I’m Sri Preston Kulkarni. I’m a big Rockets fan, lover of languages, and lifelong public servant. I’m also a national security expert who has spent my career overseas working to promote America’s founding principles. And now, I’m running to serve the people of Texas’s 22nd Congressional District.
I was raised in a middle class family by an immigrant father and a mother whose Texas roots date back to Sam Houston. Growing up, I experienced the same challenges many of our families face today. When my family moved to Houston, we lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 9 people. I had to bus across town to attend a better school. I’ve experienced gun violence, a broken education system, and crime first hand.
For me, the most personal issue is access to quality, affordable health care. When I was 18, my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. I dropped out of the University of Texas and came home to take care of him and help raise my three younger siblings. After my father passed away, the medical bills left my family on the verge of bankruptcy. Working several jobs to put myself through school, I eventually graduated from UT.
Inspired to serve my country, I was commissioned as a United States Foreign Service Officer by Secretary of State Colin Powell. In the Foreign Service, I served tours overseas in Iraq, Israel, Russia, Taiwan, and Jamaica, promoting American values, such as women’s rights, a free press, and religious tolerance. I speak English, Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese—and I’m always looking for new languages to learn and new people to connect with. If elected, I would become the first person of Hindu faith and first Asian American Member of Congress from Texas.
In addition, I pursued a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard. At Harvard, I started an initiative called “Breaking Bread,” aimed at combating division with conversations and reducing partisan hostilities. These values have always been central to who I am and how I serve others.
WHY I'M RUNNING
I served our nation overseas for more than 14 years, working to protect our national security and reduce conflict around the globe. But after seeing the hostility, fear, and hatred spreading across our country over the last few years, I became increasingly concerned with our problems here at home. The final straw was the Charlottesville Nazi rally, where a woman was killed and a woman from Houston was put in the hospital. These aren’t issues of right and left but of right and wrong.
The greatest danger to our country I see is not a foreign power, but the division right here. I resigned from the Foreign Service and came home to serve because when American values are being threatened, standing up for them is the most patriotic thing to do.
We Texans know that we can overcome the biggest challenges because there is more that unites us than divides us. I will sit down with anyone, no matter where they are on the political spectrum, if they are willing to put partisanship to the side and work on addressing our problems together.
Fighting this Pandemic
Fighting this pandemic is my top priority. In the past few months, I’ve seen how devastating this virus has been for our community. This pandemic has hurt already struggling families, which is why our community is coming together like never before. I’ve been working with so many inspiring people in our district to distribute PPE to frontline workers and food to families.
We need to put politics aside and listen to science, not ideology, to combat this virus.
This disease is not a red or blue issue, it’s a life or death issue. We can’t risk our community’s future.
Protecting Texans’ Health Care
When my family was mourning the loss of my father, we were also panicking about how to pay the staggering medical bills from his treatment. No American family should have to suffer from this. Our health care system needs to work for everyone and in Congress, I will make sure it does by expanding access to quality affordable health care and ensuring no one with pre-existing conditions, including coronavirus, can’t get coverage.
Building Back an Economy that Works for Everyone
Our small businesses are suffering now more than ever before. We can’t return our economy to where it was before the pandemic—we have to do better. Our community’s businesses need to be empowered with loans, grants, and resources to grow themselves. In Congress, I will be a committed ally to small business and to building an economy that works for everyone.
Our Campaign Isn’t Like Any Other
We are working to build the most grassroots campaign in the country. We’re campaigning in 27 different languages and reaching out to voters who have been ignored by our political process for far too long. We believe every American’s voice matters in our democracy.