Aakash Ahuja, a psychiatrist and Santa Clarita City Council candidate, said Monday that, if elected, he would donate 100% of his council member salary to local charities, as well as focus on reducing traffic congestion and improving school safety.
Ahuja, a local resident and father of two, said several of the topics his campaign centers around, such as reducing traffic congestion and tackling the homeless crisis, are similar to that of other candidates — but what separates him from other contenders is his pledge to directly give back.
“I owe it to the city that has given me and my family a great community to live in, so I want to make a pledge in that I think helping the city and residents is our duty and for that, I’ll give 100% of my Santa Clarita City Council salary to local charities to provide relief to veterans, teachers, firefighters and children of all abilities,” he said.
After an October vote by the City Council to increase compensation, those holding a seat in 2021 would earn more than $2,200 per month.
Ahjua said he would continue with his day job: a psychiatrist at a Lancaster prison.
He would also look into ways to reduce traffic in a “city that has been growing,” by rezoning and creating business districts “to get more jobs within the city and fewer people traveling out,” as well as by improving and increasing public transportation.
On healthcare, Ahjua said he has communicated with officials from Kaiser Permanente, UCLA and Cedars-Sinai over the possibility of building another hospital in Santa Clarita.
After the Saugus High School shooting in November, Ahuja said school safety is also on his radar and would emphasize enhancing resources, such as increased counseling at schools. Making Santa Clarita a drug-free city and creating more local jobs are also a priority, he said.
The Santa Clarita City Council election will take place in November.