Dr. Aakash Ahuja announced earlier this month his candidacy for Santa Clarita City Council. Ahuja, who ran for a council seat in 2020, said he’s running to build on the work of current council members.
“I want to build up on what they have done and take our city to even further heights,” said Ahuja, a board-certified psychiatrist working in the California state prison system.
He said despite not winning a seat last year, the 14,500 votes he did receive was, in his view, a strong showing for a newcomer.
“I want to take even a step further and I want to communicate in a better way to the residents of our city as to what I can bring to the table and how I can make the city even better,” he said.
Ahuja said his campaign would be guided by the four pillars of safety, economic prosperity, health care and education.
The candidate is opposed to defunding law enforcement, he said, and wants to partner with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to keep residents safe.
“I want to make sure that our city remains drug-free, for the benefit of our citizens and especially for the benefit of our children,” he said.
On economic prosperity, he said he wants to help small and medium business flourish and also hopes to attract larger businesses.
“It’s important that … we make the speed of the internet faster (and) that we increase the scope of our cell phone network,” said Ahuja, noting many parts of town don’t have good cellphone coverage.
Ahuja said his campaign will also focus on improvements to local health care.
“When we have good mental health care in the city, it also helps with so many other problems,” he said, noting he wants to partner with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and other health partners to provide more hospital beds, including more pediatric beds.
Ahuja, a native of India who now resides in Valencia with his wife and two young children, said the opportunity to run in the greatest democracy in the world is “an extreme privilege.”
“I get overwhelmed because I think the country has given so much,” he said. “If (I) get a chance to become a member of the City Council, I will donate 100% of my City Council pay to the local charities.”