Ashmi Sheth is mounting and a longshot bid for a congressional seat that spans the Upper West and Upper East sides and is being fought over by veteran lawmakers Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, and perennial challenger Suraj Patel.
"For us, its a chip on our shoulder to make sure that new voices are at the table, that we can build a competitive democracy and that people like me have an opportunity to run and even win," she told Errol Louis on "Inside City Hall" Thursday, adding she first planned to run for Congress ten years ago.
While working as an associate at the Federal Reverse Bank of New York, she saw people who made over $40 million a year and grew to see affordability as New York City's largest crisis.
Because of issues like this, Sheth said that its important for people who are like her - millennials, women of color, people with disabilities - "to make sure we have a voice at the table and that we can really bring power back for ordinary people in government."
Unlike other candidates, Sheth has policy positions on her website with other people's names on them.
As a first-generation American, she said it's important to her to credit the policy authors since many New Yorkers who are immigrants don't have the chance to make public policies themselves.
"Even though we have lived experiences, we do not have the opportunity to write policy or piece of legislation or even have an input or a voice for that," she said. Sheth added her team crowd sourced ideas over the last few years from 15,000 New Yokers with a wide variety of experiences.
"That is the power of bringing people together. When we can elevate their voice," Sheth said. "That's what a representative should be able to do is really bring that voice to the table."