Goutam Jois, an Indian American attorney and activist, running for New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, wants to fix shared values. “Washington is broken, and our shared values are under assault. As an attorney and an activist, I’ve fought to uphold those values – justice, fairness, and dignity – and won,” Jois says as reasons for wanting to represent the Congressional district from the Garden State, which has a sizable South Asian American population.
According to Jois, “I represented a young, unarmed, African-American man who was shot by police, and won at the Supreme Court. I secured asylum for a gay man from Jamaica, won a major First Amendment case for a police officer, and obtained landmark relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I’ve organized national youth political conventions and was the Youth Governor of New Jersey. And I’ve worked with the family business, seeing firsthand what it takes to create jobs in the construction and infrastructure fields. If elected to represent New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, I will bring that experience to Washington and work to expand opportunity, improve security, and strengthen our communities.”
Jois added that hard-working families need to know that the government will stand by its end of the social contract, speaking of security. He said he will fight for universal healthcare and policies to support working families, including paid family leave and raising the minimum wage.
And he added about strengthening the community that “we cannot allow anyone, least of all the president (Donald Trump), to divide us by race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status or anything else.”
Among his platform issues include the economy and jobs, women’s rights, the environment, education, civil rights, immigration, LGBTQ issues, veterans’ issues and data privacy.Jois said democracy is being skewed for three reasons.
In addition to successfully litigating police brutality, First Amendment and civil rights cases in the Supreme Court, the Harvard-trained lawyer has been a football coach and a stand-up comedian.
The son of Indian immigrants from Bangalore recently threw his hat into the ring, hoping to revive the democracy so treasured in the U.S. The Summit resident, the married father of two children, has hopes for the balloting on June 5.
“I would not say I was bitten by the political bug early in my life, but I can tell you I have always believed in democracy and its values and fought for them whether organizing student-centric activities in school, college or grad school. At every point, I have believed in the values of democracy and the hope that it generates. That is what I have been fighting for in my life, including now in the context of an electoral campaign,” Jois said.
The primary race for the 7th Congressional District in New Jersey is April 2. Other candidates outside of Jois in the Democratic Party field include Indian American Peter Jacob, who ran unsuccessfully in the 2016 election for the same seat; Tom Malinowski, Kurt Perhach, David Pringle and Linda Weber. The Republican incumbent Leonard Lance will be challenged by Lindsay Brown in the GOP primary with the winners moving on to the November general election.