Who am I?
I grew up living the American Dream. My father left India and came to this country as a student in 1959. Two years later he was able to bring me and the rest of the family to the U.S. I didn't speak a word of English when I first came to America, but the public school system worked with me and I was caught up within a year. My family and I struggled on minimal income. My mother baby sat and all of us worked to bring in more money. With time and hard work, our situation improved. We were able to buy a house near Albany, New York. On my 18th birthday, I was excited and honored to become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Education was always viewed as an essential part of our lives. I received my B.S. degree in Chemistry from the State University of New York, and my Ph.D. in Chemistry from M.I.T. in 1980. This led to a successful career in the semiconductor industry where I worked as an engineer and as a manager. I have engineered new products, helped new businesses launch their technology, and overseen annual capital budgets of over one billion dollars. My skills in engineering, people management, negotiation, and cost savings are what are needed in Congress today.
Why am I running?
After living the American Dream and retiring at the age of 54, I enjoyed a couple of years of relaxation and fun. But, seeing the middle class in our country spiral downward to the point where the American Dream is unreachable for most families, where families are drifting into poverty while our government has been paralyzed by divisions has spurred me back into action. I am running for the U.S. congress because this institution is capable of so many actions that would directly help middle class families, but which is most afflicted by political division. We have always had debate and disagreements in Congress. The difference is that in the past our pledge to the people of the United States was able to unite us towards compromise and towards making fair decisions that moved us forward. We could argue about the decisions and choices we made, but there was a feeling that everyone was genuinely trying to do what was best for our country. Today, that trust in Congress has been eroded nearly to extinction, and the growing sentiment is that Congress cares more for itself, and for special interests than it does for the American people.
I believe we can return to having genuine debate, but then move ahead with actions in the interest of this great nation. Solutions are not the domain of one political party or another, but are to be found everwhere. We must take the best ideas from all sources to craft pragmatic solutions to the enourmous challenges facing us today.
The immediate challenges facing us today as a nation are job and economic growth. We must see a real jobs bill that combines short term job growth with investments for long term job, economic, and technological growth. Short term growth may come from investments in infrastructure, but long term growth will come from government investments in programs that meet some our pressing future challenges such as energy independence, transportation development, and work towards an energy infrastructure that reduces greenhouse emissions.
My DFA Values
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My Campaign is People Powered!
Our campaign is powered primarily through volunteers. We are growing this Jack Uppal for Congress army, and we will be deploying it to reach voters across this vast district by personal (not robo) phone calls, by direct mail, and with appearances before gatherings that cross political lines. We will remain respectful of ideas that we may disagree with, and we will not deride ideas or people with ideas that differ from us. We will listen first before we speak. As we proceed, our goal is to continue to grow our volunteer army and continue to reach across to voters of all party affiliations.