MEET OMAR QUDRAT: My two sisters and I were born and raised in Southern California. After leaving California to attend law school and to serve our nation abroad and at home with the U.S. Department of Defense, I returned to find my home state much worse off than when I left it. We need change now.
Here are just a few of the conditions I saw upon returning home:
- Businesses continue to fail or flee to neighboring states taking jobs with them
- State taxes increase while good jobs decrease and cost of living soars
- Retirement plans of the past aren't enough anymore for so many of us
- Cost of rent and housing continues to climb while pay doesn't keep up and good jobs continue to disappear from our state
- CA debt (now approximately $1.3 trillion) is unsustainable
- Our national debt (about $20 trillion--560% of annual federal revenues and 106% of our nation's GDP) is a national security risk
- Our public schools are failing our kids
- Terror attacks at home are on the rise
- Our veterans in San Diego and SoCal are facing a healthcare and homelessness crisis.
This is not our San Diego and not our California. Our city and state has limitless potential--we can achieve our goals if we join together. San Diego needs innovative and aggressive people with real life experience, a fierce desire to break the status quo, and achievable plans to meet our goals. Empty talking points and zero results from failed politicians won't cut it anymore.
As a small business owner now I'm living the challenges our entrepreneurs and employers face trying to do business in California. I'm fighting for our local and national economy in support of small businesses and our industries to generate competitive jobs, I'm fighting for our kids to have a chance at a future by taking on the failed public education system, I'm fighting against rampant veteran homelessness in SoCal, I'm fighting to protect our homeland with the counter-terrorism strategy I've developed for our cities, and I'm fighting for the rights of our citizens against government abuses of power and overreach. Irreverent change must take place now. I know how Washington, D.C. works and I know what San Diego and our state needs.
I've never waited for do-nothing politicians to solve our nation's problems and neither should you. Join me to bring effective change now.
NATIONAL SECURITY PROSECUTOR
Before moving back to his native California, Omar served as an official with the United States Department of Defense since 2010. Most recently, he served as a prosecutor in the Office of the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions where he worked on war crimes prosecutions of alleged terrorists. Cases within the jurisdiction of his office include but are not limited to a capital case against the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing and a capital case against alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad and four alleged co-conspirators. Omar was also detailed by the Defense Department to the State Department where he was responsible for developing foreign prosecutions of Guantanamo detainees and negotiating security agreements with foreign nations. Omar is a reserve officer in the U.S. Army, Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
SERVICE IN AFGHANISTAN
For 18 months from 2011 – mid-2012 Omar served as a Department of Defense civilian attorney in Afghanistan with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Omar worked on implementing the Counter Insurgency Strategy in Afghanistan as the coalition's headquarters Deputy Chief of Rule of Law, formulating and implementing strategy to help redevelop Afghanistan’s justice system. Omar subsequently became political advisor to the NATO Ambassador in Afghanistan. He worked with officials of 50 ISAF nations with whom the United States worked side-by-side to pursue our political and military objectives in Afghanistan.
CHILDHOOD & FAMILY
Born and raised in Los Angeles to parents who emigrated from Afghanistan in the early 70’s, Omar’s parents instilled in him a belief in self-determination, the value of hard work, and the importance of education. He and his two older sisters attended public schools from K-12 in a gang-infested neighborhood at the height of L.A.’s historic gang violence. His neighborhood was subject to Los Angeles’s second gang injunction. Where others in his neighborhood saw gloom and felt a sense of discouragement about the future, Omar’s family only saw opportunity and the American dream.
Omar continues to value his childhood experiences, having come away at a very early age understanding clearly what failed local, state, and federal policies look like, having lived through them.
Against what many would call tough odds, Omar became an attorney while his sisters include a Ph.D professor and an M.B.A. entrepreneur. While he and his family are no strangers to real struggles, his parents conditioned him and his siblings with resilience against overwhelming odds, and the confidence to fight and win against any challenge before them.
This fighting spirit that Omar received from his parents is one of his most cherished traits that he applied throughout his adulthood in all challenging circumstances.
EDUCATION & CAREER
After earning a B.A. from UCLA with latin honors and college honors, Omar went on to earn a J.D. from Syracuse Law School, M.A. in International Relations from The Maxwell School of Public Affairs at Syracuse, and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse.
While a graduate student he was selected for a highly competitive program co-established by one of The Carlyle Group’s co-founders that selected a handful of graduate students each year to place them in challenging business environments to advise business leaders. Omar worked on various parts of innovation incubation through bringing concepts to feasibility, and identifying new and emerging global markets.
Coming out of law and graduate schools Omar was a Business Development and Legal Affairs Consultant and intended to unleash his entrepreneurial spirit with a new business, but watching our nation at the cusp of the U.S. military’s surge in Afghanistan, Omar, like so many Americans in his generation, felt the need to serve his country. Omar knows the value and the cost of freedom.
RETURNING HOME TO CALIFORNIA, CONTINUING TO CONFRONT AND SOLVE OUR NATION'S PRESSING CHALLENGES
After beginning his transition back to his native California, Omar took his experiences and acquired knowledge from his past work to solve hard problems. Omar recently produced the first-of-its-kind counter-terrorism strategy for large and medium-sized American cities to prevent homeland attacks. He will roll out the strategy to leaders of all major and medium-sized American cities this summer. He is also focused on implementing a strategy that can help resolve the staggering state of homeless veterans in Southern California.
Omar has also partnered with a former U.S. Ambassador and a team to solve humanitarian crises abroad via innovative and agile aid missions directed at hard-to-reach and hostile terrain such as the Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Syrian border areas. This model is intended to disrupt the current paradigm of many inefficient and ineffective aid organizations.
Jobs & Economic Growth
GENERATE AND KEEP GOOD JOBS HERE
Omar grew up in a socio-economic area of Los Angeles where he lived the failed economic policies so many politicians continue to advocate for. Ironically, most of these politicians have themselves never had to live under the failed economic policies they propose.
America’s economy depends on the success of small businesses. The government's role should be to create friendly conditions for small businesses to thrive, not to contribute to their failure. The government should similarly promote growth across all of our major industries, including our technology and innovation industries, with aggressive and effective ways to ignite America's economic engine instead of undermining it.
That starts with fighting laws and policies that make it hard for Californians to start and grow small businesses, and promoting laws and policies that benefit employers, employees, and entrepreneurs.
Defending the Nation
OMAR BRINGS A NEW STRATEGY TO CA THAT WILL PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS AT HOME
Terrorist networks are on the rise, not in decline. Taking the knowledge and experiences he acquired working in counter-terrorism for several years at home and abroad, Omar created the first-of-its kind counter-terrorism strategy for every major and medium-sized American city that will help prevent homeland terrorist attacks. Omar will present this solution to leadership of American city governments this summer.
While our servicemembers and national security civilians take the fight to the enemy overseas, we need to act quickly to stop the increasing number of terror attacks at home. Omar is leading this effort.
FULFILL OUR OBLIGATIONS TO OUR FORGOTTEN HEROES - END RAMPANT VETERAN HOMELESSNESS NOW
After serving as a U.S. Department of Defense civilian attorney in Afghanistan for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) followed by multiple years in his position as a DOD prosecutor on terrorism cases, Omar moved back to his native California to find a staggering number of homeless veterans all over San Diego’s streets.
Having watched first-hand the sacrifices servicemembers made during Omar’s 18 months in Afghanistan and as a reserve officer in the U.S. Army, he found the rate of veteran homelessness in San Diego unacceptable, but solvable. Omar quickly assembled a team of innovative partners to find a solution to the problem that complements much of the impressive work done by San Diego’s private sector and San Diego’s mayor. Omar's solution is being produced as a model to be replicated across California and the country.
GIVE OUR KIDS A SHOT AT A FUTURE - FIX OUR FAILED PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM
Our nation's future rests in whether our children are set up for success or failure. As a child, Omar attended schools where many kids were on track for academic failure, and failure in life. Omar returned home after many years serving our nation to find not much has changed. California's public schools are ranked 10th to last among our 50 states, earning a grade of C minus. California's fourth and eighth grade reading and math proficiency have been rated below 30 percent. California ranks 41st of 50 in conditions that help children succeed. What kind of future for California's economy do we expect when our state sets up our kids to fail? We must put a stop to this now. We cannot accept more empty talking points from the politicians in charge while they oversee another generation of failed schools.
Education is a top priority for Omar. College admission is not a given for all of our kids. Because K-12 is the only source of hope for many of our children to improve their life circumstances, we must create conditions to support our children and to counter the conditions that try to steal their futures from them.
For Omar, job growth policy is inextricably linked to education. Omar's vision and plan is to ensure our youth engage productively in society from K-12 to employment. Having attended low performing public schools during the height of L.A.’s era of gang violence, Omar understands first-hand what kids need to be lifted out of a failed system in order to have a shot at success. Omar will not accept an America that fails our children. He will fight the failed system that has a stranglehold on the future of America's children.
Defending The Constitution
Omar believes in the people. Mandated to serve the people, our three branches of government are charged with the duty to uphold our Constitution. Public servants are obligated to protect the rights of all citizens, to ensure blind delivery of justice, fairness, and equality. Government adherence to the Constitution is not optional.
No branch of government or official is authorized to use governmental powers to advance private interests or interests inconsistent with the Constitution. Omar believes in justice. For Omar, no one is above the law and justice is for every single American.
As an attorney for the federal government he defended our Constitution. Omar believes strongly in an accurate interpretation of the Constitution and strict observance of the limits of government authority set forth in the Constitution.
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