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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 17

Photo of Ritesh Tandon

Ritesh Tandon

Researcher/Entrepreneur/CEO
52,304 votes (29.1%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Protect Silicon Valley People/Companies - The California exodus is real! California residents migrate out of California for excessive taxes/high cost of living. Companies are moving out due to onerous taxes/regulations. I will stop this exodus.
  • America First - I will support increasing individual incomes/wealth, increasing the govt's efficiency, reducing debt, simplifying rules/regulations, encouraging US manufacturing, increasing employment opportunities, & stop illegal immigrations.
  • Severely punish all hate crimes/discrimination - As a US Congressional candidate, I will make sure to fund more our police department and protectors of the state of California to enhance public safety and defend the people from significant crimes.

Experience

Experience

Profession:CEO/Founder, Research Fellow, Vice Chair NonProfit
CEO, Kricel Corporation (2020–current)
Senior Director, Global Strategic Alliances, Great Nordic (2011–2017)
Software Engineering / Technical Marketing / Engineering Field Trials, Cisco Systems (2000–2011)

Education

Hass School of Business, UC Berkeley Research Fellow, How to Revive California Economy (current)
Santa Clara University Master of Business Administration, Management (2007)
Santa Clara University Master of Science, Computer Engineering (2001)
LD College of Engineering BS, Mechanical Engineering (1996)

Community Activities

Vice Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Mandal of America (2021–current)
Chief Liaison Officer, Smart Village Movement (2021–current)
Executive Committee, Sankara Eye Foundation (2000–2019)
President, UPMA (2015–2019)

Biography

The grandson of a freedom fighter, Ritesh Tandon was instilled with an appreciation for freedom and independence. This would lead him to The United States of America at age 28, where he attended Santa Clara University in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Computer engineering. Later, Ritesh Tandon completed his second Master’s in Business Administration from the same university. While attending Santa Clara University, Ritesh met Zurica Dhar, a fellow computer engineer. They were married in 2001 and made the Bay Area their home.

After two decades in the Silicon Valley, Indian-American engineer and businessman, Ritesh Tandon, is running for Congress in the South Bay.  He has built a successful career in technology while simultaneously being leader by helping others through his work with nonprofits.

Recently, Tandon has been conducting research at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business as a Garwood Innovation Fellow. His research topic is “How to Revive California’s Economy Using Open Innovation”. He also continues as the CEO of Kricel Corporation, which he founded after working in engineering and marketing at Cisco and GN.

Tandon says, “Over two decades ago, I immigrated to this country as a student searching for the American Dream. I found it here, in the heart of our Bay Area. I believe this community is the greatest in our nation, and it angers me to see the Washington, D.C. elite ignore our values of strong family devotion and hard work. It will be my top priority to represent you, not entrenched party bosses.”

“As a former President of a non-profit, I see how many Bay Area families are struggling to make ends meet. As a father, I know the $23-trillion national debt is stealing our children’s future. As an independent, small businessman, I understand the crushing burden of job-killing regulations.”

Professionally, Ritesh Tandon worked on unified communications products for Cisco, starting with engineering and continuing with technical marketing. Then, he managed strategic alliances for Jabra, which makes audio devices. Currently, Ritesh is the CEO of the Kricel Corporation.

At the same time, Ritesh served as an executive committee member of Sankara Eye Foundation, which has established nine hospitals to eradicate curable blindness.  He raised millions of dollars for the hospitals and helped select the site for one of them.  He also served as a volunteer, and later on, the president of UPMA, an organization which supports education and childcare of poor kids, for five years.

Ritesh Tandon is running for Congressman in CA District 17, which has not changed much as a result of redistricting. It includes Fremont, Milpitas, Alviso, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino. He is challenging incumbent, Ro Khanna, who is serving as a national co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

As a father of two wonderful children, Ritesh is always seeking to make his community better for his family and others. Seeing a lack of representation of our values in Washington, D.C., Ritesh is seeking to serve the Bay Area in Congress. Ritesh will fight for all of our communities and ensure the residents of the 17th Congressional District have a voice in Washington, D.C.

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 Ritesh Tandon:

The greenhouse gases is a worldwide problem that must be solved with a broader effort. There are multiple approaches to solve this issue. Firstly, rapid innovation, development,  and deployment of non-fossil fuel energy sources is necessary. This includes higher efficiency solar capture, storage technology, modification of grid structure, safe nuclear power, energy saving technologies, and increased greenery (land and sea) around the globe. The legislation required in the US includes tax incentives to make changes, low cost loans for capital expenditures, and increased costs for laggards. 

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

Immigration laws need drastic changes, but mostly accountability for lawmakers and administration. Penalties for Employers of illegals must be heavy and quick - make e-verification mandatory for employers. Secure borders and overstay of Visas by various means including physical security, high technology tracking and reporting, and mandatory cooperation by the state authorities to affect deportations. Additionally, Legal immigration to the USA should be need based, and for immediate relatives only. 

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

Democracy is the most precious right we have, and it must be fervently protected. Basis of democracy starts with a verifiable citizenry register that is secure. All citizens must be registered and verified by states once and pooled at the federal level. We need a high technology system that can be either part of the Social Security system and at the state driver license level, which should have legal status verification in it. Once for all, we need to restore trust in our institutions and voting systems.

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 Ritesh Tandon:

California's water availability has been mostly in the 1/3rd northern part of the state and mostly used in the southern part. Its relentless increase in population has strained the water   storage and management capability since the 60s. We need to support a long term water supply vision and projects to accomplish California's water needs. I will support all programs associated with relieving California of the  water shortages, particularly those of agricultural use.

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

Total money raised: $47,785

Top contributors that gave money to support the candidate, by organization:

1
Employees of Harris Freeman
$5,600
2
AMERICANS4HINDUS
$5,000
2
Huck PAC
$5,000
3
Employees of infoobjects
$2,900
3
Employees of Ramoco Fuels
$2,900

More information about contributions

By State:

California 71.54%
Arkansas 11.16%
New Jersey 7.59%
Texas 4.46%
Other 5.25%
71.54%11.16%

By Size:

Large contributions (93.76%)
Small contributions (6.24%)
93.76%

By Type:

From organizations (30.13%)
From individuals (69.87%)
30.13%69.87%
Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

I am a first-generation immigrant, like many of you, trying to live the American Dream of hard work and fair rewards. That dream is being shattered due to radical policies like support for Prop 16 – a race-based admissions policy to the UC colleges, public jobs, and contracts, which divides society. In addition, current lawmakers believe in defunding police rather than improving them for better race relations. He has almost no accomplishment in the last four years! It is time to bring change, and like to ask all of you to come together for change.

 

People in Silicon Valley need help to afford homes, reduce traffic time, get better healthcare, and pay fewer taxes. For that, I will do the following:

 

Reduce taxes for start-up employees for a period of 5 years, so your 80-hour per week labor is rewarded. Limits on property tax deduction must be removed as well.

 

Get large funding for infrastructure, and smart city incentives, to reduce traffic time and have healthier cities.

 

Promote competitive, cost-effective, and efficient healthcare reforms that will focus on reducing healthcare costs, not quality.

 

Support fair immigration policies that eliminate long wait times for the skilled workforce.

 

Promote more choices in schooling. For example, create early apprenticeship programs with corporations.

 

Eliminate all partisan politics, and work together with you to find common-sense solutions to ease burdens in your life - different than what you usually get from a politician!

 

Join me to bring change, and let's save Silicon Valley for our children, seniors, and everyone.

 

website: www.tandonforcongress.com

Position Papers

Supercharge the Silicon Valley to innovate for the next century

Summary

The next generation technologies necessary for the United States are artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and advanced medicine including gene therapies. We must transform Silicon Valley into a behemoth of Bio-Silicon Valley. For this to happen, Congress must act in harmony with the spirit of the valley. I intend to introduce federal programs, tax incentives, and low cost funds to encourage diversification of the Silicon Valley industry start-ups.

Supercharge the Silicon Valley to innovate for the next century

We have to plan for the next century of innovation for the Valley. It must be done with close cooperation from the government, the local universities, and investors. The next generation technologies necessary for the United States are artificial intelligence, quantum computing, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and advanced medicine including gene therapies. We must transform Silicon Valley into a behemoth of Bio-Silicon Valley. For this to happen, Congress must act in harmony with the spirit of the valley. I intend to introduce federal programs, tax incentives, and low cost funds to encourage diversification of the Silicon Valley industry start-ups.

Silicon Valley has over a century of innovations and start-up history. Tremendous amount of that credit goes to the unique philosophy of Stanford University where it encouraged its faculty members to start companies. It supported the discovery of Audion tubes by Lee De Forrest with $500 funded by the university president David Starr Jordan, in early 1900s. Ambitious guidance of Dr. Terman at Stanford, who did not like the idea of his electrical engineering graduates to migrate to the east coast for jobs, created Hewlett Packard. Close partnership of Stanford with the industry, the military, and its establishment of Stanford Industrial Park to house companies, catapulted this valley to where it is today –a $3 Trillion neighborhood.

Factors that made the Silicon Valley successful were to attract highly educated engineers and scientists, and let them experiment freely without the fear of failure. Proliferation of the VC money took risks with thousands of companies, thereby creating an amazing spectacle of new Electronics and Internet related industry formations in the history of this world. The rewards for this pioneering spirit of the valley are apparent. As an entrepreneur and future policy maker, I will encourage sensible regulations for the start-ups, such that the spirit of innovation and the investor money does not stop flowing.

We must keep the tax rates low and regulations reasonable in order for new industries to start, grow, thrive and complete worldwide. I want the companies to start here and stay here. We don’t want where, for example, the chip manufacturing, and computer manufacturing completely went overseas. We want key expansion to happen locally such that the IP remains within the valley and rest of the country.

Covid-19 crisis teaches us that we need to change tax laws to encourage domestic manufacturing. A 5-10 years tax holiday, along with low interest rate loan incentives, would help establish domestic manufacturing across the country and enhance the middle class living wages. I will introduce such visionary bills in the congress.

For us to thrive as a country, we must protect the enormous intellectual property created by the Valley. I will propose strict IP security related bills. Potential candidates are: 1.) All technology transfers to any foreign entities, regardless of ownership, must get a review and an approval. 2.) University admissions of personnel and collaborations from certain countries on key research areas need to be scrutinized carefully. 3.) IP protection laws also need to be examined carefully, particularly, where Patents on key technologies can be copied, or transformed.

In and around the Valley, we need Federal funds to acquire industrial parks to kick start companies with low cost facilities during incubation period. In our district, we have many sites for such purposes. I have targeted Milpitas, Fremont, and Newark as candidates for such funds. These towns have land to host variety of supply chain manufacturing support.

In order to attract diversity of start-ups and help their employees, the government needs to be creative partner. Start-ups compensate hardworking employees and investors in many innovative ways such as stock options, stock purchase plans, and carried interest to name a few. A flexible tax treatment is required to un-burden hardworking innovators. When companies grow and mature, you still want creative entrepreneurial skill to continue to compete in the world. I would support a program where an “employee dividend plan” is not taxed. This would be amazingly attractive for a continuous industry innovation and expansion.

No Hate Crime - Public Safety and security

Summary

Fund police.

Our law enforcement officials put their lives on the line each and every day to protect those of us going about in our daily lives. I will not tolerate the radical liberal policies calling for defunding our police and spewing anti-police rhetoric.
As a US Congressional candidate, I will make sure to motivate our police department and protectors of the state of California to enhance public safety and defend the people from significant crimes.

Additionally, I will prohibit the federal government to continue allowing unfettered access into our state. Currently, we have wide-open, unsecured borders, and 20% of San Jose residents are undocumented. Meanwhile, our lawmakers are allowing them to vote in elections like Mayor, City Council, or School Board instead of taking action.

People are unsafe, and our businesses are broken into very frequently. We cannot let this persistently affect our state.

We must rehabilitate our asylum policies and work towards a comprehensive solution to this crisis and stop drug cartels and illegal immigrants from coming to our state.
Our border patrol agents are putting their lives on the line, daily, to help keep our country safe. We must ensure our border patrol is fully-funded and return to policies that keep our state out of harm’s way.

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