RISHI KUMAR FOR US CONGRESS

Priorities

Enhancing Quality of Life

As your Representative, I will address the Bay Area’s quality of life issues such as rising crime, fire safety, increasing water rates, the growing traffic congestion and the housing crisis enabled by a vision and a strong track record of addressing the top challenges of Silicon Valley. I will fight for issues such as high speed network “Broadband needs to become a utility”, reducing air traffic noise and preserving our open space areas.

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Healthcare for All

I have taken the pledge to not receive special interest money – especially from Big Pharma. There are over 30 million individuals in America who do not have adequate access to health insurance. Big Pharma and health lobbyists have penetrated their way into our government. As your Congressman, I will push for healthcare reform. I will push back against the burgeoning healthcare costs and rising drug prices. Healthcare cost is one of the biggest cause of U.S. bankruptcies. Healthcare has become a significant burden for our working families and overshadowed any wage gains. It is time we explored better, cheaper healthcare options for the people of America. It is time we had fearless leaders who will make citizen-centric choices for the American people.

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Women in The Workplace

RishiMy wife Seema works in the Valley’s networking industry and I have seen first-hand the challenges that women in the workplace face. Institutional barriers plague our workplace -- 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 in the Silicon Valley’s workplace and in our courts. I will create a Silicon Valley ecosystem that will promote and create opportunities for girls and young women to pursue successful STEM-related careers, including funding for programs that foster STEM interest in girls and young women.

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Fiscally Moderate and Optimization Policy

I am interested in bringing a fiscal responsibility to the public sector, something I have talked about “providing services cheaper, faster, better” ever since I got elected to office. Without increasing taxes, we can improve government efficiency and deploy a data-driven approach to public sector decision making and optimizing our spend. Let us stop the wars and put the money to use in America. We have to think big, but can we create corporate efficiencies in the public sector? Yes, we can!

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Backyard Crime Meeting Backyard Crime Meeting

Reduce Crime

During my first term on the Saratoga City Council I focused upon rising crime in our city. By rolling out a series of innovative measures our burglaries dropped by almost 50%. But crime continues rising in almost every part of Silicon Valley. Residential burglaries and car break-ins have become a common occurrence. As your congressman, I will continue to reduce crime in your city, deliver federal resources to alleviate the crime challenge while collaborating actively with our local elected officials.

Backyard Crime Meeting
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Senior Citizens & Ageism in the Work Force

As a city councilmember, I supported Saratoga’s designation as a “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 liability of the Baby Boom Generation as they age. I will roll out federal policies and programs through the lens of ageism and prevent age-based discrimination in the workplace such as updating the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow benefits to help those caring for an older relative.

Ageism in the work force

Grow the Innovation Economy

I’m running for Congress because I’m tired of seeing career politicians who don’t understand Silicon Valley’s innovation economy. How can we handle the rigors and prepare our workforce for an autonomous economy built upon Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning? My professional experience is in Silicon Valley’s software industry as a business and technology leader. I understand what it takes for Silicon Valley innovation to succeed and the gains to spread to our middle class and working-class families. The very future of America is at stake. Silicon Valley must lead the charge with its cutting-edge technology and prepare the next generation to succeed in a 21st century economy. The very future of American success and prosperity is at stake. The stakes are too high to fall behind. We need to create a system that delivers Silicon Valley’s innovation prowess to other parts of California and America.

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Housing and Transportation

Our rush hour commute time goes up every year and there is an effort to preempt local control to accelerate Silicon Valley’s housing initiatives. I believe that Housing and Transportation are “two sides of the same coin”. We say “Build Baby Build” when it comes to housing but how about the infrastructure needs? The traffic logjam? How about our quality of life impacts? We need a vision and a well conceived plan. I will fight to maintain local control with housing. I will work towards a federal transportation vision; the very future of Silicon Valley’s innovation economy is at stage. We need a Mega Silicon Valley that allows expanded housing options in the nine county bay area, develop high speed transportation options and seed newer economic zones replicating Silicon Valley success. I will work to solve our homelessness crisis and address mental health challenges impacting our residents and veterans.

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Climate Change

I believe that Climate Change is the most urgent imperative of our time and we have to take firm data-driven action to roll back the impact of climate change. We have to wean the United States from fossil fuels and curb planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions across our planet and in the workplace. We must promote and create jobs in a clean-tech economy. We need a plan as global temperatures continue to rise, the world is headed for more intense heat waves, wildfires and droughts. We need to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 or even earlier. Clean air, chemical free food and water standards are a basic necessity of America. We need investments in policies and projects that would change the way we design buildings, travel and eat.

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Remove Big Money from Politics

Corporate greed and Super PACs have exerted their influence into our political system. The voice of the American people is not being heard by our legislators. The American people see our government only open to large contributors and lobbyists, rather than working directly for them. Our elected leaders should not be bought and sold by the big money and make life impacting decisions under their influence. Our elected leaders should demonstrate a citizen-centric value system and restore trust into our democracy. I will work to remove the big money influence on American politics. That is why I have taken a pledge to refuse Special Interest Groups and PAC campaign contributions.

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Water

I will continue to protect the people of Silicon Valley from super high water rates. When we conserve water, our water rates should NOT go up. How can we build a future plan to address the growing population needs of the Bay Area? An infrastructure plan has to be in place.

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Preserve and Protect Open Space

I am invested to be a good stewards to preserve and protect our precious resources, water, air, open space and making environmentally sound choices. 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.

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Educating the Next Generation

I understand the value of education as an immigrant engineer and how a strong foundation of education positions us for future success. Education is the fundamental component of American success. As your congressman, I will work to make education accessible and available. I will support the expansion of early childhood education and the formative years. I will expand vocational education for the tech industry. The United States education is lagging 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 to go live by 2022. As a Silicon Valley techie, I continue to run entrepreneurship education and Robotics bootcamp to empower our youth with STEM. I will continue promoting STEM education and Entrepreneurship education.

Education

Wellness and Happiness

America has become a work driven culture and a nation that is on the go. More so here in Silicon Valley where it becomes increasingly difficult to strike that work life balance and stress levels impact our health. I will work towards incorporating best practices into our daily lives, including corporate work culture that will elevate the happiness index of Silicon Valley and the country. This is something that is very much an integral component of my agenda as a Saratoga Councilmember for a happier safer community with neighbors connecting, communicating and collaborating.

Kumar's Dancing
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