On the topic of Traffic and Transportation: Rep. Eshoo and Rishi Kumar
Rep. Eshoo’s high-speed rail to Silicon Valley versus Rishi Kumar’s transportation vision.
Apparently, a few of our neighbors have been speculating: “Rishi is a great councilmember. Yes, he won with the most votes in Saratoga’s election history, and solved some tough challenges. Yes, he understands tech as a tech executive. But is he ready for United States Congress? Is he ready to be “Congressman Rishi Kumar?” There were doubts! Yet they were overlooking that Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Dublin councilmember made the leap successfully replacing Rep. Pete Stark in 2012, right here in East Bay. They overlooked the fact that Rep. Ro Khanna, who had never won any political office or served in one, made the leap, beating Rep. Honda in 2016, right here in the adjoining congressional district. The world is ready for change, more so today!
All these lingering doubts were set to rest based on responses from Rep. Eshoo and Rishi Kumar at the recent Candidates Forum.
The discussion made it clear that Rishi is ready — just watch 48:24. We were miles ahead in comparison to Rep. Eshoo on the issues, and on innovative, pragmatic ideas to solve our country’s tough challenges, with well-articulated policy positions. If you watch it for just 10 minutes, it will be apparent to you. This was the first time Rep. Eshoo and I got to sit side-by-side (on zoom) and expound our positions.
It was ultra-clear: There is a stark contrast between the two of us. Rep. Eshoo at the Candidates Forum talked about a high-speed rail to Silicon Valley. We all know that this is NEVER going to happen — this project has already failed. Whereas, what we discussed was an innovative vision plan — 21 minutes, 21 counties — that we have been talking about for years. Scroll down to find the details of this plan.
John Pimentel , a former deputy secretary for Transportation in California where he worked with the first California High-Speed Rail Commission in the early 1990, had this to say about the high-speed rail project. “Despite funding uncertainty, HSR started building the “Valley Line,” a 119-mile-long, conventional diesel-powered rail system that is impractical because it would connect the greater Wasco/Shafter metroplex (population 45,000) to Madera (population 61,000), and redundant because taxpayers already subsidize Amtrak’s underutilized Central Valley passenger rail system. There’s no hiding that this proposed Valley Line is a quintessential government white-elephant project. Each endpoint is 120 miles from its ultimate destination in San Francisco or Los Angeles with seismically active mountain ranges in the way, and it will demand massive operating subsidies. ….As a native of the Central Valley, I know economic development there is a laudable goal but selling bonds and paying interest to build a dysfunctional rail system is not a rational mechanism to create jobs there.”
After 28 years of Rep. Eshoo, do you want the same old? The traffic jams are going to be back in the post-covid-19 world. Or do you need a “New Energy and New Leadership” to solve Silicon Valley’s challenges?
I invite you to please support my grassroots run that seeks to bring ethical integrity into politics by making a campaign contribution today. We are the only candidate in this race who rejects all PAC money and Special Interest Group money. We only accept campaign contributions from people like you and me. Together let us make change happen in our district.
Here is the transportation question from the Candidates Forum:
Question: Bay Area residents see traffic congestion and the lack of an integrated public transportation network as major problems; what is one innovative solution a member of Congress can implement to address this?
CONTRAST: I spoke about our pragmatic vision plan that has been missing from Rep. Eshoo’s traffic and transportation vision plan or ballot statements in 28 years. Silicon Valley’s population is shrinking. In 2017, there was a net loss of 3000 people who left Silicon Valley, compared to a net 24,000 that moved into Silicon Valley in 2015. If this continues, how will Silicon Valley continue to be the innovation capital of the world — with the loss of our young talent? My infrastructure plan for a more connected Silicon Valley known as 21 counties in 21 minutes, which involves utilizing tunnel-based high speed transportation, net zero greenhouse gas, to revolutionize transportation for Silicon Valley and California, is the answer to problems like traffic, housing, homelessness, and climate change. The plan will also expand our economy and create jobs in so many new pockets of California. An absolute win-win.
In comparison: Rep. Eshoo’s approach to address our traffic challenges — piecemeal, tactical approaches which are not taking us far — See this explanation on her ballot statement
In summary: I provided an alternative vision: a resolve to challenge the status quo and end divisive partisan politics in Washington, along with tangible, people-centric policy solutions and a results-driven outcome. The time for new leadership — for real change — is now! America is ready!
- Rishi Kumar