To better inform our readership for the upcoming elections, we reached out to U.S. House of Representatives Candidates, Anna Eshoo and Rishi Kumar. We reached out for thoughtful responses to these questions:
1. What skills, experience, and perspective make you the better candidate for the House of Representatives in these unprecedented times?
2. What do you see as the biggest issue currently facing California? What do you propose as a solution?
3. What is one policy that is entirely unique to your candidacy?
Our candidates had the opportunity to reply with no more than 300 words. Below are their responses.
Anna Eshoo (D, Congresswoman)
1. Through floods, blackouts and wildfires I’ve worked closely with local officials to protect residents and their property and assist with federal recovery funds, and acted quickly to bring equipment and personnel to help contain the fires.
With my collective experience in county government and the Congress, I’ve been an effective representative on behalf of my constituents on all fronts. I know who. I know how. And I know where to go to get things done.
I commute across the country weekly to stay close to my constituents in every community, hosting regular Tele-Town Hall meetings throughout the year, and even more during the pandemic. I’m also very proud of the 18th Congressional District Santa Cruz County Student Advisory Board that has been in place as long as I’ve represented the community. Being present is essential to my representation.
2. California’s unprecedented wildfires are evidence that climate change is real and must be addressed now. I support the Green New Deal, an aspirational statement of environmental policy ideals which are now in legislation. I’ve cosponsored and voted for the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act which would impose a fee on carbon emissions and the Moving Forward Act, a landmark infrastructure bill that would drive energy efficiency gains across the economy, especially in buildings, transportation and grids, creating clean technology jobs.
3. I’m very proud that 45 of my bills have been signed into law by four presidents (two of each party). My work products are bipartisan, and I consider restoring civility my responsibility, too. I approach governing from the standpoint of the common good. That means working with everyone of both political parties. I’m the author of the landmark digital signature bill which revolutionized e-commerce and served as a model for the European Union.
Rishi Kumar (D, Tech Executive)
1. The recent debate with Rep. Eshoo (RishiKumar.com/debate) provided me the opportunity to differentiate myself. California fires and Covid-19 is calling out the need for engaged, able elected leaders keenly invested to address our tough challenges. I am. I have met with neighbors in every part of Santa Cruz County. We have held town hall meetings at Scotts Valley, Felton, Brookdale, Ben Lomond, Boulder Creek and Santa Cruz. Residents informed me about the challenges with fire insurance, Highway 17 safety, emergency communication, transportation, air traffic noise, broadband amongst others.
My question to you: How have our current leaders advanced the critical issues of our times. What have they done about California fires or fire insurance? Did they demonstrate empathy with the fires or was it a photo op? They did not know that California uses inmates for firefighting? Why are they not talking about the new proposed flight path—a notice from the FAA to Santa Cruz County?
I will be honored to have your vote and will address the United State’s unprecedented challenges. I always fight for the people and will tackle the issues important to all our families and our neighbors, not just Silicon Valley.
2. With the recent fires burning all over California, we need a good plan to address it. My plan is at RishiKumar.com/fire-safety and will be a huge focus.
3. In addition to the issues with climate change, California is under tremendous pressure due to increased regulations, increased permitting fees that prevent logging—thus, forest fires are waiting to happen. We need to develop a better forest management plan, update our fire management plans and ensure that we fund Cal Fire towards this.