Immigrant from India says he will seek federal assistance to address decades of systemic racism in urban America
Shri Thanedar, a multimillionaire Indian-American entrepreneur, author, and politician, who currently represents the 3rd district in the Michigan House, plans to run for US congressional seat held by fellow Democrat Rashida Tlaib.
Thanedar, who was a candidate in the Democratic Party primary for governor of Michigan in the 2018 election, filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Dec 21 to run for the 13th District seat, which covers large chunks of Detroit, the state’s largest city.
“My focus is on bringing federal dollars to Detroit to address infrastructure problems, economic inequalities, and to improve quality of life for the residents,” Thanedar told the Detroit Metro Times.
“I will also seek federal assistance in the form of reparations to address decades of systemic racism in urban America.”
Read: Indian Americans have come a long way in politics! (November 23, 2020)
Whether Thanedar will face off with Tlaib in the 2022 primary election is not yet known as Congressional districts are being redrawn, and Michigan is losing a US House seat because of the state’s sluggish population growth, the Times said.
Thanedar, who made his fortune in the pharmaceutical industry spent more than $10 million of his own money to run for governor in 2018 to finish third in the Democratic primary election, but won Detroit city with more than 35,000 votes.
Thanedar, who lives in Detroit, grew up in India before immigrating to the United States in 1979 to pursue a doctorate degree in chemistry.
He is a serial entrepreneur and ran many small businesses from 1990 to 2016. He is a three-time recipient of the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst and Young.
According to his official bio Thanedar grew up in a working-class family that suffered financial hardship and paid for his education by working as a teacher’s assistant.
“During that time, he earned just $300 a month and sent $75 each month to his family, who were dealing with financial hardship, could put food on the table,” it says.
After earning his PhD in Chemistry, Thanedar worked as a post-doctoral research scholar at the University of Michigan (1982-84). He also earned an MBA from Fontbonne College in 1987.
Thanedar says he supports progressive solutions, including the $15 minimum wage, because he knows how important it is for Michigan families to have opportunities to earn a good-paying wage with one job instead of needing two or three jobs to make ends meet.
Thanedar says he plans to use his knowledge, expertise, passion and dedication to bring real change for Michigan families through progressive legislation to improve equality, access and security for all.
He is passionate about promoting entrepreneurship, early-childhood education, equitable K-12 funding, affordable healthcare and racial, social and economic justice, the bio says.