California’s natural open spaces and to preserving and protecting our native wildlife. I am against the development of the Cargill Salt Water site property, which was once underwater and part of San Francisco Bay a century ago before it was diked for salt-making. The Stanford development project demands caution, and we have to address mitigation plans with traffic and housing.
As an immigrant engineer, I understand the value of education as the fundamental component of American success. Yet education in the United States lags behind many countries of the world. We have to fix that. I was on the California Computer Science Implementation Panel that is rolling out a K-12 Computer Science curriculum by 2022. As a Silicon Valley techie, I continue to run an entrepreneurship education and robotics bootcamp to empower our youth with STEM.
As your Congressman, I will work to make education accessible and available. I will support the expansion of early childhood education to give the best possible start to all children. I will continue promoting STEM and entrepreneurship education opportunities for our youth. I will also work to expand vocational, career & technical education, while making public colleges much more affordable. I will propose programs that will provide an opportunity for our high school graduates to be productive in the American workforce, to address the needs of our local economy.
Additionally, I will work to ensure that all schools receive the necessary funding for special education and am in favor of increasing federal funding for the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
Separating a child from their parents at our border is wrong, and I will do my best to prevent such events from happening in our country. As an immigrant, I believe that diversity is the strength of our nation. I will fight to protect immigrant rights to ensure that we have a fair and just system. I will strive to address any ongoing issues with our H-1B visa program to restore it to its original intent, protecting all workers from systemic abuses by profit-driven companies, and increasing the pool of talented and high-skilled foreign workers that will further America’s economic success. I support immigration visa reform, including HR 1044, that will increase opportunities for qualified individuals to take steps towards permanent residency in a speedy manner.
America has become a work-driven culture and a nation that is on the go. Here in Silicon Valley, it has become increasingly difficult to strike a healthy work/life balance. High stress levels impact our health adversely. I will work towards incorporating policies to encourage healthier living that include promoting cooperation and collaboration amongst our fellow citizens with mutual respect, trust, and self-restraint. We should make it easier for Americans to make healthy choices in life and prevent unhealthy products from harming American lives. I have pushed to prevent products like Roundup being sprayed in our parks. We must ban toxins masked as food products, and promote truth in labeling for our produce, so that Americans can make informed choices for their families.
We must bring fiscal responsibility to the public sector! We can improve government efficiency by employing a data-driven approach to public-sector decision making and spending. Without increasing taxes on working people, we can provide services “cheaper, faster, better.”
Read my policy overview with Silicon Valley Tech here. I’m running for Congress, because I’m tired of career politicians who don’t understand Silicon Valley’s innovation industry. We cannot prepare our workforce for an autonomous industry built upon Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning if our leadership is technologically illiterate.
My professional experience in Silicon Valley’s software industry as a business and technology leader means I understand what it takes for Silicon Valley innovation to succeed and for the gains to spread to our middle class and working-class families. We must work hard to ensure that Silicon Valley remains the global leader at the forefront of technological innovation and prepare the next generation to succeed in a 21st century world.
Read my policy overview with housing, homelessness and traffic here.
Over 168,000 Bay Area commuters and millions of local drivers are stuck every day in Silicon Valley traffic. Commutes are only getting longer and more frustrating, and our available public transportation is woefully inadequate. Billions have been wasted on the ill-conceived Bullet Train that is going nowhere, and our elected leaders have not been able to offer a solution for our traffic woes. Meanwhile, our housing prices are going through the roof. We need innovative measures to tackle these two issues simultaneously.
My vision is to build a cutting-edge, tunnel-enclosed high-speed transportation system based on the Hyperloop technology that would bring 12.2 million people living in the 21 counties of the Northern California Megaregion within a short commute of Silicon Valley jobs; and affordable homes within 21 minutes of Silicon Valley workers. Operating at average speeds of 600 mph (top speed 760), the eco-friendly and noise-free Hyperloop could cross the 150 miles between Yuba City and San Jose in under 15 minutes.
What does this mean for the average San Jose worker? The median price for a home in the San Jose region is $1.3 million, whereas in Yuba City it is only about $300,000. With a high speed transit system, people could afford a decent home within an easy commute of work. They could walk their child to school in the morning, hop on the Hyperloop, put in a full day’s work and be back in time to help with homework before dinner.
The entire Northern California Megaregion would become part of a Mega Silicon Valley innovation economy, experiencing increased opportunity, retaining talent and providing affordable housing options for all. (See op-ed piece)
Read my policy overview with climate change here.
I support the Green New Deal. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time. The science is clear: global temperatures continue to rise and the world is already experiencing more intense hurricanes, deadly heat waves, wildfires and droughts.We must take a three-sided approach to the battle against climate change:
I believe that climate change is the most urgent issue of our time. The science is clear: global temperatures continue to rise and the world is already experiencing more intense hurricanes, deadly heat waves, wildfires and droughts. We must take firm action to roll back the impact of climate change. We need to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 or even earlier. We must wean the United States from fossil fuels and invest in sustainable clean energy and biofuels. We must promote and create jobs in a clean-energy economy, and build a green-energy infrastructure. We must plant more trees and clean up hazardous waste sites. I am serious about protecting the environment and that is why I am a vegetarian practitioner with no meat or eggs in my diet. Clean air and water is a basic necessity for all living things. We owe it to our children to take care of our planet.
Read my policy overview with Silicon Valley Tech here. I believe that all internet traffic should be treated in an equitable manner without penalising or prioritising traffic from any specific domain name, service provider or publisher. Thus, I spoke against the FCC repeal of Net Neutrality when it was first announced. Just like free speech, Net Neutrality allows our world to express and have an equal opportunity voice online. Restoring Net Neutrality is the core foundation for sustainable Silicon Valley innovation culture and our startup economy. Internet billing would become more complex if providers were allowed to charge for vital services, like online banking or entertainment. We have to have a level playing field for upstarts to challenge the status quo, and Net Neutrality is a key enabler of that. The very future of startup innovation is contingent upon the protection of Net Neutrality.
The privacy of data and online security is also a growing American concern. I support efforts such as The California Consumer Privacy Act that went live on Jan 1, 2020. I support laws such as The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union. I strongly support the Internet Bill of Rights that includes greater transparency along with opt-in for data collection practices and timely notification if a company holding personal data suffers a hack.
The West Bay’s journey from the prune capital of the world to Silicon Valley, the tech capital of the world is a wonderful story and part of Silicon Valley’s cherished history. As your Congressman, I will work to ensure that we capture our important milestones and preserve historic sites for future generations to learn and be inspired.
Empowering our youth with education and opportunities is a very important agenda. I ran entrepreneurship bootcamps for disadvantaged youth and have trained over 2000 young students of California in the art of the startup. I have run the annual Silicon Valley Youth Tech Day for young startup teams - handing out “seed funding” as the ultimate award. Our annual Lego Robotics boot camps have been huge hits with elementary, middle and high school students.
My internship program (city council and now Congressional campaign) has had a few hundred students that have discovered their voice and a path forward in public service.
As part of the California Department of Education Computer Science Strategic Implementation panel, I have helped launch the Computer Science curriculum for public schools K-12 in California, which will go live in 2020. With the help of Silicon Valley high tech and non-profits, I am launching incubation and innovation centers geared towards youth. My plan is to ensure that opportunities in the innovation economy are open to every young person in Silicon Valley.
During my first term on the Saratoga City Council I focused upon reducing crime in our city. By rolling out a series of innovative measures through my Neighborhood Safety Watch Program, I was successful in reducing burglaries by 41%. But crime continues to rise in almost every other part of Silicon Valley. Residential burglaries and car break-ins have become a common occurrence.
As your Congressman, I will continue to fight crime in every city, delivering federal resources and collaborating actively with our local elected officials and law-enforcement.
As a council member, I led the effort to combat the San Jose Water Company from unnecessary rate increases through the Water Oversight Committee. I will continue to protect the people of Silicon Valley from artificially high water rates. When we conserve water, our water rates should NOT go up. We must build a future plan to address the growing population needs of the Bay Area. An infrastructure plan has to be in place.
I believe in a diverse and pluralistic American society that follows the principles of the First Amendment. I believe that the multi-cultural melting pot makes America stronger, successful, and vibrant.
As your Congressman, I will work to ensure that the United States remains cohesive and our diversity of thoughts leads to unity and not division. My upbringing as a Hindu follows the Gandhian “Hinduism is a philosophy of life”, and the all-inclusive Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one connected family) approach. Leading with the ‘One Connected Family’ as my guiding principle, I have worked very hard to make Saratoga a strong, close-knit, and collaborative community that brings all our neighbors together to elevate the happiness index of Saratoga while collaborating to solve some of the toughest challenges. I follow the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, respecting and embracing differences, and nonviolent conflict resolution - both as a creed and strategy. My upbringing was as a Hindu, my K-12 education was in a Jesuit school and I regularly visited the church on campus, while also visiting mosques, synagogues and gurudwaras with an openness based on the accepting culture of Bombay where I grew up.
I strongly oppose any form of hate against any group including LGBTQ and religions/communities. I am against phobia such as ChristoPhobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, Sikhphobia, Hispanophobia, or Hinduphobia. My policies in Congress will be driven by the philosophy that every group and religious entity strengthens and improves our society.