Kishan Putta will bring health expertise to Council

Kishan Putta, gay news, Washington Blade
Kishan Putta (Photo courtesy of the campaign)

Have you found yourself wishing, as politicians make decisions each day about how to protect our health and our livelihoods, that there was someone in our government who had a public health background? On June 2, Ward 2 has the power to make that happen by voting to elect Kishan Putta as our representative to the D.C. City Council.

Kishan has been fighting for Ward 2 for more than a decade, serving two different communities as ANC Representative. Kishan helped bring critical public transportation improvements to the 16th Street corridor, benefitting all residents regardless of whether you walk, bike, bus, Metro, or drive each day. And Kishan has spent years working with D.C. Health Link to bring healthcare to all D.C.’s residents. Kishan Putta has the record, the results, and the resume we need on the D.C. City Council.

Kishan’s work on the frontlines of our community’s healthcare needs stands out because of his focus on addressing the significant healthcare disparities within our community. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought these disparities into plain view: according to the data published by Mayor Bowser, within the District, black/African-American residents represent 46% of the COVID-19 cases, but 76% of the COVID-19 deaths. The city is not collecting data on the number of LGBTQ+ residents who test positive for COVID-19, but the health disparities for LGBTQ+ individuals are well documented.

This City Council election will reflect whether we want to address these disparities, and Ward 2 choosing a public health advocate to represent us sends a clear signal that we do. That is why I am voting for Kishan Putta to be our next Ward 2 City Council member, and why I ask you to do so as well.

I am voting for Kishan not just because his public health leadership and expertise stands out as exactly what we need on the City Council right now, but also because Kishan was doing this work for our community long before these topics were in the headlines. Kishan’s record of getting people enrolled in the Affordable Care Act – going so far as to meet people at laundromats on Sundays while they waited for their clothes – shows exactly the kind of grounded leadership and commitment he will provide at the Council. The fact that President Obama’s Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, endorsed Kishan’s candidacy only validates what I already know, “Kishan Putta does not just talk about change – he makes it happen.”

Our community needs Kishan’s voice on the City Council because he has done the public health, public safety, and human rights work that should be the focus of a Council member. He fought for inclusive language related to gender identity in the D.C. Code, supported the decriminalization of sex work, and worked to make the Stead Park renovations a reality. Kishan Putta will be a powerful advocate for D.C.’s LGBTQ+ community.

Kishan has spoken in deeply personal terms regarding his experiences with hate crimes and what it is like to be “othered.” Kishan would be the first Asian American elected to the City Council and, as the child of immigrants himself, Kishan would ensure that the 25% of District residents who are immigrants or children of immigrants have a seat at the table and a voice in the discussion. Kishan Putta is evidence that our greatest strength comes from the diversity of our Ward 2 community.

For the first time in nearly 30 years, Ward 2 has a real choice for who will represent us on the D.C. City Council. This election is about more than venting frustration, it is about choosing a better way forward for our community. Ward 2 needs a Council member who understands and represents each of us, whatever our story may be. That is what Kishan Putta has always done. That is why I am voting for Kishan Putta. And that is why I am asking you to vote for Kishan Putta.

Kevin S. Minoli is a D.C. resident.

Published at Fri, 29 May 2020 18:04:51 +0000