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Voter's Edge California Voter Guide
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Tuesday November 8, 2022 — California General Election
United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 16

Photo of Rishi Kumar

Rishi Kumar

Councilmember/Hi-Tech Executive
101,766 votes (42.2%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • ★ With 127,000 votes received in the November 2020 election, I’m back to win! I will address the pending challenges of America and our district left festering for decades with our ethics-in-politics run, free of corporate-$ RishiKumar.com/priorities
  • ★ I'm the only candidate in this race who is a Medicare champion for seniors and the only who supports Medicare for All. I will protect senior Medicare coverage and expand it to include vision, and dental. https://rishikumar.com/medicare
  • ★ I'm the only one with a real plan for climate and environmental solutions. And who will fight to protect women’s reproductive rights - clearly the last 3 decades have failed. https://rishikumar.com/priorities

Experience

Experience

Profession:Councilmember, hi-tech executive and father
Hi-tech executive roles in Silicon Valley's software industry, IBM, Cisco, Solix and many other startups (2000–current)
Councilmember, City of Saratoga, Saratoga City Council — Elected position (2014–current)
Executive Board & Delegate, California Democratic Party — Elected position (2013–2020)

Education

University of Connecticut M.S, Mechanical Engineering (1994)

Community Activities

Rolled out a K-12 Computer Science curriculum for public schools, California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel, a California Department of Education initiative, (2016–2018)

Biography

 ☆ I am currently a Silicon Valley hi-tech executive, a mechanical engineer by education, and a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives (CA-16).
I am currently serving my second term as a Saratoga City councilmember.
I was elected with the most votes in my city’s election history.
In the November 2020 election, we were humbled and honored to have received more votes than any other challenger in the last 30 years of this congressional district and we are honored to be running again - back for victory 2022.

Who supports this candidate?

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (4)

What legislation, if any, would you support to reduce American greenhouse gas production?  Please explain the reasons for your position.
Answer from Rishi Kumar:

Visit RishiKumar.com/climate for my policy overview.

Climate and protecting the environment are my single greatest passion. I was speaking against the Keystone pipeline and I stood with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline - we have to protect and preserve. I was also speaking against the PUC push to gut California’s solar program by ending the incentives currently in place. We have to go clean and go green!

I will always push to choose wisely, as therein lies the opportunity for us to leave a clean, just, thriving world for our children and for us. America must continue to be the beacon of light and hope, trailblazing the path of revolution and justice for so many others in this world. 

I have a real climate plan at RishiKumar.com/climate which includes applying technological solutions to address the climate challenge. What my Climate Action Plan will achieve:

Millions of family-sustaining jobs: Whether replacing lead pipes, expanding railways, or manufacturing wind turbines, millions of workers will lead the transition to a new green economy.

 ☆ Climate sanity: We have to transition to a clean energy economy. By investing in smart grids for renewable energy distribution, encouraging energy-efficient manufacturing, and expanding low-emissions public transit, to reduce climate pollution.

 ☆ Clean air and water: A Green New Deal would replace lead pipes, clean up hazardous waste sites, and reduce toxic air and water pollution from oil, gas, and coal. Those benefiting the most would be the communities of color and low-income families who today endure disproportionate exposure to toxins.

 ☆ Lower costs: We need to help working class families slash their energy bills and reduce their transit costs by offering more energy-efficient homes, access to affordable wind and solar power, and more reliable options for affordable public transportation.

 

 ☆ We must promote and create jobs in a clean-tech economy in order to prevent a planetary catastrophe. 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.

Should immigration laws be changed?  What changes would you support?  Please explain why.
Answer from Rishi Kumar:

I’m an immigrant myself.  I came to the US on a student visa, and this country has been absolutely incredible for me. I support DACA, and I believe we need to honor President Obama’s program. If people play by the rules, we need to keep our promises and give them a place in this country. I don’t want these DACA kids to be living in a world where their future is in question. I strongly believe that this country made promises to them, and we need to honor those promises. For more, go to rishikumar.com and search under “Immigration” to see my policies on this important topic. 

 

I supported the Biden administration move to extend Title 42: Migrants attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border at the highest level in two decades.

 

Immigrants are the strength of this country. It sickens me to see the human rights violations committed against them at the southern border, the atrocities of detention camps, and the cruel separation of families that follows deportation. Hearing of unconsented medical procedures upon migrant women in ICE detention centers is shocking! I will do everything in my power to prevent such abominations from occurring in our country. First and foremost, I will fight to protect immigrant rights in our justice system, and help ingrain them into our economy under a legal and equitable standing.

 

To make immigration more effective, I will strive to address any ongoing issues with our H-1B visa program and 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.

 

We also need to help immigrants take essential steps towards becoming permanent residents. Immigrants are beneficial both socially and economically to America; we need immigration visa reform, including HR 1044, that will increase opportunities for qualified individuals to achieve permanent residency and citizenship in a timely manner.

As Congress Member what, if any, policies or legislation would you support to preserve democracy for all US residents?
Answer from Rishi Kumar:

Visit RishiKumar.com/priorities for my policy overview.

In Congress, I will fiercely protect our democracy, safeguard voting rights, protect the integrity of our elections and purge dark money from our political system. Here is my agenda to protect our democracy:

☆ Stop the dark tainted money of corporate interests from influencing elections and subverting our democracy.

☆ End Citizens United.

☆ Push for free and fair elections on all fronts.

☆ Ensure voting is easily accessible while ensuring deceased voters and voters who moved have been taken off the voter rolls, mitigating any attempts at voter fraud.

☆ Allow a Voting Day public holiday and allow for a vote-by-mail electoral process.

☆ Continue the support of efforts like Proposition 18 in 2020, to allow 17 year-olds to register to vote if they were 18 years old by the general election.

 

☆ Support the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, HR 1, the For the People Act, and the Protecting Our Democracy Act.

The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of projects and laws.  What, if any, new programs or projects or reforms to existing programs and projects would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Answer from Rishi Kumar:
Visit https://rishikumar.com/water for my plan California has had no plan for our recurring droughts. When are we going to review the larger problems of California droughts strategically and the ecosystem of agriculture, almond farmers, urban economies, and marine life? When are we going to push for efficiencies in every aspect in dynamic changes induced by climate changes, population density changes, water demand changes, etc.? When will a comprehensive plan for water reservoir expansion in California be developed? California’s hundred year old system was developed for 10 million people. Today, we have almost a 400% increase in population, and our Sierra snowpack depletion is a consequence of significant climate change. Sacramento is pushing for super, high-density housing in our communities. Yet, there is no plan for water expansion to accommodate this population influx! How will communities following the Sacramento housing expansion mandate find new sources of water? Are we going to do something….anything to avoid the dystopia that Cape Town, South Africa endured in 2018 when the faucets ran dry? Or how about Chennai, India where water trucks were forced to import water as the huge population expansion led to rivers drying up? We need a vision and long-term water planning, and we must implement sustainable policies looking to new sources of water supply such as underground storage, recycling, and desalination. We must also improve California’s groundwater management as some parts of the state struggle with full groundwater utilization, leading to problems of overdraft that are associated with higher energy costs, toxicity, and land subsidence. This can be accomplished by reauthorizing the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. Projects that I am advocating for on behalf of the future sustainability of Silicon Valley include the retrofitting and expanded capacity of the Anderson Dam, and many such projects. We have to adopt stringent approaches with smart agriculture, such as reducing the export of a hundred billion gallons of water per year via the export of alfalfa overseas that is depleting California’s water.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $225,032

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

We’re going to win, because my run is about Ethics in Politics. Our district is ready for change! In 2020, we won more votes than any challenger in decades

With my opponent polling at an all-time low of 35% — more at RishiKumar.com — we’re poised to win. 

There are no Republicans in this race — just the two of us. And here’s the truth: we simply cannot address today’s challenges if we keep electing the same people and same ideas that have failed us for 30 years. Here is why you should vote for me:

 ☆ I’m the only candidate who rejects donations from corporations & special interest groups, including Big Pharma. I’m also pushing for integrity in politics and a ban on congressional insider trading. 

 ☆ I'm the only candidate who supports Medicare for All. I am the only one who will fight for our seniors by stopping the privatization of Medicare and expanding benefits to include vision- dental.

 ☆ I’m the only candidate with roots in hi-tech — critical for Silicon Valley representation.

 ☆ I’m the only candidate in this race who has a proven track record of getting things done, in a pragmatic, bipartisan way — this is why I was reelected with the highest votes in 64 years of my city.

 ☆ I’m the only candidate in this race who fights for the people and wins. For example —  I challenged San Jose Water stopping nine rate increases.

 ☆ I'm the only candidate with a concrete plan to tackle Climate and protect women’s reproductive rights. 

The drum is beating for change! Time to pass the torch. I would be honored to have your vote by Nov 8.

Position Papers

My Medicare policy

Summary

We have many white papers published at RishiKumar.com/priorities

 

 

Medicare policy for seniors and for America is at RishiKumar.com/medicare

Big money in politics

Summary

Big Money in politics is subverting the interest of the American people. It is time for change! But can we change a corrupt system by taking its money? Our democracy is undermined by the ability of special interests who buy politicians. Given how our career politicians were unprepared to address the pandemic challenges playing partisan politics, and continue to respond to the lobbyists, the drum for change is beating even harder. There is no argument: we need to overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision today!

For the details, visit https://rishikumar.com/BigMoneyInPolitics

Big Money in Politics paper at  https://rishikumar.com/BigMoneyInPolitics

Climate Policy

Summary

Climate change is the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization. We are already seeing the impact climate change is having here in California. Wildfires devastate our communities, leaving families in hardships and ruin.

I think about the future and the state we will leave this world in. It worries me. As our world continues to change, we need to create a system that prepares today’s generation and future generations to come. We are tasking these young individuals to solve imperative climate challenges that the world has never witnessed before.

We must act now to combat the effects of climate change in order to give the next generation a chance to succeed.

In our home district, green tech innovators are at the vanguard of new technologies that will help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and lead the world in clean energy production.

The United States Congress must play a critical role in supporting these industries and maintain our competitive edge in the global economy, ensuring that windmill manufacturers, and solar panel makers have the support they need to grow. The complete paper - RishiKumar.com/climate

Climate paper at RishiKumar.com/climate

Videos (3)

— October 8, 2022 Kumar for Congress

A video that explains why I am running, and my policy priorities

— October 8, 2022 Kumar for Congress

The drum is beating for change! Time to pass the torch. I would be honored to have your vote by Nov 8.

00:01 Opening Statement 02:30 What role, if any, should the government play in helping Americans gain health insurance? 03:53 What is your view of the Digital Services Act just passed by the European Union? Should we consider such services? 04:50 How would you use your federal position to address local issues such as the housing crisis? What resources would you use to address the housing crisis? 05:46 What more can Congress do to combat climate change? 06:40 How concerned are you about how polarized our country has become? Is our democracy at risk? What plans do you have to guarantee our democratic future? 07:18 How would you address the economic pressures facing America? Gas prices and economic inflation are big issues. 08:24 In light of the recently leaked Supreme Court document regarding Roe v. Wade, what would you do if you were in Congress? 08:55 What support can you bring to BART, high speed rail, highways, and related infrastructure? 09:45 What will you do specifically to make coast side constituents feel represented? How will you deal with issues such as coastal erosion, beach overcrowding, and other issues specific to this area? 10:37 Closing Statement

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