Padma grew up in the US, but her family moved back to India in the early 80s. As a teenager who very much identified as an American, it wasn’t the easiest move. But it made her appreciate her life in the US even more. She returned to the States as soon as she could—going to grad school with two suitcases, $250 and the belief that nothing was going to stop her, especially prevailing attitudes that engineering was only for men.
After starting a family, Padma moved to Michigan, where she realized that building a tight-knit community happens from the ground up. She has served on the Boards of the Troy Historic Society and Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and volunteered with The Troy Community Coalition and PTAs from K-12. She was a founding member of the Troy-area Interfaith Group, and helped organize the National Day of Prayer Celebration.
Padma was also appointed to the Troy Planning Commission, where she introduced a Tree Protection Ordinance that was eventually approved by Troy City Council. Recently, she organized a bi-partisan effort for the “No” Vote on the Extreme Charter Amendment.
Professionally, Padma has been everything from a systems manager at a university-based non-profit to a project manager with Chrysler. Most recently she was a business analyst in auto finance. I’ve also had the opportunity to contribute to MetroParent magazine and work for a locally owned business based right here in Troy.
Read more on Padma's website.
We have great public schools in Troy and Clawson. And I’d like to keep it that way. But I’m concerned about the impact of many of the policies currently being introduced, especially funding charter schools at the expense of public education. Accessible, affordable, high-quality education is essential to closing the opportunity gap. We must ensure that students from all income levels, races, and abilities are progressing in their academic and social development. We must continue to provide a public education that values the whole child and helps them develop 21st-century skills. We must customize programs to each child’s abilities, and measure individual progress when evaluating the effectiveness of programs. Let’s focus our efforts on educating students, not taking tests.
I support legislation that 1. Gives schools more flexibility to get funds to cover necessary expenses. 2. Requires all public schools to contribute to the teacher retirement fund and return the School Aid Fund to its intended purpose of solely funding K-12 schools. I believe in a research-based education policy and support reducing class sizes, investing in early childhood education, and creating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs in every high school. And of course, we must value the challenging work our teachers face each day, and provide them with the tools and resources they need to reach every child’s potential for learning.
We live in a beautiful state. But I’m concerned about the environmental impact of many of the policies currently being introduced. I believe a science-based policy is critical to sustaining our planet. As a Troy Planning Commissioner, I’ve championed efforts to protect green space for our families, while also promoting growth and development. I’ve also worked with Michigan Interfaith Power & Light, a faith response to global warming, offering practical ways to put faith into action by promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainable practices that lead to a cleaner, healthier and juster world. In the end, an effective environmental policy must be built through consensus. If we want to have successful policies that balance science, economics, and social issues, we cannot approach this issue from a Republican vs. Democrat point-of-view. Listening to and understanding each other will lead to effective political partnerships and policies that encompass everyone’s interests.
In Michigan, infrastructure often refers to the terrible condition of our roads. Thanks to years of poor decision-making in Lansing, our roads are an embarrassment and a safety hazard. They force residents to spend millions on costly auto repairs every year. They need to be fixed, now. I prefer a long-term solution over a short-term fix: reducing weight limits on heavy trucks, holding contractors accountable for the road work they do, and increasing our overweight truck fees. From our roads to our water supply, we need to enact policy that helps everyday families. As a Troy Planning Commissioner, I have gone the extra mile to promote infrastructure that attracts residents and businesses. Making this district a place that people want to live and work is crucial to growing our tax base and creating a sustainable economy for generations to come.
Due to partisan gerrymandering, Republicans hold a drastically unfair advantage and are over-represented in the Michigan state legislature. It’s critical for Democrats to win seats and make blue inroads before the 2021 redistricting.
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