Indian American Natasha Gupta, a self-proclaimed political outsider, Sept. 14 officially announced her candidacy for California’s 25th State Assembly District seat during an event at Cinema Exchange in Milpitas.
Gupta, 28, is vying for the seat currently held by Assemblyman Kansen Chu.
The Indian American professional comes from a career in the private sector, continuing a recent trend of millennials with non-traditional backgrounds jumping into politics, according to a news release from Gupta’s campaign team.
While not from government, Gupta got a taste of campaigning as a community organizer for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential run, running one of the largest independent regional grassroots teams for him in Silicon Valley.
Her experience shaped much of how she saw the nature of political movements changing, and her own candidacy, the release said.
The defining moment, however, came when the Gilroy Garlic Festival attack happened in late July. It hit home for her personally, because she and her husband had attended the day before the shooting.
“It showed me that even in California, the divisions of our country showed up at our front door,” she said at the event, which was attended by many, including Saratoga Councilman and congressional candidate Rishi Kumar, and former adviser to the Fremont School District Chinmoy Roy. “I couldn’t stop thinking that it could have been us. I couldn’t believe that it could happen here. After that, I knew I had to do something.”
Gupta’s platform focuses on many of the pressing issues in California today — housing, infrastructure and income inequality — with a differentiating message.
“Our policy priorities need to focus on California’s role in setting moral leadership,” she says, “because quite frankly, we can’t hope that it will come from Washington.”
Speaking at the event, Roy said Gupta “has a fire in her belly, she has a vision. And that's why you need to support her."
Kumar opined on Gupta, calling her a winner.
"She's been campaigning for hardly three weeks, and all the components of a campaign have come together so nicely,” he said at the event. “Just look at this event [campaign launch] that has been pulled together. I can see the energy behind this campaign and tell you: Natasha is a winner."
Gupta is running on an ambitious agenda of a housing and rehabilitation guarantee for the homeless; a complete reform of the cost of college; California Care for All as a public option; a statewide Green New Deal; and ending the epidemic of gun violence and domestic terrorism.
Running what she terms a “people-powered campaign,” taking no corporate PAC money and a 100 percent volunteer staff, she seeks to bring decency to public service and purge corruption in government, the release said.
Gupta is married to Michael Hsueh, and was born and raised in the San Francisco East Bay Area. More information on her campaign can be found at www.gupta2020.com.