About Payam Mark Shayani

Since an early age, I have felt called to a life in service of other people. This calling is what encouraged me to enter Law School, and this calling is what inspired me to practice law. In pursuit of service, I have had the privilege of building a law practice through which I represent underserved communities and immigrant families. I am proud to fight for justice for those who are without a voice.

As an immigrant, I came to this country in search of the promise of the American Dream. With an abundance of opportunity, and access to education, I was fortunate enough to live that dream firsthand and build a practice doing what I love. Yet, far too many people have come to this county – just as I did – seeking a better life, only to be denied the basic promises of justice, equality, and prosperity.

Even when I look at my own two children, I worry that they will be denied access affordable education, quality jobs, and effective healthcare. I believe that the political partisanship is to blame. Wealthy special interests and political gridlock are getting in the way of effective policymaking, common sense reform, and actual service to the public.

I believe that a Representative should concern themselves solely with representing the people they serve; rather than the agendas of politically driven special interests. That is why I am running as an Independent Candidate, to put the people of our community first. Our community deserves better than what we are currently getting from Washington and I promise to fight for meaningful change to improve the quality of life for Californians and their families.

Why am I running for Congress?

Long before I ever came to this country, I was enamored by the idea of America. A nation founded upon the fundamental values like liberty, equality, and justice. The belief in a country where everyone can be the master of their destinies. A country where people are limited solely by the heights they dare to dream, not their circumstance, their ideologies, or their allegiances.

Yet, we have crossed a decisive threshold. Everything that our country stands for is under threat. The reach of special interest challenges our fundamental concepts of justice and liberty. The toxicity of partisan’s politics threatens our American values of freedom and equality while impending the prosperity of all people.

I want to go to Washington with a message – the American people deserve better. I want to insist that our American values are an instrument of our success, not a hinderance. Most importantly, I want to remind Washington that there is a better way for the policy challenges before us. As an Independent candidate, I will be the people's candidate. I will owe nothing to special interests or any party. I want to work with legislators on both sides of the aisle to return to the spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation, which has proven invaluable for solving the problems in the past and will continue to solve challenges before us.

President Abraham Lincoln, a personal hero of mine, ended his famous Gettysburg Address with the line that a “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” It is my personal belief, that a true government of the people, by the people, and for the people, is a government of diversity. I want to contribute to the diversity of our government of the people; with my diversity of experiences, diversity of talents, and diversity of thought. We need to break free from the homogenized thinking which has come to infect American politics. This kind of thinking has deprived of leadership, robbed us of our creativity, and prevented us from crafting effective legislation. I hope to inspire other independent minded candidates, who also believe in a better way - to step up and run for office in future elections as well.

Finally, on a more personal note, I hope to inspire immigrants to this country, and the children of immigrants. to follow their dreams. Especially dreams of public service and civic minded involvement. Immigrants have always brought a wealth of experience and a powerful vision. We need to encourage more immigrants to participate and contribute to our country across all levels of government. I think far too often we forget that the founders of this country – were also immigrants.