At 29 years old, Shrina Kurani is the youngest of the five candidates for the 41st Congressional seat and the one who grew up in the district.
From Riverside and a valedictorian graduate of La Sierra High School, she earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Riverside. She traveled to Sweden to earn a graduate degree in sustainability.
After some corporate work as an engineer, Kurani is now an environmental entrepreneur. She focuses on clean technology for water quality, food systems and reducing waste.
She advocates making health care more affordable, expanding job opportunities, and restoring the damaged supply chain. Her website provides her positions on the major and current issues, such as education, retirement security, criminal justice reforms, equality and others.
When asked for a specific major problem affecting the district, Kurani quickly replied, “Climate change.” She wants to speed the transition to renewable energy sources and favors installing heat pumps in many buildings.
“These are more energy efficient and will improve if we increase our ability to store energy,” Kurani noted.
Other important issues she sees as critical to the future of her prospective constituents are inflation and increases in the cost of living due to gas prices soaring and the cost of prescription medicines. She faulted Calvert, the incumbent, for voting against Social Security and Medicare.
While Calvert is the target of all four challengers, only two will be on the November ballot. Kurani must also outpoll fellow Democrat Will Rollins.
And her strategy is to emphasize that the cities and communities within the 41st District have always been her home. Rollins is a recent resident.
“I have a track record of delivering for these communities,” she stated. “I’ve been working on environmental issues since the beginning of my career.”
Through the end of March, she has collected more than $400,000 for her first campaign. “I’m incredibly lucky and honored to receive support from so many folks across the region,” she said proudly. Nevertheless, she trails Rollins in campaign financing.
Kurani is familiar with Idyllwild and the Hill. “My dad took me hiking there many times,” she said enthusiastically. On one trip, she admitted that she injured her ankle and “… was too tired to keep hiking. My dad put me on his shoulders and walked me out.”
In order to maintain these types of tourist and visitor attractions, Kurani stressed the necessity for protection from wildfires.
“It’s a very important issue and starting to get worse as the climate exacerbates the change in the environment and drought conditions,” she accentuated. “And we need to invest in infrastructure so that Idyllwild continues to be accessible. That’s good quality roads.”
Emphasizing her difference from her opponents, Kurani wrote on her website, “I’m an engineer, entrepreneur, and fact-based problem solver, not a politician. I’m running for Congress to make things work better in Washington so we can develop a sustainable future for Riverside County where people feel safe, healthy, and have opportunities to succeed in fulfilling jobs.”
And she concluded the interview with this comment, “If elected, I will protect the people, lead a science-based approach and work with the local people.”