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Rishi first politician in California to accept Cryptocurrency

Rishi first politician in California to accept Cryptocurrency
December 07
06:29 2017

Rishi Kumar

SARATOGA, CA: Saratoga City Councilmember Rishi Kumar is the first politician in California to begin accepting campaign contributions in cryptocurrencies. The campaign contributions in cryptocurrencies are currently being made via his campaign website www.RishiKumar. com/contribute and it has already begun receiving contributions.

This is no surprise to Silicon Valley circles that Rishi has applied some innovation to his 2018 re-election campaign’s fundraising. He is currently a Silicon Valley hi-tech senior executive, a bitcoin enthusiast who actively brainstorms with other crypto currency aficionados locally, and is a former IBMer.

As Saratoga’s councilmember, he seeks to apply the hi-tech framework to city government and offer services that are cheaper, faster and better for his community.

During his first term on the city council, Rishi has made a huge impact in handling two critical issues for Saratoga: crime and super high water bills. Communication has been his strength as he consistently keeps the community informed and engaged with the latest issues, while proactively running grassroots campaigns to resolve them.

Rishi’s 2018 re-election campaign line is “Real Impact, Real Results, Re-elect Rishi”. He certainly has accomplished results by applying the hi-tech results driven framework to his leadership on the city council.

“It is the Silicon Valley mindset to constantly innovate”, Rishi explained. “That is exactly what I seek to do whether as a hi-tech executive crafting out an enterprise transformation strategy, whether serving my community of Saratoga or campaigning for office. It is exciting to redefine the playbook, leverage the latest tools of the day, and innovate just a tad. Disruption is what Silicon Valley does best; it won’t be fun otherwise!”

Rishi certainly has been innovating! During his 2014 run for Saratoga City Council, he launched the very first social media campaign ever in Saratoga’s city council elections.

His approach then was to launch multiple channels of engagement with the citizens of Saratoga, creating campaign mechanisms that had hitherto not been explored prior in the elections. It proved to be successful, winning his very first run.

He continues to follow his passion in empowering the youth, running various youth STEM programs locally in Silicon Valley such as coding programs and robotics. He recently launched a Big Data, Analytics semester long program that presents contextual relevancy of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cognitive Science, Block Chain and Data Sciences to this complex topic, that has farmed out so many Silicon Valley startups.

These STEM programs are offered for no charge and available to anyone in the local community, run via a non-profit that he chairs.

Rishi Kumar offers a unique spectrum in California politics, bringing a nexus of hi-tech, policy, non-profit and government, for community, creativity, charity and a thriving economy. He is constantly exploring options to exercise this unique confluence of skills for the good. He understands the security and regulatory challenges that can arise with innovation, and has presented position papers on complex technology topics to members of the California Legislature.

It has to be noted that Federal Election Commission (FEC) has unanimously approved a super PAC’s proposal to accept bitcoins as donations with a few caveats. Last year major presidential candidate Rand Paul accepted bitcoin donations. Libertarian presidential candidate Austin Petersen who is now running for U.S. Senate is currently doing the same.

How will crypto campaign contributions evolve? Will FEC regulate this or not anymore? That is to be determined. But Cryptocurrency is now creeping into every single societal use case. Councilmember Rishi Kumar of Saratoga just got the ball rolling in politics for the state of California.

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