Neeharika Thuravil for Middlesex County Freeholder
Neeharika Thuravil is a recent graduate of Rutgers University and former president of RU Progressive, one of the largest college political action groups in the state. She's been a dedicated community activist for years, trying to bring about progressive change within the state by working for candidates in New Jersey with goals of public service and equity in government and by running for office herself. After winning election to the Middlesex County Democratic Organization in 2019, she used her voice and her votes to bring about real change within the status quo by voting and lobbying on the presidential candidate receiving the MCDO's endorsement and speaking for a progressive nominee challenging the incumbent chair of the organization. Since then, she's been working through being a full-time student to focus on her community and serve its people to the best of her ability.
Her primary concerns with the county include the current Freeholders' willingness to displace New Brunswick's elementary school children in order to fund the new Rutgers Cancer Pavilion and how the county is handling their response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The surprise decision coming out of the New Brunswick city council on demolishing the Lincoln Annex Elementary School and its financial backing by the current Freeholders was undemocratic and non-transparent. Additionally, the contingency plans for the elementary school students are poorly illustrated and offer no hope of an equivalent educational opportunity. As Freeholder, Neeharika aims to offer a rectified solution in which 1. Rutgers is able to establish a collaborative cancer research center near Robert Wood Johnson hospital and 2. keeps the educational experience of Lincoln Annex's and greater New Brunswick's students as consistent, safe, and robust as possible, both in tandem.
With regard to the current pandemic, she aims to establish a robust, county-wide testing-and-tracing program. As the state is pushed towards reopening, stringent testing and tracing are paramount to deflecting another spike in cases and deaths in the state. As one of the harder-hit counties in New Jersey, she will work to advocate and vote for funding for a county program that will ensure a fully trained and equipped team of contact tracers and an increased number of rapid saliva-testing centers.
Ultimately, she aims to create a fairer, more equitable, and more just distribution of county funds so that it benefits all of Middlesex county's residents.