1. What about your background would make you a good state senator?
I was born in India in a very traditional family with high family values. I was always around the communities helping and volunteering myself to go the extra mile. My education background is bachelor’s in civil engineering and master’s degree in construction project management from University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. After completing my master’s, I moved to Dubai and started working in real estate, building construction residential high-rise buildings & commercial projects. In Dubai, I worked for major clients like the UAE government, RTA and ADNOC oil & gas companies. I worked as a Project Manager for infrastructure projects such as power plants, water plants, RTA ferry stations, electrical substations etc.
Having wide experience overseas, I moved to the United States and started working for the US Army Corps of Engineers building major healthcare projects for our veterans across the United States. I have handled public and private infrastructure projects for about 18 years and hold extensive experience successfully completed over $$1Billion worth of projects with US Army Corps of Engineers working directly with Veterans Affairs Medical Centers building projects like Community Living Centers, Mental Health Inpatient & Outpatient Hospitals for our Veterans.
This wide experience of how major cities develop will help me to implement my experience and ideas here in Jersey City to solve major infrastructure crises we are facing today so we are not left behind by any other city in the World. I truly admire leadership quality and whenever I was given the opportunity to lead, I always lead by example and make sure my people are on board with me in making effective decisions for the betterment of society. I believe honesty, trustworthiness, and ethical conduct goes a long way. Unity is integrity! Given this opportunity, I see myself as a public servant and committed to prioritize my constituent’s interests over my own interests so I can communicate effectively with other legislators, and government officials in passing the bills. I am actively participating in Jersey City with my extended family and my direct in-laws Kolani’s family living here for more than three decades, working closely with all the communities, and I am quite familiar with the demographics of this state.
Additionally, I have observed Jersey City has very common problems which can be overcome or resolved by feasible strategies working through the state legislature and government officials. My focus will be able to analyze complex issues and with available data we can make informed decisions based on the evidence and reasoning. I truly believe working through the issues and finding solutions require a great collaboration team efforts and it’s not a one man show. I look at myself working effectively with other legislators, across party lines and with government officials and stakeholders to achieve common goals and solve problems our city is facing today. I understand this position comes with a great responsibility and resilience and I am willing to give my 100% to meet the demands of public and maintain focus and commitment towards public service, leadership, and effective governance in understanding the issues and challenges of state and residents are facing today.
2. In a largely Democratic area, how, as a Republican do you plan to attract Democratic voters?
a. Emphasize common values: Even though Democrats and Republicans may have different political views, they often sometimes share common values, and I will focus on those values when talking to a Democratic voter. The most common values share between Democratic and Republicans are family, jobs, personal responsibilities etc and coming from the same communities I will by emphasize these values and finding the common ground, I will make sure our Republican party will fulfil these gaps and help to connect with the Democratic voters.
b. Listen and Learn: I make sure to listen to what Democratic voters have to say and try to understand their perspectives on the issues that are important to them. Democratic voters It is not necessary that the ideas always co relate with everything they have to say but showing the willingness to listen can help build trust and respect.
c. Being respectful and open-minded: By avoiding confronting Democrats or their beliefs. Instead, being respectful and open-minded by showing the willingness to engage in a constructive dialogue and find solutions that work for everyone.
d. Highlight my strengths: Instead of focusing on what I am against, then what I am after. By talking about the policies and ideas in a positive and constructive way to show how my policies can benefit everyone, regardless of political affiliation.
e. Engage with the community: Getting involved in all the communities, my team is engaging with Democratic voters by attending local events, volunteering for community service projects, and participating in public forums. I believe building relationships with Democratic voters can help earn their trust and support over time.
3. Some people believe that “the line” for party endorsed candidates is unfair and illegal. What is your position on it?
It is not illegal or unfair to run and represents Party endorse candidates who prove themselves to be a great leader. Of course, the candidate should possess all the skills needed to run in the general election. Additionally, in general, political parties endorse candidates who they believe align with their values and policies. This can provide the candidate with additional support and resources, such as campaign funding, volunteer efforts, and access to party voter lists. However, I agree to some extent that some individuals and groups may argue that party endorsements limit voter choice and give unfair advantages to certain candidates.
4. Can you tell us about specific things you’ve accomplished for Jersey City?
Jersey City has made significant progress in recent years, particularly in terms of economic development, public safety, and quality of life and has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States in recent years, attracting significant investment from businesses and developers. Being a resident of Jersey City I am involved in day-to-day activities of the community services, police administrative advice, involved in development projects, organizing community functions etc. Also, in my family my father-in-law contested for the Hudson County Police Sheriff from republican party and it’s great to learn about the city from the family perspectives. I will be representing whole 32nd District as a Senate to focus on some major areas as follows:
Public Safety: Bring strategies to the board and work towards implementing several initiatives to reduce the crime rate and improve public safety. By increasing the size of police force and implementing community policing programs to build stronger relationships between police officers and residents.
Quality of Life: Will work towards significant improvements to the parks and public spaces, including the renovation of some historic buildings and state Parks. Additionally, I would like to achieve goals to improve and expand the public transportation and implement a bike sharing program to create a more vibrant and attractive place to live, work, and visit.
5. What do you feel are the most important issues to Jersey City residents and what would you do to address them?
A. Affordable Housing: Since past few years, Jersey City has seen a rapid increase in housing costs, which is making it difficult for many residents to afford their homes. There is a real need for affordable housing programs that can provide affordable housing options for low to moderate-income residents and by implementing rent control methods, housing subsidies, by providing incentives for developers to build affordable housing could overcome some of these challenges.
B. Transportation: Due to its high popularity, the city has attracted many tourists within the USA and around the world and the residents are facing significant traffic congestion and public transportation issues. By bringing the strategies to develop the city by passing infrastructure bills can provide the investment for improving public transportation systems such as expanding bus services, creating bike lanes, and pedestrian-friendly walkways. This will not only improve transportation but also reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
C. Education and Improving Schools: Quality Education plays a crucial part in our community and currently it’s a major issue for Jersey City residents. I will work towards improving the quality of education in public schools by increasing funding, improving curriculum, teacher training and engaging parents by conducting parent teachers meeting to focus on child’s behavior and development and awareness programs. Apart from this, encourage the growth of private schools which can provide high-quality education to the Jersey City residents.
D. Public Safety: Jersey City has faced significant challenges with crime rates in some neighborhoods which will be my focus finding these vulnerable areas and investing in community policing, increased police presence in high-crime areas, and support community-based programs to reduce the crime rates.
E. Economic Development: Jersey City needs to attract more businesses and create new job opportunities for its residents. By allowing tax incentives to the businesses, investing in infrastructure, and providing training and support for entrepreneurs will help to reflect noticeable economic improvements. Overall, addressing these issues requires a collaborative approach and involving with the residents, government officials, community organizations, and businesses. By working together, we can create a better future for our constituents.
6. Do you support the plan proposed for Liberty State Park by the Paul Fireman backed groups “Liberty State Park for All” and “The People’s Park?”
The proposed plan for Liberty State Park by the Paul Fireman backed groups “Liberty State Park for All” and “The People’s Park” seeks to develop a 39-acre portion of the park for commercial and recreational purposes, including an amphitheater, an indoor waterpark, and a ferry service to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.
I support any developments around the city which will attract tourists, create full-time jobs to maintain the facilities, bring revenue and economic development for the area. Always, you listen to the other side what opponents have to say about this, and I would support it since it’s a great initiative to develop the city and attracts recreational activities for both residents and tourists.
Also, if people think that this will commercialize or turn into a private park, I totally support them and would say residents of Jersey City should have free access to the park.
Overall, the proposed plan for Liberty State Park is a controversial issue, with different stakeholders having different perspectives and arguments. It is up to policymakers and decision-makers to evaluate the plan’s merits and drawbacks and make an informed decision based on the public interest and long-term sustainability of the park.
7. Are Jersey City state and local taxes too low, about right or too high?
I believe we have the high taxes and in addition to State taxes we have own local tax system and according to the Tax Foundation, as of 2021, New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the United States, with an average effective property tax rate of 2.40%. In terms of state income tax, New Jersey has a progressive income tax system with rates ranging from 1.4% to 10.75%, depending on income level. This is higher than the national average state income tax rate of 4.5%. This makes residents difficult to cope up with the current taxes when on other hand all the businessmen getting this tax breaks incentives. Regarding local taxes, Jersey City has a local property tax rate of 1.62%, which is lower than the state average but still considered relatively high compared to other cities in the country. However, when compared to the taxes we pay here is not close to comparing the services provided by the local government and the needs of our community.
I would suggest an appropriate tax structure should be in place and residents of Jersey City should have an opportunity regarding tax breaks depending upon the individual circumstances so the harmony of living in this emerging state remains consistent. And at the same time, I believe taxes are necessary to support the local infrastructure and services.
8. Is there anything else our readers should know about you?
I need your support to run for Senate for the 32nd District so I can make a difference and work on the real issues our city and state is facing today. With all your help we can make a great difference and achieve these goals.