jenifer rajkumar

Jenifer Rajkumar recently announced her candidacy for the D38 state Assembly seat in 2020. (JeniferforNY.com photo)

Indian American attorney Jenifer Rajkumar announced Nov. 15 that she is running for the District 38 State Assembly seat in New York.

“I am proud to announce my campaign for New York State Assembly in District 38,” she tweeted. “Our time was not yesterday and it is not tomorrow. It is now. Join me for this historic campaign!”

Rajkumar, according to her campaign page, is proud to be born and raised in New York as the first generation American in her family.

Her parents immigrated to the United States with just $300 and a suitcase, settling in Queens where they got their start. To honor the promise of a country that gave her family so much opportunity, Jenifer Rajkumar decided to dedicate her life to public service.

She says that she intends to stand up for the people of Queens, “bringing back honor to our politics” and “restoring sacredness to public services.”

She is a lawyer, professor at CUNY and former New York state government official. With early roots in public service and giving back, Rajkumar graduated from Stanford Law School with distinction for her pro bono legal work on behalf of vulnerable individuals, her campaign page said.

She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at the top of her class magna cum laude, phi beta kappa where she received the Alice Paul Award for exemplary service to women and families. 

For the candidate, service is a way of life, the campaign page said.

Rajkumar served for years as the people’s lawyer, fighting corporate fraud and excess, and advocating for workers, women, and families in vulnerable situations. 

Later, she served at high levels of state government, appointed by the governor of New York as a Special Counsel and as director of Immigration Affairs for New York State. She also dedicates her time to uplifting the city’s youth, as a professor of political science at the City University of New York, it notes.

For her work for the people of Queens providing access to counsel to people in vulnerable situations, and working for youth and immigrant communities, the Queens Courier honored her as a 2017 “Rising Star” and the Queens Tribune awarded her its “Glass Ceiling Award” for being a path-breaking woman serving the Queens community, the page said.

Rajkumar states she will run on a platform that touches on many issues. Among the issues are education, transportation, housing, campaign finance reform, public safety, access to justice, healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, constituent services and gender pay equity.

Michael Miller, a Democrat, has held the seat for 10 years. The primary for the New York state Assembly is June 23, 2020.

Rajkumar had earlier run for the State Assembly in 2016.

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