Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself and to speak about our campaign for Congress. The 2020 election is the most important election of our lifetime. Every one of us can agree that this country is headed in the wrong direction. We desperately need change this November. But if we want change in November then we have an obligation to lead with change in June.
I’m running for Congress because the promise of New York — education, opportunity, and economic mobility — is broken. When my parents immigrated to the United States from India in the 1960s, the halls of Wall Street and the Ivy League were closed to them. So, like so many immigrants, they started a business. My childhood was spent working in motels, washing bed sheets, bussing tables, and filling vending machines. And in one generation, my parents were able to send me to college, I became an attorney in New York City, and I got to work for the greatest President in our lifetimes.
Every one of us can remember how exhilarating it was when we worked together to elect Barack Obama. We came together to elect somebody with fight, and somebody with vision for the future. I’m fighting to fulfill that progressive vision, and I’m asking you to join me because you believe in this vision, too.
In our vision for the future, families, not corporations, have a seat at the table, so that work ethic and effort, not the circumstances of your birth, determine your outcome. In our future, New York has fighters in Washington, so we get our fair share to rebuild our infrastructure, our housing, and our schools. In our future, inevitability is not a moral justification. Climate change, mass incarceration, and mass deportation are relics of the past.
That’s why I’ve put forward an ambitious “Upward Mobility Agenda” that is focused on economic opportunity for families, fighting for New York, and addressing the greatest social justice causes of our generation. (You can find it at www.surajpatel.nyc). I want to thank you for all your work as a Democratic organization and hope you will consider being involved with our campaign. The promise of New York belongs to each and every one of us, and our doors are always open. I look forward to meeting you all individually and hearing your ideas, questions, and concerns over the next few months.
— Suraj Patel
Grand Street Dems asked each 2020 candidate to submit a statement ahead of our endorsement meeting on Sunday, February 2.