About the Candidate

Name: Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee
DOB: June 14, 1973
Occupation: Prior: Finance & Technology Executive at UBS Investment Bank, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, IBM, Bloomberg, and Bay Area Startups Current: Managing Partner, Zen Capital Partners, LLC (Family Investment Office)
Political Experience: UC Berkeley College Republicans & Volunteer for Bill Baker 1993-1995; Campaign Manager for US Representative Bill Baker, 1995-1997; Congressional Aide for US Representative Bill Baker, 1995-1997; Campaign Manager for U.S. Representative Bill Baker, 1995‐1997; Congressional Aide for U.S. Representative Bill Baker, 1995‐1997
Website: ValForCongress.com
Twitter: @ValForCongress

Candidate Statement

Hi - My name is Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee. I am the Republican nominee running to represent District 10 in Congress. If elected I will be the 1st Hispanic American woman to represent IL in the US Congress and the 1st mom for our district.

About me: I don’t come from privilege. I’m not a politician. I’m a first-generation college student, was raised by a single mom who escaped domestic abuse, almost became homeless as a child, many in my family were on welfare, in prison, on drugs, grew up in projects – these experiences are still vivid in my memory today even after all of these years.

My way out of that life. Education. Performance. Smart choices.

I am thankful for those who have served this district in the past – this is a really, really hard job. But as the district has changed, we also need to change who represents us.

So many in our district are being left behind. They don’t have role models to look up to – few look like them - and those serving them don’t understand their struggles.

My challenger has been in office 6 years, raised 20 million bucks and has gotten 0 of his bills passed. And the bills he brings – not the bills many where I come from care about, like a better education. Go look. You can see for yourself. Congress.gov.

Our district has changed. We need new leadership that reflects those changes.

My focus will be: Better jobs and better education. I know what education and a better job did to change my life. I went from community college to UC Berkeley, and on to get 2 Ivy league graduate degrees from Columbia and Wharton. Those degrees opened the doors at some of the most exclusive firms in this country like Goldman Sachs, UBS, IBM, Bloomberg. But once those doors opened, I had to perform. And I did just that – no matter the obstacle, no matter my starting line.

I’ll never forget where I come from, who hires and fires me, and I will hold myself accountable to perform – as I have demonstrated my entire life. 

My only ask is give me a chance and vote Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee. Thank you.

Candidate Q&A

Why are you running?

To bring performance and accountability back into politics. While we face unprecedented economic, health, and safety challenges, our country is being torn apart by political extremes, led by career politicians and influential donors. This needs to change. My opponent, Congressman Brad Schneider, is well meaning and well liked. However, his performance for IL-10 is just embarrassing. He has raised and spent almost $20m to get elected. However, in his six years in office, his singular achievement has been – nothing. According to www.congress.gov, not one of his sponsored bills has become law. In fact, his bills haven’t even cleared the Democrat controlled house, which places him in the bottom decile of his peers who have collectively passed 624 bills. Ironically, this is true about several IL representatives. When all else fails, unproductive politicians pass bills to rename post offices, co-sponsor other’s bills and become star fundraisers for the party to get on powerful committees. These are the games being played in Congress instead of working for the people who elected them.

Although I am a first-time candidate, I feel confident that I can and will do much better. In every facet of my life and career, I have adapted and achieved, regardless of circumstances. Raised in a working-class neighborhood by a single mom who escaped violent domestic abuse, I transformed my life through education and self-financed my way through UC Berkeley, Columbia, and Wharton. I then became a top performer at some of the most prestigious Wall Street and Silicon Valley firms, including UBS, Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Bloomberg, IBM and Bay area startups. If elected, I will bring the same vigor and ethos to the job. Given that my campaign is grassroots and self-funded, I am also unencumbered by party politics and free to focus on constructive, sustainable, and impactful legislation on behalf of my hiring managers - the voters of the district. Given where the country is, I feel an intense and urgent responsibility to do something to help change the future of our district, state, and country. That is why I am running and running now.

What is your vision for this office?

To create the conditions that reverse the exodus of families and businesses from the district and state. We have amazing assets – geography, proximity to a major city, advanced multi-modal infrastructure, world-class universities, top schools, access to high-quality healthcare, and an affordable cost of living. Logically, the region should be a highly desirable commercial and residential global hub. Yet, due to the lack of checks and balances, fiscal mismanagement, and high taxation, the exodus continues. My vision for the office is to focus on four key initiatives - Jobs, Education, Taxes, and Safety (JETS) to help reverse this exodus:

1. More New Economy Jobs: Convince national and global multinationals to consider locating high-paying new economy jobs to the district. This would have a multiplier effect on the local economy since each such job could spawn five or more. 

2. Better Educational Outcomes: I have experienced first-hand how education can transform lives. I believe there are considerable opportunities to leverage but reimagine federal and state programs and re-deploy resources to dramatically improve educational outcomes across the district and help fill the demand for new economy jobs locally. 

3. Lower Taxes: Partisan supermajority and fiscal mismanagement have only created new taxes, not new taxpayers. This is unsustainable and creates a cycle of further taxation and continued emigration. The only fix for this is to reject unsustainable tax proposals, and, instead, address the fiscal reforms and create the conditions necessary to attract new families and businesses to the region and district.

4. Safer Streets and Neighborhoods: Instead of band-aids and impractical police reforms and burdensome regulations, we need to fundamentally reimagine public safety. Instead of policing, the public safety approach of Glencoe, IL, where officers are cross-trained in police, fire, and EMT functions, is worth emulating. While an officer may show up to arrest you if you cause trouble, the same officer may show up to help you if you are in trouble, which automatically engenders a level of mutual compassion and trust, while saving costs, improving utilization and quality. 

If executed well, I believe these initiatives can quickly reverse the exodus and make the district and state a desirable destination again. Conversely, if we do not create the right circumstances for families and businesses to “jet in” they will continue to “jet out” of the district.

What do you think is the most pressing issue facing your constituents and how do you plan on addressing it?

In the immediate term, recovering and rebuilding from the impacts of the pandemic. Over the long term, jobs, and education. I would work with the executive branch and across the aisle to pass legislation that delivers urgent financial help directly to constituents until the pandemic is behind us. At the same time, we need to leverage this crisis to grow instead of tax our way to success. This could include several initiatives, such as - eliminate unnecessary regulations and red tape, speed up the approvals process, reduce or eliminate taxes, expand loans and funding programs to start new economy businesses, provide one-time tax relief to corporations to repatriate foreign profits back to the US if they re-invest 50% of these funds in creating new economy US jobs, leverage technology to eliminate waste in government spending and entitlement programs, reinstate federal state and local tax exemptions, provide forgivable loans to start new businesses and encourage global companies to relocate jobs to US through tax breaks and tariff relief.

Long term, we need more new economy jobs and better educational outcomes for the district.  Despite its many unique advantages to be a desirable commercial hub, the exodus from the state and district continues, due to the lingering reputational damage and punitive tax burden.  Similarly, despite being home to some of the best schools and colleges in the country, the educational standards across the district are unequal. This continues to decimate property values and increase the tax burden on those who remain. Like other states with punitive tax burdens, the lack of checks and balances and fiscal irresponsibility has placed the state and district in an untenable situation that, if left unaddressed, will predictably lead to the financial collapse of the state economy and government.

In contrast, competitor states and communities with fiscal discipline but far fewer advantages are growing due to business and resident-friendly policies. My priority will be to help reimagine the power of the federal purse and define a clear path to reverse the exodus and stabilize our economic future. This starts with specific initiatives to attract new economy jobs through federal, state, and district-level programs targeting domestic and global multinationals and redirect federal funds directly to teachers and students to improve educational outcomes. Given my background, I believe I have a unique set of life and commercial experiences to credibly pursue such initiatives, if elected.