Gowda, who has lived in Staten Island for more than three decades, served as the first vice president of Local 375, the Civil Service Technical Guild, and is a longtime member of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor.
One of his core campaign issues is fixing New York City’s infrastructure, such as the deteriorating Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).
“Unfortunately, everything is old and crumbling,” Gowda said. “Unless we fix the infrastructure, we’re going to pay dearly.”
Gowda is also a transportation advocate. He wants Staten Island to have more designated bus service, extended light rail and ferry service to Brooklyn.
“It’s so hard to get from point A to point B,” he said.
As a former president of the Community Education Council (CEC) for District 31 and Community Board 1 member in Staten Island, Gowda said he would also focus on issues like health care, schools and gentrification.
Gowda said he’s opposed to Staten Island seceding from New York City. He said leaving would not solve any problems, but instead create new ones.
“You can’t just run away from the city,” he said. “That is not well thought out, it’s a bad idea.”
Gowda has also pledged to not accept campaign contributions from corporate PACs, special interest groups or real estate developers. He said he is confident he will raise money for his “people’s campaign.”
“I refused to be bought by anyone,” he said.
Gowda also called himself a “real Democrat” who won’t stymie progressive issues in Albany. The Democratic primary will take place on Tuesday, June 23.
“I’m going to make my case,” he said. “I’m confident people will rise up to the occasion and do what is right.”