Addressing homelessness is a key component of my agenda. The homelessness in California exceeds that of the other 49 states combined. We need to find sustainable solutions to ensure we address this. I have treated every homeless person with respect. There was a time when I got a call from Felton about a homeless person who was lost and struggling. I contacted my local sheriff team, and they were able to team up with sheriff and police units to find and successfully assist the person.
As an immigrant who came into this country with just a few hundred dollars and an American dream, I believe that I have to give back to this country, a country that embraced me and provided me unbound opportunities. There is a reason why my campaign started in the poorest part of San Jose. There are folks in Silicon Valley who have been left behind, don’t have a voice, and income inequality has widened every year. The artists, the musicians and the gig economy workers are feeling the pressure; many have been pushed out due to rising home prices. I have a plan to address this issue with the Mega Silicon Valley plan. Visit RishiKumar.com/traffic
I have organized activities to help the homeless with food drives, jackets, and helping out the homeless shelters. I have supported the efforts of for profit and nonprofit ventures to train our homeless population and get them to join the Silicon Valley workforce. I am keenly invested in addressing the root cause. It begins with education. I launched the no-charge Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for youth across Silicon Valley, benefitting thousands of disadvantaged students. By teaming up with San Jose's Mayor Sam Liccardo, we were able to implement this pathway to empowerment and learning through STEM in many low-income areas of San Jose.
I have also hosted the no-charge Lego Robotics Bootcamp for many years to teach robotic design and programming. As a member of the California Computer Science Strategic Implementation Panel, a California Department of Education initiative, we rolled out a K-12 Computer Science curriculum for every K-12 Public School student in California, to go-live in 2022. If we can begin to provide opportunities to all youth, regardless of their family's income level, we can begin to level the playing field in disadvantaged areas of Silicon Valley.
Here is our approach to reduce homelessness. The most important criteria for any social program is to strengthen people’s ability to take responsibility for themselves. Employment must be at the center of any strategy to reduce poverty and increase economic mobility. We can break the cycle of poverty and dependence one family at a time.
I will make use of this platform. After my first 2 years, I intend to tell you a positive story of how we have impacted the homelessness challenge of California and Silicon Valley.