Ranjeev Puri, a Canton resident is running for State House District 21.
Party affiliation: Democratic Party
Family:Wife – Nidhi Puri, age 36
Son, R. Puri, age 4
Son, S. Puri, age 1
Dog, Romeo, age 13
Occupation:Business Development Manager – Fiat Chrysler (15 years professional experience)
Previous elected experience:Precinct Delegate, Democratic Party, 2018
Family members in government:No
Campaign website: https://www.voteranjeev.com
The single most pressing issue facing our state is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
COVID-19. It is important to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in a thoughtful and scientific manner which limits the effects to our public health and our economy. I have sadly lost loved ones to COVID-19, and my wife – who is a small business owner – is experiencing first hand the devastation to our local businesses. Fighting for public health and the economy does not need to be mutually exclusive. Our state budget is estimated to face a multi-billion dollar deficit due to the economic effects of COVID-19. School districts within House District 21 in particular are already amongst the lowest funded in the state. I will fight for Michigan’s working families to find budget solutions which prioritize the values of our district.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I am running a campaign rooted in fighting for a better Michigan, which means including the voice of every Michigander and every resident of the 21st district, regardless of their background or belief. In the middle of a pandemic, we need legislators who are able to find solutions. When I look at my kids, I need to be able to look them in the eye and tell them I did everything I could to fight for their future, and the future for all of us. This starts with our education and am proud to be the only candidate endorsed by thousands of educators and education professionals across the district through the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). I stand with our small businesses and am proud to receive the endorsement of the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM). Working families are the foundation of our district, and organized labor (UAW, AFL-CIO, Michigan Nurses Association, and many more) unanimously stand with me with their endorsement. We need a legislator that brings people from all walks of life together, and does not stick to partisan talking points. I am honored for the over 50+ endorsements of Organizations and Leaders who trust me to be the voice for the 21st district and fight for all of us.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
I have always fought for change. I am proud of my work with President Barack Obama, in which I helped manage a billion dollar budget. I went on the get my MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Afterwards, my wife and I moved back to Michigan and I got started in the automotive industry, where I still work today. I also started helping organize our communities here in Michigan, working with elected officials up and down the ballot, through which I learned so much about the gaps which exist and how we can be better. For years, I have fought to continue to improve our great state. I know what it takes to be an effective legislator, and that is why I am proud to have the support and endorsements of over 50+ leaders and organizations across the state.
What steps should state government take to bolster economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic for local businesses?
We need to stop treating local small businesses like big corporations such as Walmart or Amazon. Small businesses are the engine to our economy. We need to make sure we are doing enough to ensure employees are safe and protected and businesses can reopen safely. COVID-19 has wrecked havoc on our state economy, and our local small businesses need help to make it through the pandemic.
How will you address the calls for racial justice and police reform?
I believe it is of the utmost priority to fight for a Michigan in which everyone is welcomed, and no one is discriminated against, for any reason. Black lives matter. We need more diverse perspectives at the table. If elected, I would be the first person of color elected in the history of the district. Our country is currently undergoing a long overdue conversation to fight for social justice. We must remove any implicit bias and work to make the communities of House District 21 a role model for the rest of Michigan. This expands beyond partisan talking points, and we must move to a Michigan which is fair and just for all of us, regardless of the color of your skin. I support the police reforms necessary to improve accountability to ensure ALL Michiganders feel safe and welcome.
List other issues that define your campaign platform:
Our campaign was rooted in fighting for a better Michigan, in which we can be proud to raise our family again. Unfortunately, Michigan is increasingly becoming a place where your life trajectory is determined by the zip code in which you were born. We need to ask if we are doing everything we can to make Michigan work for everyone. I have two young boys, and I will fight to ensure they grow up in a state where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. We are working towards a Michigan where we all can send our kids to quality schools, drink safe water out of our tap, see a doctor without asking ourselves if we can afford to do so. Fighting for a Michigan in which everyone has an opportunity to reach their potential, without bias, should not be political or partisan.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
This election is the most important election of our lifetime. With so much on the line, the role of the state legislature has never been greater, and it is imperative we get this right. I lead with my values. I reject the notion of the divide from our federal administration and stand strong with our Governor. If you want a Michigan in which all of us are safe and proud to call home, if you want a Michigan, in which we continue to lead with science, and if you want a Michigan which rejects hate, I am your choice. I think the 21st house district is the best district in the state, and there is no where I would rather call home. I pledge to fight hard for our values, and work towards a better Michigan every single day.
This article originally appeared on the Plymouth-Canton Patch