A new American patriot is what America needs

America has the ability to become the greatest country in the world, but our Republic is in danger. The two major political parties are failing us and rampant corruption has tainted our politics. We are stuck in an endless cycle of compromising our values while being forced to settle for mediocrity. This trap keeps us from accomplishing anything as the status quo of incompetent career politicians perpetuates the woes of our country.

Many Americans only see a bleak future, amplified by the COVID-19 crisis, where influence and lobbying dominate our government and no one truly serves the people. Isn’t it time we put a stop to this un-American approach to policies and politics?

This is no ordinary Fourth of July. All across the country, Americans are reflecting on what it truly means to be free and independent. Instead of flocking to the beach or celebrating in parks and community gatherings, they are taking to the streets to protest in support of the American ideal of fairness and equal rights. Our country is at a tipping point, as we emerge from a life-threatening pandemic and begin to cope with a new reality. But one thing is clear: Americans want a change. We cannot wait anymore.

Now more than ever, they clearly see the problems with how we live, govern, and legislate. They have watched Congress squabble instead of addressing the real-world challenges of the people. Stimulus money was misdirected and never got into the hands of people that needed it the most. Many of our career politicians game the system, conduct activity for the sake of activity, and hoodwink the voters. Thoughts and prayers don’t absolve members of Congress of responsibility — when their constituents are suffering, they must act swiftly and with purpose. Americans demand action, accountability, and a higher bar for those in office.

This demand for a new kind of governing — one that puts people first — is no longer a theoretical longshot possibility. All across the country seats are flipping from one party to the other, incumbents are being ousted, and a new brand of fiery, people-centric leaders is winning, up and down the ballot.

Jamaal Bowman challenged multi-year incumbent and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY 16th district) and defeated him. State senators are being ousted in Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and New Mexico. The American people are sending a clear signal to Congress: we are ready for change. See more examples below.

In my very own district, CA-18, we knew that the COVID-19 crisis called for a new kind of action, so we completely suspended our campaign and launched the Neighborhood Pandemic Preparedness Team. Instead of calling potential voters and asking for support, we called all 86,000 seniors in the district and offered to help them stay quarantined by picking up their groceries or medications. With hundreds of volunteers in every part of our district, we established a Pandemic Help Center and helped thousands in our community, from neighbors to medical professionals. We were determined to prove that American values can and should shine through in times of crisis, and we must all look out for each other if we want to get through it. The bottom line for me was and will always be this: politics is less important than the wellbeing of my constituents. It didn’t matter how many people told me to keep campaigning or that I was losing precious time; I knew that I had to do the right thing and serve the people in a crisis.

The same can’t be said for invisible Congresswoman Eshoo. For all her talk about pandemic preparedness, her constituents feel left behind as she schmoozes Big Pharma donors while simultaneously overseeing healthcare legislation as the chair of the House Health Subcommittee. Have you seen her Mercury News op-ed piece on the pandemic? I quote, “For nearly 15 years, I’ve led the charge in Congress to develop preparedness plans for pandemics and other public health emergencies. I knew we needed to prepare because it’s not a matter of if, but when, an outbreak hits.” Really? It doesn’t seem like her 15 year preparation has helped the American people. Do we really need such politicians in Congress? At best she is inactive, at worst she creates policies that adversely affect Americans. It is time voters in California’s 18th district send a message: we are tired of politicians rolling over to the establishment, taking cues from special interest groups and the powers that be in Washington, while stuffing their pockets with corporate lobbying money and blatantly protecting their interests and preserving their paycheck.

We need a New Energy and New Leadership. It is clear that Silicon Valley voters feel the same way as those in New York, Pennsylvania, D.C., and New Mexico. In this time of crisis, we must answer their calls.

This Independence Day marks the beginning of a long road to change, where we no longer just accept someone’s label as a “Democrat” and absolve them of any responsibility. I will not go Left or Right, but Forward. I will bring passion, improvement, and humanity to Congress, because that is what America desperately needs right now. Only with a change in leadership can we start down the road to progress.

We need a new kind of American patriot. I know this is a Fourth of July that I will remember for the rest of my life. I invite you to join us and put our country back on track to the future we all know is possible.

Sincerely,

- Rishi Kumar
RishiKumar.com/contribute

In case you missed it, here are some highlights from the last few weeks:

Politico: Progressives snatch much-needed wins in primary gauntlet

“When we challenged Crowley, everyone said it was crazy. When we won, everyone said it was a fluke, because Crowley never took her seriously,” Waleed Shahid, who leads communications for Justice Democrats, said Wednesday. “[Jamaal Bowman’s] victory really cements that there’s a lot of districts in this country where people want more progressive representation.”

The Hill: Wins by young progressives start reshaping establishment

“The primary challenges are coming as a younger, more progressive millennial generation becomes a potent force in politics. Surveys show the millennial generation is more liberal than preceding generations, and as it moves into early middle age, it is accounting for a larger slice of the electorate — especially in larger cities, which have disproportionate numbers of millennial voters.”

The Intercept: Left For Dead, Insurgent Candidates Scored Big Victories In Down-ballot Elections

“From New Mexico to Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., progressive challengers to Democratic incumbents scored a series of victories on Tuesday night, continuing to grind out an insurgency that in just a few years has dramatically reshaped the politics of the Democratic Party.”

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Rishi Kumar, Candidate for U.S Congress CA CD18

Rishi Kumar, Candidate for U.S Congress CA CD18

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@rishikumar1 US House candidate, CA-18 Proud Democrat, Candidate for Congress in #CA18, Saratoga City Councilmember, Hi-Tech Executive, #NoPACMoney #GND #M4A