Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!

Dear Friends and Family,
Happy Thanksgiving! I sincerely hope that you are enjoying this time with friends and family. Thanksgiving holiday is a special time to share your gratitude for what the year has given and accomplishments you have made.
To be honest, I have so very much to be thankful for this year 2017 – so much to reminisce about and achievement I have made as I thrive to provide services for the mentally ill in the state. I can’t describe the overwhelming support for my campaign for CA Governor.
I’m grateful to so many supporters throughout the state, including:
• Indian community in Northern California
• Families of patients who get me going every day
• Community leaders who believe in my policies for a better California
• Elected officials who encourage me to serve the community everywhere I go
• Employees of mine who inspire me to lead every moment
• The veteran community who know I hold their flag with patriotism and charisma

I’m very grateful to all of my supporters who have been so courteously made great contributions large and small to this campaign. These are incredible people who have given their precious time and resources to a campaign they believe in. I would like to thank those who have made great comments on social media sending their undeniable support pushing me to bring this message of hope for a better and more equal California.

Thank you again fellow Californians for rising to the occasion in this campaign. I am absolutely supper thrilled for what is ahead of us, lost for word for your relentless support.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

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Paid for by Dr. Kumar 4 Governor 2018 FPPC ID# 1395878. 2249 Pacheco Street Concord, CA 94520

Dr. Harmesh Kumar 4 Governor 2018
2249 Pacheco Street
Concord, CA 94520 USA

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Interfaith Vigil for the Victims of Las Vegas shooting

It’s with great sadness we mourn for the 59 lives that were lost during this horrific mad-man shooting in Las Vegas, NV. I believe we are better than that as humans; in our pursuit of justice and equality for all we should speak hatred and evil. Interfaith of Contra Costa County and myself spoke of the sense of unity our nation needs as it heals from this tragic event.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families as they now are trying to cope with this loss. We unite behind them in pursuit of better days to come. This gun lawlessness has to stop once and for all.

Deaths of Despair in Middle Aged White Men – Are Our Leaders Listening?

American companies have created a great financial wealth all over the world. Technology on one hand has made our lives so much mechanical, and functional. However, on the other hand, it has eroded the trust and faith in the human beings. It created more social and individual isolation in human beings here and it is happening all over the world. The jobs which 100 people were doing are being done by one individual replacing 99 human beings with a machine. All those people who are laid off from their jobs still have their basic needs and their families’ needs which they requires sustenance.

The meaningful work is as essential to human beings as breathing to life. All those laid off employees, i.e. human beings suffer from extreme low self-esteem, isolation and depression. Sometimes it leads to unintended emotional consequences which our leaders and policy makers have been ignoring for the last four to five decades in United States and also in European and Asian countries due to free trade fad. It has destroyed long term stability of the global family systems. Sometimes these corporations exploited human feelings and emotions to advance their agenda of making huge profits while ignoring the human sufferings through very seductive and enticing TV and Radio commercials.

I started the non-profit mental health agency more than two decades ago (1993) in Concord to serve the local underserved. In fact, I was very new in Contra Costa County (CCC) at that time and approached the local leadership to help those who needed us the most, the underserved and the poor inflicted with mental illness and their families. Intriguingly enough, we were told we were the new kids on the block and that CCC had already established contractors in place for such services. Therefore, we were adamantly denied any likely funding by the leadership of CCC Mental Health. Nevertheless, we did not give up and tried to knock on the doors at the Federal Government for funding and we succeeded. However, it has been almost a quarter century with the CCC Mental Health leadership; nothing has changed in CCC since then.

In another attempt, I tried to approach our local county supervisor, Honorable Karen Mitchoff for help in getting more services for people with mental disabilities rather than more jails but got no help. It was a very sad day for the local mentally ill, their families and the homeless community at larger. These are not undocumented people but the less fortunate born and raised here locally. Also, their families have been crying for help for many years, and our local leaders and policy makers are failing them consistently.

Midlife Crisis

Besides, I was trying for many months to schedule an appointment with Honorable Mitchoff to discuss how to save the county and the tax payer’s funds to provide community based residential and outpatient supportive services to people with mental disabilities and the homeless. I wanted to offer my 33 years of experience as a mental health professional to service our county residents. I also wanted to share with the County Supervisor my learning from a recent conference on mental illness, and the latest research in the field. I wanted to share all these things. In fact, it has been very clear that the mentally ill and juveniles who are kept in the community based programs show better outcomes than those who are kept in institutions including jails.

Our County Supervisor, rather than listening to what I was suggesting her opted to shut me down with unfair helpless arguments and pessimistic attitudes that there is nothing she could lawfully do and that there is not enough funding available. From what I can confirmedly gather funding is not the issue, but rather the ignorance and insincerity to the local people. Rather our elected leaders have loyalty and sincerity to special interests who typically fund local elections. It is very disturbing that CCC has taken significant chunk of funding for administrative costs even from AB 109 funding which should have gone to provide real services to those mentally ill and homeless.

The Contra Costa Board of Supervisors has voted to provide funding to build a new jail facility to provide services to mentally ill patients in the new prison. There were shocking statistics from during one the Board meetings where it was mentioned how many people were in the county jail in Martinez who needed mental health services.

It is very surprising to see that when the research is consistently showing that mentally ill patients show more functional outcomes in the community based programs rather than in the jail or institution based programs, then why our Board of Supervisors voted for more jails and spend our money on institutions which do not create positive outcomes or leads to more recidivism? All of us need to find that out from our leaders on what information their decisions are based on. My hunch is that they are getting paid from those lobbyists and consultants. That is the reason they will not adopt a common sense approach to provide those services in the community with less barriers to common people rather than in jails.

I was trying for many years to provide a common sense approach for the community and also for the families of those who cannot afford to travel outside the county and are blocked by the bureaucratic and jail boundaries. I think I agree with our current President that there are too many rules and regulations that impede delivery of real and affordable services to ordinary people and our current leaders are not fulfilling their promises to the ordinary people rather to the special interests who fund their political campaigns.

We do need to change such leaders who feel helpless and hopeless to provide solutions to our local problems in our community like homelessness and mental illness. We do need to change our county and state leadership in the next election, being the candidate of California Governor; I will be working hard to bring that change. I would appreciate the support of the local community and citizens of our Golden State to make it a reality.

Recidivism Reduction Symposium 2017

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County organized the recidivism symposium in Richmond on July 20, 2017. I was honored along with other panelists to be part of the panel discussion to find common causes why people end up back in prison after they are released. The penal included along with Dr. Harmesh Kumar, a licensed psychologist, Sonja Tonnesen, Deputy Director at Root & Rebound, John Gioia, District Supervisor , Nicholas Alexander, Reentry Success Center, Pamela Singh, Executive Director at Wellness City Challenge,and Rhody McCoy, Director Economic Development, CCC.

The major goal of the prison system in the United States is to rehabilitate its prisoners in the hopes that they will not continue to live a life of crime. Unfortunately, there are some individuals who will return to their former criminal life. This phenomenon is known as recidivism, which is the recurrence of criminal activity after an individual serves prison time for a prior crime. It can be a measurement of a person’s return to crime, or of repeated arrest or conviction.

The panelists explored the various barriers for prisoners which cause recidivism. One of the major reasons is the racial bias. Afro-American and Latino communities are disproportionally represented in the prison population. According to Ms. Tonnesen, who is an attorney and Deputy Director of Root and Rebound, there are more than 48,000 legal barriers for former prisoners to get a job at local, state and federal level in United States.

Mr. John Gioia, District County Supervisor, reported that Contra Costa County has allocated 5 million of 20 million dollars for job training, housing and mental health services for those who are getting out of the prison. However, Rhody McCoy, Director Economic Development, Contra Costa County mentioned that county is not doing enough especially for people of color in our county. The racially biased policies are not helping those in need. Dr. Kumar also mentioned that county is spending only 25% of the financial resources allocated by the state for people who are getting out of the prisons and remaining 75% is spent to build new jail in the county and for other administrative costs.

Dr. Kumar also reported that there are so many reasons why individuals return to a life of crime following imprisonment. Some important reasons for recidivism are; lack of socialization, lack of job training, inability to obtain employment, inability to reintegrate into society after returning from prison, antisocial attitudes (hurt people, hurt people), restlessness, association with other criminals, impulsiveness, lack of education or access thereof, lack of support, substance abuse, neglect or abuse by parents or guardians.

Some of policy makers are very pessimistic that recidivism will never disappear and there is no certain cure. They say that felons tend to be losers, and only some of them can be straightened out. So, recidivism is not going to hit zero according to them. However, there is ample evidence that with more investment in long-term social-emotional support systems, economic opportunities, affordable housing and mental health services, there can be a significant reduction in the recidivism. We need to educate the community and the policy makers about investing in the well-being of those coming out of prisons after serving their time and that approach will benefit everyone and will save money to tax payers.

There is strong empirical evidence that people who are reintegrated into the community do better than those who are provided services in the prisons or in locked institutions. Dr. Kumar and all other panelists thanked Mr. Evodio Walle, President of Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Contra Costa County for inviting to this great panel discussion.

Welcome to East Contra Costa County District Attorney Town Hall 2017

It’s with distinctive honor and pleasure I divulge this great event that took place today (9/9/2017) at Miracle Temple 2425 Cutting BLVD Richmond, CA 94804. Notwithstanding, I’d like to congratulate Contra Costa County Racial Justice Coalition who coordinated this event for the community of Richmond and neighboring cities of CCC (Contra Costa County).

It was refreshing to hear these candidates (some sitting judges) say they unequivocally oppose massive incarceration, severe sentences in case of youthful misdemeanor and case to case death penalty rulings. As a candidate for California Governor I favor candidates who although want to uprightly uphold the rule of law also share a sense of compassion and love for others and believe in restorative justice model.

This event shed a light of what kind of community we strive in Contra Costa County and California as a whole. Seeing these candidates engage with the community, answering questions, hearing concerns and fears really took fear and worry out of the room. The rule of law should certainly be upheld, though a community District Attorney oriented person should also be taken into account when deciding who should take the post of CCC District Attorney.

The major thing I must point out during the event was when it was openly discussed the possibility of town halls and accountability discussion panels to hold CCC leading attorney accountable and sensitive to the needs of the community. We can’t talk about the past and how Mr. Mark Peterson held his office; I think it is water under the bridge, but now a more focused people first leader is what this county demands and readily craves.

As a candidate for Governor I can’t sit around and not participate in these events to help this needed community. I must hear these concerns and address them myself knowing fully well why this trend of intense criminalization of every day Californian must stop. It is inconceivable there are more incarceration facilities being built than school and hospitals in our vast communities. As if it is a directory we should uphold; a thousand times NO.

We can’t allow private enterprises to profit off of the disparity and misery of our low income citizens especially off of people of color in our state. As one of the candidates said in the forum that being poor is not criminal and our system is treating poor people as criminal especially people of color. I won’t vote or support any DA candidate who thinks our people are for sale; those days are over. Should I be your candidate for governor you should rest assured I will fight for every Californian being the state leader for everyone no matter race, language, tribe or creed.

I want voters to know I am out there hearing your interests, concerns and worries. I pledge to continue on attending these events to inform the public I want to help you the people of our great state. We can’t play politics with people’s lives any longer. It’s time to stand tall and firm to uphold what’s right, fair and equitable. Our local, state and federal budget should invest in people’s needs and not the needs of the institutions and or corporations. I myself as your governor will thrive to meet voters across the state taking every question very seriously. I won’t stop, I won’t surrender, I won’t back down…our future is on the line and that I truly hold dear.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Kumar 4 Governor 2018

A Concept of “Smart City, Smart Home” Soulless Slogan?

I was very impressed with the presentation of the consultants in workshop on June 17, 2017 on the development of the Concord Naval Weapon Station and the vision for Concord Naval Weapon Station in the years to come. They beautifully explained the concepts of “Smart City and Smart Homes”. However, I asked the question to one of the consultants, is this proposal of “Smart City and Smart Home” a concept for ordinary people or for multinational corporations (billionaires) to remotely control all of us in our own homes? I wonder what it means in the world where most of the labor jobs are being taken by computers and automation? We know that it is becoming hard for most of the men and women to find a meaningful employment to raise their families in the safe environment. Do we as human beings giving more control to those companies to manage our homes and lives? Do we have to pay them to ask them when we can eat or sleep or how we can raise our children? Is this the concept of “Smart City or Smart Home”? These are very relevant questions we need to find the answers. The consultant told me that she did not have answers to those questions.
Next day I was reading an article in the East Bay Times by Jeremy Cloward on,” Capitalism a real threat to American Republic” where he mentioned “20 individuals owned half of the wealth than bottom half of the American people combined and 62 people on the planet possess more wealth than the bottom half of the humanity combined” We really need to pay attention to who is going to be the real owners of these Smart Cities or Homes?. These questions like many more I would like to explore in the next Governor’s debates and I am looking forward to share my piece. Please visit my website for suggestion or feedback at www.drkumar4governor.com

London Madness Needs Strong Condemnation from All

Being member and part of the Interfaith council of Contra Costa County, I have leaned over the years that all the spiritual paths were unanimous in putting a code of ethics in place that nobody’s army during wars or battles will kill innocent people.
This act by terrorists is inhumane and very cowardly act to kill innocent people in London and last week in Manchester. This is a time to reflect on what our leaders and we as citizens could do to prevent these incidents from happening in the future. It is not the time for our President to find fault with the Mayor of London who happens to be a Muslim as he condemned this cowardly attack on his city’s citizens. The mayor is taking care of the situation at hand and calming the citizens and asking the public not to react in anger.

We know what happened when Indira Gandhi was killed by two Sikh bodyguards as a revenge for attacking the Golden Temple. Many innocent Sikhs were killed in Delhi because some leaders added fuel to the anger over her assassination by inciting violence against Sikhs. The mob behavior never solves any issue or problem rather it creates more problems and emotional wounds. All Punjabis and Sikhs in particular cannot forget the attack on the Golden Temple in 1984. However, many people tried to create divisions between Hindus and Sikhs in Punjab at that time but they did not succeed because in every family, half were Sikhs and half family members were Hindus. They knew each other and have family relationships with each other. Unfortunately, this mechanism (understanding) did not work during 1947 partition of India and Pakistan where millions of innocent people were killed because Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims were divided by the distorted thinking leaders of that time as they tried to divide people with their own hidden agendas during partition.

That thinking could not succeed in 1984. The same is true in this country after 911 when a Sikh, Balbir Singh Sodhi was killed by a white male, Frank Roque, when he shouted ”I stand for America all the way,”. His statement was not the statement of all Americans. Our national leaders, Democrats and Republicans never bought into the argument that America is only a white land. All my Sikh brothers and sisters could not blame all whites or American Government for killing their brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi. I really liked what a true Sikh, Maan Singh Khalsa, East Bay man who was the victim of a hate crime spoke after the sentencing of those who attacked him and said, “I still consider you my brothers as human beings,” Khalsa said. “I hope one day you will consider me your brother too.” This concept of forgiveness is so hard for some to grasp in this litigious society. But this is one of the ways to heal wounds.

The pictures of army and police officers with guns brings flashbacks of those horrible and dark days of terror in Punjab and how frightened we all were when I was in my formative years and many innocent youth were killed by security forces to stop the terror. I hope history does not repeat that situation in London in the days to come.

I believe that terrorism is a very complex problem (political, economic, psycho-social and spiritual in nature) and it needs to be addressed in a sincere manner by our current global, national, and local leadership and by all of us in our local communities. We are lacking a true leadership on this issue. I convey my sincere condolences to all those families who lost their loved ones in this attack and wish our leaders have the courage to find solutions to these complex problems. We all need to find true causes of terrorism, which are not only plaguing Muslim community but Christians, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs and even Buddhists. We need to find humane solutions and not based on blaming one religion over the other. A true leader is the one who does not exploit others sorrow and brings people together rather than divide them.
*******

An Analysis of British and US Election

The key feature of the British Election of June 8th 2017 and the US election of Nov 2016 is that neither the pundits nor the politicians understand the voter sentiment.
As for the UK elections, until a few days ago pundits predicted a Tory victory, then exit polls predicted a hung parliament. Equally, in the USA until the 11th hour pundits predicted a victory for Democrats, but on Election Day the voters did not reflect the expectations of the Pundits.
Hindsight is always 20-20 and various, excuses will be made and have been made! Yet, there is no attempt to neither accept the voter’s choice nor understand its cause. Even as Pundits study their data models to explain the outcome and Politicians grapple with the election, results and scramble to organize what they term to be an effective political power base. They fail to include the voters and understand the voter sentiment.
One fact is common to many elections, which have taken place around the world. Voters and the public are tired of the political strife and lack of productive and/or effective government. These elections both global and within our nation should be a wakeup call to our politicians and their backers. The voter is not happy with the way you are doing things and above all the voters are not happy being ignored.
Reflecting on the British election, I feel it is very important for us in California as we prepare to elect our next governor in November 2018 that politicians now understand:
• They cannot bait and switch.
• They need keep their promises after they get our votes.
• The outcome of any referendum or initiative is a mandate for the legislative and executive branch to implement and make happen as directed by the voters.
As your governor, I pledge to honor you, the voters and adhere to all the voter mandated referendums or initiatives to the letter. I pledge not to redirect funding from a voter directed mandate with complete transparency to insure every penny is spent as directed by you.
Over the coming months leading up to the November 2018 Gubernatorial Election, I ask that as you select your choice for governor. Please ask yourself one simple question: “Did the person/s I voted to elect keep their promises?”. In asking for your support I pledge to you my commitment “A Promise made will be a Promise kept!”

The Cover Up by UC President

The cover up by UC President is not an isolated incident to waste public money. There have been so many examples of that waste. Some are hidden in the spiking of pensions of favorable employees who helped political candidates. This is the reason the respect for educational institutions and for people who worked hard to get an excellent education is eroding in the public. The respect for Mighty Dollar is on the rise putting the well-being of all human beings at risk, thus the trust of our educational system is diminishing.  The parents and students have to suffer the consequences of this waste. That is why we need leaders from the local communities who are uncontaminated, trustworthy, well-respected and have the track record to serve others rather than themselves or their masters.

I Have Released My Campaign’s Platform

California Residents,

I have released my vision for a better California. I made it available on my website and sent copies to the press and our local elected officials.

My vision for a better California includes an emphasis on things such as keeping our streets safe promoting a Police Department people friendly, promoting more affordable housing for our seniors especially veterans who deserve our praise for their selfless service, etc.

I would hope all California voters would take the time to view and consider my platform.

As always, you can contact me here if you have any questions or feel that there is an issue I have omitted.

Thank You for your continued interest and support,

Dr. Harmesh Kumar