How to Win Over Amazon: Guest Commentary on Maryland Matters by Ashwani Jain

By Ashwani Jain

Amazon is looking for a second U.S. headquarters. The company should look no further than Montgomery County.

This would not only be a huge job creator for our county’s residents — as Amazon’s site could house as many as 50,000 employees — but would also be a win for the internet giant.

Montgomery County is the county of the future and is the model of what other communities should look like. We are the face of America and one of the most diverse counties in the United States. We have some of the best public schools in the nation, have a hugely talented labor pool, and provide the greatest opportunities for our business leaders and their families.


Read the rest here.

Ashwani testifies in support of a $15 Minimum Wage

My name is Ashwani Jain. I’m a first generation American, a native of Montgomery County, the son of small business owners, a proud product of our public schools, a former appointee with the Obama-Biden Administration, and a 15 year survivor of childhood cancer.

I love Montgomery County and am blessed to call it my home. I’ve lived in 4 of the 5 council districts and in both the east and west sides of the county. And I never left this county because it’s home to my American Dream.

But, at this moment, when the federal government is rejecting the values that we as Americans hold dear, so many in our community feel that no matter how hard they try, they can’t get ahead in life.

So that’s why our local governments need to step up. Now, more than ever, we need our leaders to fight for our Montgomery County values. This includes raising our minimum wage to $15 an hour.

I believe the role of government is to ensure equality of opportunity by investing in its citizens. My family immigrated to this country with limited resources. My grandfather was a school janitor. My mother is a product of community college and once worked for minimum wage. And my father struggled to start his own business in an outdoor flea market. I’m glad to say that today, my parents are successful small business owners. So I’ve seen first-hand the value of hard work and having a reliable partner in government.  

But our goal should be to continue creating an ecosystem that accelerates our residents into the jobs of tomorrow.

Montgomery County is one of the most expensive places to live in the nation. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, a single person needs to earn more than $21 per hour to get by - and that number goes up for families. By raising our minimum wage to something closer to a living wage of $15 an hour, we can improve the lives of our working families, save taxpayers money that would otherwise go towards subsidies, and increase our competitiveness in terms of attracting talented people who want to work and live in Montgomery County.

This will help our business leaders - who understand the need to invest in their employees to ensure less costly employee turnover and increased employee retention, satisfaction, productivity, creativity and loyalty.

This will help our teachers - many of whom cannot afford to live in our county or send their own children to the schools in which they teach.

And this will help our economy - as it will create greater economic security for our families, and in turn, allow them to reinvest those extra dollars right here in Montgomery County.

It’s been done before. Cities from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles to Flagstaff (Arizona), and even just down the road in Washington, D.C., have all approved $15 minimum wages in recent years. California and New York approved the first statewide $15 minimum wages in 2016.  About 10 million workers have benefited from these $15 minimum wage laws so far.

So I urge this Council to join local governments around the country who are stepping in where Congress has failed. We can and should make Montgomery County a national leader by raising our minimum wage. And I appreciate your time.

The Seventh State - First Impressions

Former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain has an inspiring story.  He is a first generation American whose father came here from India years ago with no connections and built a thriving family jewelry business.  He is also a cancer survivor, having contracted the disease at age 13 and undergone chemotherapy.  Jain understands the American dream as well as personal tragedy.  Lots of people will relate to him.

But Jain is not just a national-level person – he is also a native of the county and has lived in several parts of it, both east and west.  That gives him a gut-level knowledge of the county that most transplants don’t have.


Read the rest here.

Op-Ed in Maryland Matters

Editor’s note: More than 20 candidates are running for four at-large seats on the Montgomery County Council in 2018 – and the number could grow. In an attempt to sort through the confusion and enlighten voters, Maryland Matters has asked the candidates to submit an op-ed piece introducing themselves and making their case. Here is the first installment. Subsequent articles will appear over the next several weeks.

My name is Ashwani Jain. I’m a native of Montgomery County, a first-generation American, the proud son of small business owners, a beneficiary of our local public schools, and a former appointee with the Obama-Biden administration. I’m also a candidate to become an at-large member of the Montgomery County Council.

I’ve never lived anywhere else than this county because it’s home to my American Dream. You see, I’m also a 15-year cancer survivor. I was 13 when I was diagnosed. It was the scariest moment of my life and I had to grow up fast. Fighting cancer at a young age shaped my view of the world and my role in it.

There were moments back then when I felt hopeless but with the support of my family and this community I made it through that difficult time. Now it’s my turn to give back and help others reach their goals.


Read the rest here.

Interview with the Sentinel!


The Sentinel.jpg

Since last week, two additional candidates filed their paper to run for two County Council seats that will be open in 2018.

That brings the total number of people who have filed to run for the open council seats to 22. The addition of a term limit referendum created four new open seats on the County Council for the 2018 election.


Ashwani Jain (At-large)

County native and a Democrat, Jain said he got his first foray into politics when he was asked in high school by then-Senator Barack Obama’s campaign for president to volunteer. Jain, a cancer survivor who said for much of his life he felt powerless, said politics gave him empowerment and a sense of purpose. Jain worked campaigning for Obama much of his life until he was hired to work at the White House.

Jain, 28, said the issues of the County, affordable housing, schools, traffic and inclusion are related and that the County’s solutions to problems should be multi-dimensional.


Click here for the full interview.

Obama Alumni Association features Ashwani's Campaign

Ashwani Jain and his family meeting President Barack Obama.

Ashwani Jain and his family meeting President Barack Obama.

Check out the feature of Ashwani by the Obama Alumni Association:

"It is thrilling to see so many from this community seek to contribute by running for office, just as Barack Obama did more than 20 years ago.


The Obama Alumni Association is excited to support and share information about Obama Alumni who are running for office."



Learn more:

Election Date: June 26, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Maryland Field Coordinator, Obama for America (2007-2009)
  • Maryland Student Director, Organizing for America (2009-2012)
  • Presidential Personnel Staff Assistant for Outreach and Recruitment, Executive Office of the President, The White House (2014-2015)
  • Deputy White House Liaison, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2015-2016)
  • Director of Outreach for the Cancer Moonshot Summit, Office of the Vice President, The White House (2016)
  • Associate Director of External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2016-2017)

Join Ashwani for the Campaign Kick-Off

Join Ashwani Jain and his supporters to celebrate his birthday and him being 15 years cancer-free at his campaign launch to represent Montgomery County as an At-Large County Councilmember. Click here for details.



About Ashwani

Ashwani Jain is a first generation American, the son of small business owners, a native of Montgomery County, a former appointee with the Obama Administration, a cancer survivor and an At-Large candidate for the Montgomery County Council.

A political organizer ­and coalition builder, Ashwani has experience working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, as well as extensive political campaign experience. His long-term goal is to engage more progressives in the political process and ensure our political institutions are more representative, responsive, inclusive and accountable.

Media Advisory: Silver Spring, Saturday - Ashwani Jain, Former Obama Appointee, Announces Campaign for Montgomery County Council, At-Large

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Jaan Williams
Campaign Manager

Media Advisory for Thursday, August 10th, 2017 — Saturday, Ashwani Jain will host a campaign kick-off event to announce his candidacy for Montgomery County Council, At-Large. Ashwani will be joined by friends, family and supporters to celebrate the launch of his campaign, his birthday, and the 15th anniversary of becoming cancer-free. The event is free and open to the public.
Ashwani is a first generation Indian-American, the son of local small business owners, a lifelong native of Montgomery County, and a former appointee of the Obama Administration. Ashwani has built his career as a political organizer and coalition builder in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors as well as through extensive political campaign experience in Montgomery County.

Ashwani is running for County Council because he believes that responsible, diverse, and accountable government doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. He hopes to engage more Montgomery County residents in the political process and to ensure our political institutions are more representative, responsive, inclusive and accountable.
WHAT:          Ashwani Jain for Montgomery County Council Campaign Kick-Off Event
WHEN:          SATURDAY, August 12th, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET
WHERE:       Kaldi Social House, 918 Silver Spring Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Note:  Media interested in attending should RSVP to Jaan Williams ( or 202-630-5226