Rishi Kumar is a Silicon Valley hi-tech executive and a candidate for the U.S House of Representatives (CA-18). He is currently a Saratoga City councilmember and is serving his second term. Rishi brings a fiscally moderate, results-driven mindset to politics. 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 on toughest issues. He led efforts to reject the San Jose Water Company’s water rate increases, reduce burglaries, and stop a potential 300-room hotel mega development project on a hillside in a high-fire-risk zone. In 2018, the people of Saratoga re-elected Rishi with the most votes in the city’s history for fearlessly addressing issues deemed daunting by others. 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.
Recap of Rishi’s last run for Congress (November 2020 election)
In the 2020 run, Rishi garnered more votes than any other challenger in the last 30 years of this district (37%) but fell short by 45,000 votes in beating a 28-year veteran incumbent. He spent $691K on the race, in comparison to Rep. Eshoo’s $2M. All of the campaign’s funds came from individual people, whereas 47% of Rep. Eshoo’s campaign contributions came from PACs. Rishi led a grassroots campaign - with volunteers from 29 states - for an unprecedented district engagement: 100,000 doors, a million phone calls, calling 86,000 seniors offering them help with groceries/medications, and the campaign’s videos went viral with over 1.25 million views.
What drives Rishi?
Rishi’s motivation is to change the broken Washington culture by bringing a new brand of people-driven, rather than lobbyist-driven, politics. Check out Rishi’s policy priorities at RishiKumar.com/priorities. Watch Rishi’s personal story here. His platform focuses on addressing current-day challenges such as the pandemic, the Silicon Valley tech exodus, income inequality, healthcare, and climate change.
Rishi is keenly invested to help the disadvantaged
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 many disadvantaged neighborhoods of Silicon Valley, which benefited thousands of disadvantaged students by empowering them through both STEM and entrepreneurial skills. Since 2012, Rishi has also hosted the no-charge Lego Robotics Bootcamp to teach 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 go live next year. During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders, Rishi organized hackathons, facilitated entrepreneurial boot camps for young students, and provided online coding classes. His internship program today is providing 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 to begin to bridge the income inequality gap.
Unique brand of politics
Rishi does not believe in partisan politics, but rather in problem solving - not Left, not Right, but Forward. 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. Many valley tech leaders are rallying behind his 2022 run.
Implementing a computer science K-12 curriculum to go live in 2022