Rishi Kumar is a Silicon Valley hi-tech executive, a mechanical engineer by education, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives (CA-16). He is currently a Saratoga City councilmember - elected with the most votes in his city’s election history - and is serving his second term. Rishi is running against Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, who is in her 44th year in public office. Read the 44-year report card.
Rishi will face Eshoo again in the runoff - for the 2nd straight time - having defeated six formidable candidates in the recent primary election. Rishi won 127,000 votes in the November 2020 general election - the highest votes for any Eshoo challenger in 30 years. His target for a November win is a total of 150,000 votes. Read the election recap.
Rishi believes in fiscally moderate, result-driven problem-solving approaches as a political leader. As an immigrant and an engineer working for IBM, Rishi found his calling as an activist stepping up for complex community challenges that he couldn’t ignore. As a councilmember of Saratoga, he challenged the system, unafraid to be the dissenting vote, and focused his energy on the tough community challenges. He led efforts to reject many of San Jose Water Company’s water rate increases that benefited a million residents of Silicon Valley, reduced burglaries - the largest reduction compared to any other Silicon Valley city, and stopped a potential 300-room hotel mega development project on a hillside in a high fire hazard zone. When his colleagues on the city council proposed a road tax, he was the only dissenting vote, pushing for a budget optimization approach instead to free up dollars for road repair. The council ultimately put the brakes on the road tax. Rishi brings a people-centric platform and a track record of getting-things-done to politics.
Rishi lives in Saratoga with his wife Seema, a networking industry professional, and their two sons.
Rishi’s motivation is to change the broken sold out Washington culture by bringing a new brand of people-driven, rather than lobbyist-driven, politics. Rishi’s run is for the people.
Check out Rishi’s policy priorities at RishiKumar.com/priorities. Watch Rishi’s personal story here (click to play the 2 minute video). His platform focuses on addressing current-day challenges such as the housing, traffic and homelessness crisis, rising burglaries, California fires, water infrastructure, San Jose Water Company’s greed, the pandemic, the Silicon Valley tech exodus, healthcare, and climate change.
As a person of color, Rishi believes that if you are lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down. Rishi has championed the issues of disadvantaged communities across Silicon Valley, seeking to bridge the income gap. To rectify this issue, Rishi launched the no-charge Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for youth in disadvantaged neighborhoods of Silicon Valley, which benefited thousands of disadvantaged students by empowering them through STEM and entrepreneurial skills. Since 2012, Rishi has also hosted the no-charge Lego Robotics Bootcamp to teach students robotic design and programming. As a member of the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel, a California Department of Education initiative, Rishi has helped roll out a K-12 Computer Science curriculum for every Public School student in California that is scheduled to go live in 2022. During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Rishi organized hackathons, facilitated entrepreneurial boot camps for young students, and provided online coding classes to encourage continued growth for all students. His current internship program provides valuable leadership experience for hundreds of high school and college students all over the country. Rishi believes that equal opportunity should be afforded to all youth, regardless of their family’s income level in order to begin to bridge the income inequality gap.
If you watched the 2020 Candidates Forum, Rishi proved that, as a valley tech executive and an elected leader, he gets it. Rishi’s brand is exciting since he could potentially be the first tech-savvy congressman, keenly invested to grow the economy and create jobs - opportunity for all. Silicon Valley’s success as an innovation capital of the world will be in good hands
Rishi has been solving the data challenges in tech, and will solve the people-challenges as a U.S. Representative with your support. Rishi does not believe in partisan politics, but rather in problem solving - not Left, not Right, but Forward. We are NOT simply Red States, or Blue States - we are the United States. Rishi will always represent every person in his constituency, irrespective of party, or economic status or anything else. You can count on it! Never the special interests or those with fat wallets.
Here is Rishi’s personal story, the journey to the U.S., to Silicon Valley and the run for U.S. Congress.
Implementing a computer science K-12 curriculum to go live in 2022