Every American deserves a roof over their head, a safe neighborhood, an education, a good paying job, and access to healthcare.
I am a proud American born and raised in California and genuinely care about our state and country. We live in extraordinary times where our new President, Donald Trump, seeks to divide us based on income, race, and religion – often playing on our worst fears. It is a common tactic of oppression and has been happening throughout history. We must fight against these tactics, support our local businesses, support families and fight for our ethnic heritages. My goal is to challenge the status quo and champion democratic reform on behalf of the people – including the oppressed.
District 34 is a melting pot. I am a proud American of Mexican and Persian heritage. I don’t have to pretend to understand minority issues because I have experienced them. I will work hard to make Washington celebrate our differences rather than use them to divide us.
However, I see more shared interests than differences. We would all benefit from greater access to education, healthcare, and housing; from more jobs, fair wages and better work conditions; from the clear labeling of food, clean air and water, and a renewable energy policy that protects our environment; and from fair elections that yield diverse representation. Also, we would all benefit from treating everyone with dignity and respect regardless of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, economic status or political beliefs. I am committed to advancing each of these causes.
I have studied at the University of San Diego and Harvard, traveled extensively, and speak eight languages fluently. I have started multiple businesses in the private sector and have an appreciation of the real world. As a Millennial, I also understand how social media has changed communication and will utilize it to gain the benefit of your insight. Congress desperately needs fresh ideas, and together, we can deliver them.
Small business represents the economic engine of our society – particularly within the 34th District.
We are lucky that Hispanic, Asian and African Americans profoundly influence our district – populations that are best served by an economic environment that encourages and supports the development of small business. We can improve our communities and contribute to our success if we receive the tools to establish small businesses that can provide entry-level jobs as well as higher paying opportunities.
While the wealthy have disproportionately recovered from the great recession, 95 percent of our residents have not fully participated in that recovery. Our net incomes are stagnant, and our net worth has collectively declined. The solution is to create more jobs that pay a fair wage. Small businesses are the fastest and best way to do that.
Unfortunately, in recent years, banks have become increasingly hesitant to loan money to small businesses. I will work hard to change that. We need to jump-start the banking industry for small business loans. While I am obviously not a big fan some of President Trump’s policies, I am willing to work across the aisle on regulation reform that will accomplish as well as reducing the paperwork associated with creating and running a small business.
Rather than having to rely on big business to save us, we can take back control of our economic future by making District 34 a haven for entrepreneurs and a hotbed for small firms.
I see a need to address the homeless issue in downtown Los Angeles, which has reached epidemic proportions. A tent city is not the solution.
Our homeless deserve a secure, sanitary environment that restores a level of dignity to their lives and provides them with an opportunity to rejoin the general population. We need to provide essential services such as restrooms, showers and laundry service to our homeless both for public health reasons and to reflect fundamental human rights.
We also need to address housing on a more permanent and supportive basis through an expansion of Housing Choice Vouchers and Section 8 vouchers as well as a transition plan to assist with qualification.
Also, we need to identify and attack the issues that drive homelessness: the availability of jobs that provide a fair wage; skills training specific to the job market; the availability of mental health and substance abuse programs; healthcare and daycare assistance; etc.
Homelessness is a symptom, not a disease. We need to help those who are in need, and we must provide a pathway for those who can reestablish themselves to tap into their full potential.
Healthcare is a basic human need. As your congressman, I will be fighting hard to keep the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)–otherwise known as Obamacare–and to improve upon it, rather than eliminate it and start from scratch as the Trump Administration is pushing to do. Americans with preexisting conditions should not need to worry that they will lose coverage based on a change in policy. We must preserve programs such as Medicare and Medicaid for our seniors, disabled, and others needing assistance. Additionally, the cost of health care, including prescription coverage, must be kept a level that is affordable to all Americans.
Affordable housing for working individuals and families is a must, not an option. Local initiative, Measure S, will not help with this issue. Measure S, while not a federal issue, will worsen the affordability crisis in downtown Los Angeles. It will also cost the city an estimated $2 billion in lost revenue.
No Border Wall
I don’t believe in building a wall across our entire southern border. A wall is little more than a publicity stunt to capitalize on the fear that some of our elected officials created. It will not materially alter our safety, but it will almost certainly further divide our country.
A border wall will also be detrimental to wildlife. It will interfere with natural habitats and, in some case, even disrupt their migration patterns. The loss could be irreversible.
Instead, I will work hard to secure comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the issue intelligently and provides a fair solution for the hard working, tax paying and law abiding immigrants who already reside here. Rather than invest billions of dollars in the construction of a wall that will only serve as a negative symbol, I would rather see those funds spent on programs that benefit every American such as housing, healthcare, and jobs.
To be clear: I am not ignoring the threat that terrorists and other violent offenders pose to our country. However, there are far more effective and far less expense and offensive solutions to those problems. A wall is not the answer.
Climate change is a reality, and I support the research and development of clean and renewable energy solutions. I co-founded a company that focused on solar energy, and I continue to believe that solar, wind, biofuel and other clean, renewable energy sources are a necessity if we are to find the permanent solution to climate change. In addition to reducing carbon emissions, we must also halt tropical deforestation and fight misinformation funded by fossil fuel and related industries if we are to be successful.
We face significant threats to farming and species survival, an increase in extreme storm events, and coastal flooding as the result of climate change just to name a few critical issues. These pose serious long-term threats, and they require serious long-term solutions.
I am committed to working at the federal level to support the state and local Los Angeles community so that it has the flexibility and resources it needs to improve elementary and secondary education in a way that works best for students. Additionally, we need to raise the standards for teacher training programs, as well as teacher salaries to recruit and retain quality educators.
I support magnet and charter schools, the head start program, and evaluation and training programs for struggling teachers. I am not a supporter of the Common Core as this limits the success of our diverse student population.
888 North Alameda Street
Post Office Box 862314
Los Angeles, California 90086
888 742 - 9467 (888 RIC - WINS)