District 17 —U.S. House of RepresentativesNovember 8, 2016 —California General Election
U.S. House of RepresentativesDistrict 17
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About this office
- Make college affordable and debt free, and increase spots for CA students in the UC system
- Increase funding for public schools, and bring more technology/innovative teaching tools into the classroom
- Revitalize the middle class by bringing back manufacturing jobs from overseas and defending unions
Like so many families in our area, Ro's parents immigrated to the United States—coming from India to seek opportunity and a better life for their children. Ro was born in Philadelphia in 1976, and learned the value of education and hard work from his parents. Ro’s father studied engineering at the University of Michigan; his mother was a substitute teacher. Ro benefited from a quality public school education and took out student loans to attend great universities, which he is still paying off today. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, and received a law degree from Yale University.
Ro’s commitment to public service was inspired early on by his grandfather, who told him stories about participating in Gandhi’s independence movement in India and spending several years in jail for promoting human rights. Somewhat serendipitously, Ro became involved in politics while attending the University of Chicago, where he worked on the campaign of a little-known candidate for state Senate named Barack Obama. Later, Ro worked on Obama’s presidential campaign.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Ro to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ro broke new ground when he organized clean technology trade missions and expanded the Green Embassy program, which allows American clean technology firms to showcase their products in our embassies overseas. Ro also served on the White House Business Council, where he worked with both business and labor for policies that promote to bring back American manufacturing jobs. Under Ro's leadership, American exports grew dramatically.
In 2009 and 2010, Ro took the lead on defending the rights of workers who were being laid off by New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) as the plant closed its doors in Fremont. He played a critical role in securing a $330,000 grant from the federal government for Fremont to find new uses for the abandoned auto plant, in addition to funds for job training programs to help the skilled workers who found themselves out of work and with nowhere to turn. Ro’s strong commitment to the United Auto Workers and the working families in the region is something that he will bring to Congress as he advocates for a collaborative working relationship between organized labor and business leaders.
After leaving the Commerce Department, Ro authored a book on the state of American manufacturing and how to keep it competitive in the global economy. Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America's Future has won widespread praise for its strategies to keep the best companies, jobs, and opportunities in America.
Following his mother’s example, Ro is a Lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stanford University and an Adjunct Professor at Santa Clara Law School.Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Workforce Development Board for the State of California, where he served as chair for the Advanced Manufacturing Committee. Ro also served on the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and has tutored local Irvington High School students in his spare time. His pro bono legal activity includes work with the Mississippi Center for Justice on several contractor fraud cases on behalf of Hurricane Katrina victims.
Ro has been a strong advocate for local issues in our community. He has worked with Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves to reduce odor from the Newby Landfill and to hold Republic accountable. He also worked with Santa Clara City Councilwoman Lisa Gillmor to make sure the San Francisco 49ers did not take over the Youth Soccer Park in Santa Clara. Ro has worked with environmentalists to stand up to Lehigh Cement Plant and insist that the plant be held to modern day envionmental standards.
A long time resident of Fremont, Ro was drawn to Silicon Valley after finishing his education. He and his wife, Ritu Khanna, still currently reside in Fremont. Ritu has been a marketing executive and has a master's degree in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and a B.S. from Georgetown University
- Nancy Thomas, Newark Unified School District Board Member
- Chris Moylan, Former Vice Mayor of Sunnyvale
- Pat Castillo, Former Mayor of Sunnyvale
- Debbie Giordano, City Councilmember of Milpitas
- Carmen Montano, Vice Mayor of Milpitas
- Bob Livengood, Former Mayor of Milpitas
- Jose Esteves, Mayor of Milpitas
- Kathy Watanabe, City Councilmember of Santa Clara
- Debi Davis, City Councilmember of Santa Clara
- Patricia Mahan, Former Mayor of Santa Clara
- Dr. Robin Parker Cox, Former Mayor of Sunnyvale and Director of Institute for Governmental Service and Research
- Richard Lowenthal, Former Mayor of Cupertino
- Orrin Mahoney, Former Mayor of Cupertino
- Robert Marshall, Former City Councilmember of Newark
- Dave Smith, Mayor Emeritus of Newark
- Anu Natarajan, Former Vice Mayor and current City Councilmember of Fremont
- Steve Cho, Former Vice Mayor of Fremont
- Lily Mei, Vice Mayor Fremont and Former Trustee, Fremont Unified School District
- Vinnie Bacon, former Vice Mayor and Current City Councilmember of Fremont
- Don Sun, Former Chair and current member of the Cupertino Planning Commission
- Savita Vaidhyanathan, Vice Mayor of Cupertino
- Rod Sinks, Former Mayor and current City Councilmember of Cupertino
- Lisa Gillmor, Mayor of Santa Clara
- Chappie Jones, San Jose City Councilmember
- Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California
- Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State
- Steve Westly, Former Controller and Chief Financial Officer of California
- Kevin de Leon, California Senate President Pro Tem
- Elaine Alquist, Former California State Senator and Assemblymember
- Rich Gordon, California Assemblymember
- Grace Mah, Board Member, Santa Clara County Office of Education
- Larry Stone, Santa Clara County Assessor
- Jeff Rosen, District Attorney Santa Clara County
- Tam Nguyen, San Jose City Councilmember
- Manh Nguyen, San Jose City Councilmember
- Magdalena Carrasco, San Jose City Councilmember
- Chuck Reed, Former Mayor of San Jose
- Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose
- San Francisco Chronicle
- National Nurses United
- California Nurses Association
- Sunnyvale Democratic Club
- Fremont Argus
- Contra Costa Times
- Oakland Tribune
- San Jose Mercury News
- LIUNA, Laborers' International Union of North America
The Federal Government plays a part in California water allocation and use through a variety of laws. What, if any, legislation would you support in an effort to handle water shortages caused by the current and any future drought?
Available freshwater isn't just the backbone of the Californian economy, it's critical to the state's very survival. While many of the major decisions on water planning are reserved for our state government, the federal government has an important role to play as well. In particular, I strongly support legislative action to to fund desalination, water recycling, and storage projects. These long-term investments in our water infrastructure will go a long way in securing a safe future for the people of California.
Should immigration laws be changed? What changes would you support? Please explain why.
In particular, I support a number of common-sense reforms to our broken immigration system:
- Give DREAMers legal status right away. In 2012 President Obama implemented a deferred action program, which offered a two-year reprieve from the threat of deportation to young adults. That’s a band-aid measure on an issue that is affecting millions of hardworking and law biding residents of this country. Congress needs to give young adults the ability to quickly receive provisional legal status, allowing them to live and work freely in this country, and streamline the process of applying for a green card, permanent legal residency, and finally citizenship.
- Implement a pathway to citizenship for adults. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants living in our country who work in a variety of industries that boost our economy. They pay sales taxes – many also pay income taxes, and other federal, state, and local taxes. Estimates show that undocumented immigrants pay about $7 billion into Social Security.
- Protect family reunification visas. While the passage of the Senate’s bipartisan bill is commendable, I am disappointed that family reunification visas were not included. Family reunification is a long-standing policy of the U.S., and the removal of sibling visas and reduction of adult married children visas is an unnecessary hit to hardworking families of the 17th district who want to unite with their loved ones here in America.
What, if anything, does the U.S. need to do in order to address national security and terrorism? Please explain your answer in detail.
The political climate in Washington, D.C. has been extremely partisan in recent years. In that kind of atmosphere, what would you do to get things done while in office?
Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).
Ro Khanna is prepared to move beyond the gridlock in Washington with concrete solutions to strengthen our public schools, create good paying jobs, and to move America’s economy into the 21st century. He’ll be more than a vote; he’ll be a strong voice for the Bay Area’s working families and communities. As an educator and economics author, Ro understands the importance of having universal pre-school education, of having an innovative curriculum, and adequate funding for technology in our public schools. He has also offered concrete plans for making college affordable and assisting middle aged workers find good paying jobs in today's economy. Finally, in order to maintain his independance from special interests and corporate agendas, Ro refused to take any money from PACs or corporations, and is one of only eight candidates at the Federal level to do so (you can see the full list here: http://www.cleanslatenowaction.org/candidates).
- Continued advocacy for federal investments in infrastructure projects like BART
- Leading the fight against income inequality in Congress
- Continued vocal advocacy and leadership on the war against women's rights.
Below are the top contributors that gave money to support the candidate(s).