Q&A with Hiral Tipirneni (AZ-06)
“Do not worry about what others think of you, do not look to get others’ approval. You know who you are and what your value is. No one needs to define that for you.”
Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?
Hiral Tipirneni: I’ve spent my life in service of others — focused on solving complex problems and improving people’s lives. For over 20 years, I’ve worked in my community, first, as an emergency medicine physician, then, as a cancer research advocate. I also serve on the board of Valleywise Health Foundation, which supports the only public hospital in Maricopa County and the largest safety net hospital in AZ. After the 2016 election, my family, friends, and I were devastated by the results. The idea that over 20 million Americans would be thrown off their healthcare if the ACA was repealed was unfathomable to me. I couldn’t stand by and let that happen, and I knew I had to do more. My voice, my experience, my skill set is one that I believe could be invaluable in Congress as policies are being created — policies on healthcare and much, much more.
OTS: Tell us about where you’re running and what your district is like.
HT: I’m running in AZ-06 — it is the Northeast valley of Phoenix. It includes North Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and other suburban areas of the NE quadrant of the Valley. Historically, it has been conservative, but it has changed demographically and politically over the last several election cycles. It has become more moderate and is now a targeted district ready to flip. It is higher educated and fairly affluent, and the dominant issues are healthcare, economic growth, and addressing corruption in DC. It went to Trump by 10 but Sen. Sinema brought that gap down to less than 3 points, and that was with a Green Party candidate on the ballot.
OTS: Whose support or encouragement are you most grateful for?
HT: I am the very proud mom of three young adult kids — two daughters and one son, ages 23, 22, and 19, respectively. I deeply admire their character and their moral compasses. Often, I do check-ins with them, and they help me stay true to myself. Their encouragement is invaluable and I couldn’t be more grateful for their abiding support. They and my husband are my loudest cheerleaders and most dedicated partners in this endeavor. I couldn’t do this without them!
OTS: What one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
HT: Do not worry about what others think of you, do not look to get others’ approval. You know who you are and what your value is. No one needs to define that for you.
OTS: What issue do you believe deserves more attention on the campaign trail?
HT: Ensuring more diversity in campaign staff, campaign team members, and campaign surrogates.
OTS: What’s an interesting book/article you’re reading now or you’ve recently finished? And why?
HT: Most articles I read these days are focused on the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. Recently, I have been specifically focused on the issues surrounding healthcare professionals and the longterm impact this prolonged, tragic crisis is having on their mental health and professional longevity.
OTS: What’s a fun fact that people might not know about you?
HT: I once saved Harrison Ford’s life. Kind of.
OTS: If you could have dinner with three people (living or deceased) who would they be and why?
HT: Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Blackwell, John Lennon — one is a cultural icon, one is a professional hero, one is a creative genius. I would love to sit and listen to them answer just one question each: What is the most impactful contribution, in your opinion, you’ve made to our nation/society?
OTS: How do you de-stress/unwind?
HT: Listen to music, snuggle with my dogs, hike (when it’s not summer in AZ!), swim w/my son, watch Gilmore Girls w/my daughters.