People are Policy
"I believe that you can't create good policy unless you really engage with people. Because the reality is that as members of our community, we can make deliberate choices to excel, but we also need our county representatives to make deliberate choices that empower us to excel." - Ashwani Jain
High Quality Education for All
I’m a proud product of Montgomery County’s public schools.
I strongly believe that education is the surest pathway out of poverty. But as someone who has lived in four of the five council districts - on the east and west parts of our county, as well as up and down county - I have seen how our education systems are not equally prioritized.
So I want to make our schools even better by closing the opportunity gap that our students are facing.
This includes making universal pre-K a reality for all our children, helping to create a more comprehensive curriculum that ensures students have access to STEM education as early as kindergarten, ensuring teachers and paraeducators have a stronger voice in our operational decisions, increasing food security by streamlining the application process, and creating more language immersion programs to break down barriers to access.
Regardless of where you live in the county, you should have access to the same opportunities.
Inclusive & Safe Communities
I'm a first generation American.
When talented immigrant children have grown up in and become part of our community, have earned their high school diplomas, have clean records and want nothing more than to stay united with their family, we must embrace them. These are our values.
So I want to ensure we’re creating policies that foster greater trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities. And while we unofficially operate as a sanctuary county, we need the political will to finally declare it as such.
To those who feel marginalized for their race, religion or sexual orientation, I want to assure you that you are welcome in Montgomery County.
Greater Economic Security for Families
I was born in Rockville and grew up in Wheaton, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring and Potomac. I never left Montgomery County because it's home to my American Dream.
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 we must ensure our government continues to invest in our residents.
As such, I support smart growth that favors mixed-use development and creates inclusive communities with access to affordable housing (via increasing MPDUs, funding HIF, and expanding rent control), transit, education and employment opportunities. This ensures that we expand our economic tax base without pricing anyone out of our cities.
We also need more job training and career development programs, which will diversify our workforce, help businesses find the workers they need, and provide more career and professional development opportunities for our young people.
Efficient & Effective Transit
Access to transit is good for people, the environment, business, and the economy.
I support a comprehensive transit and road infrastructure plan that reduces traffic congestion, pollution, and provides greater accessibility and connectivity for residents all around our county. This will also connect people to jobs (thus fostering greater economic security) and connect businesses to their employees (thus helping our local economy).
This means understanding the needs of residents in DownCounty -- so I support the Purple Line, BRT and creating more protected bike lanes and sidewalks.
It also means understanding the needs of residents in UpCounty -- so I support expanding I-270 IF it also includes transit options, investing in the CCT, as well as a limited expansion of roadways - like M-83. We must also add designated BRT lanes to M-83 when appropriate.
As a councilmember, I would be committed to doing everything I can to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.
Prior to working in President Obama's White House, I served as the Special Assistant for the Climate Action Campaign. In this role, I helped build and activate partnerships with a wide range of constituency leaders to generate earned media coverage that promoted the Obama Administration’s efforts to combat climate change.
If elected, I would focus on --
1. DEVELOPMENT: I believe we can entice developers by providing them with additional building height and density only as reward for 1) building more affordable housing units than traditionally required by the MPDU program, (2) installing solar panels on rooftops and making new buildings energy-efficient, (3) creating more electric charging stations in all new parking lots, (4) providing more first floor retail opportunities rather than buildings with no retail, and/or (5) providing funds to create more parks and green space.
2. LEGION BRIDGE: I do not believe we should create a second bridge crossing. Instead, I believe we can look at expanding the Legion Bridge - with an emphasis on creating more designated lanes exclusively for BRT buse, high occupancy vehicles, and/or hybrid and electric cars that allow individuals making more environmentally friendly choices to move through traffic. This will help us alleviate some of our traffic concerns in the area, while also protecting our county’s 90,000 agricultural reserves.
3. RENEWABLE ENERGY: I am deeply concerned about the Trump Administration pulling out of the Paris climate accord. Accordingly, I stand together with numerous state and local governments throughout the country who support efforts to combat climate change including a transition to 100% carbon-neutral energy by 2035 and zero emissions. I believe in reducing our county’s reliance on fossil fuels and promoting a move to clean, renewable energy. Not only will this improve our air and water quality, thus increasing the quality of life for our citizens, but renewable energy can also generate significant economic benefits for individuals, entrepreneurs, and existing businesses in our county.
4. BAN UNNECESSARY PESTICIDES: As a 15 year survivor of childhood cancer, I support banning the use of unnecessary and cosmetic pesticides in the county on public as well as non-agricultural land.
Advance Science & Research
I’m a 15-year cancer survivor.
Our county is home to the best educational and research organizations in the nation.But when you have a President who does not believe in science and threatens to slash our research budget, we need to continue investing in our medical professionals.
As a 15-year cancer survivor who has benefited from the medical research conducted at places like the National Institutes of Health (also our county's largest employer), the National Cancer Institute and Walter Reed Medical Center, I want to ensure we continue to be the model for the nation when it comes to advancements in science and research.
This includes hosting a Montgomery County Cancer Moonshot (building on the work I did at the national level), that works with our research facilities and the Biden Cancer Initiative to implement smoking prevention programs and access to early detection technology.
We owe it to our residents and all those who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions.