On the Record: Congressional candidate Ahmed Mostafa

San José Spotlight asked readers what they want to know about the candidates running for Silicon Valley’s competitive Congressional District 16 race. We received more than 100 questions from readers for the candidates and narrowed it down to eight questions that capture a range of critical national issues — from immigration to foreign policy and partisan gridlock in Washington.

Read all the candidates’ answers.

Here are Ahmed Mostafa’s full, unedited answers:

How will you work “across the aisle” and overcome the challenges facing our political discourse?

While completing my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara, I brokered the only ever signed agreement between a Hillel, an American Students for Israel, Students for Justice in Palestine, and a Muslim Student Association – this agreement was only possible because of our commitment to understanding and centering one another’s perspectives, stories, and lived experiences. In the face of a deeply divided Congress, our families deserve leaders who are ready to get to work on Day 1. I am committed to reaching across the aisle to build bipartisan support for meaningful legislation that will create lasting change for communities across California’s 16th Congressional District.

What will you do if Trump is re-elected fairly and then he violates the constitution again through his decisions and actions?

No one is above the law – not even the President. Donald Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his determination to attack and disregard the most fundamental principles of our democracy to further his extreme agenda. If he is re-elected fairly and subsequently violates the Constitution again through his actions and decisions, I will remain committed to protecting our democracy, preserving our system of checks and balances, and ensuring that any president is held accountable for their actions.

Do you believe in, and will you publicly support, a two nation resolution to Israel and Palestine?
I would support a two-state solution that advances the right of all people to live with dignity, security, and self-determination. No person anywhere should have to suffer from the impacts of endless wars and violence. Throughout my candidacy, I have been consistent in my calls for an immediate, permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Our policy stances – both domestic and international – should reflect the inherent value and dignity of every person.

What will you do to reduce the federal deficit?

We should be responsible with our money and invest in our people and our communities. We need to stop spending money on forever wars (i.e. 2 trillion dollars in Afghanistan). Our economy should work for every person – not just the few and the powerful; it’s time for us to invest in our communities with the resources they need to thrive. As our communities face the impacts of growing wealth inequality, I will work to reduce the federal deficit by reforming our tax system to ensure that the ultra wealthy pay their fair share and working families don’t have to struggle just to survive.

How do you plan to help our region, state, and country to kick the reliance on fossil fuels as we make our way to a carbon-free energy future?

In Congress, I will fight for a just transition to renewable energy through the passage of legislation like The Green New Deal for Cities, which supports cities and localities with the resources to respond to the climate crisis while empowering them to act in the best interests of their community, creates stronger paying jobs in clean energy, and expands sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Climate change is not an issue that can be pushed aside until 2030, 2040, or 2050 – we must take action to reduce carbon emissions and address the impacts of the climate crisis today.

What would you do to remedy the root causes of homelessness, such as providing better mental health and addiction services?

Housing is a human right – no person should be forced to sleep on the streets because they’re experiencing financial distress or a mental health crisis, and that’s why I would support Cori Bush’s Unhoused Bill of Rights. In Congress, I’ll work to address our affordable housing crisis; support unhoused community members by increasing the availability of indoor housing, comprehensive wraparound services, and mental and behavioral healthcare; and advocate for reforms to our healthcare and criminal justice systems to end the criminalization of our most vulnerable community members and ensure that everyone receives the treatment they need.

Will you support fully funding BART to San Jose and the High Speed Rail projects?

In Congress, I will fight to fully fund BART to San Jose and support federal investments in high speed rail projects that will reduce our emissions, create equitable access to economic opportunity, and protect a livable future for every community. It’s time for us to invest in equitable, sustainable infrastructure. As we face the impacts of the climate crisis, high speed rail and equitable public transit are critical to reaching our climate goals, and will help to connect our communities – from Silicon Valley, to San Francisco, to Sacramento, to Los Angeles – to economic opportunity while creating more good-paying jobs right here in California’s 16th Congressional District.

What are your solutions to the border crisis and do you believe we should have an open border for any and all to be allowed into the country?

Right now, our immigration system is broken. Instead of continuing the militarization of our border, we must build a more just immigration system that treats every person with dignity and respect. In Congress, I will fight to create an efficient pathway to citizenship for undocumented people living in the United States, codify the DREAM Act, and expand our asylum laws to directly help all those who are escaping persecution in order to directly address the root causes of migration.

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