US Capitol to host first-ever gathering of Indian-Americans

Washington, May 29 For the first time, the US Capitol next week will host Indian American elected officials, leaders, philanthropists and some 80 community members running for elected offices in the November mid-term elections.

Senator Kamala Harris from California, the first ever Indian origin to be elected to the US Senate, is scheduled to deliver a keynote address to the one-of-its kind of gathering.

“We are thrilled to host the first-ever gathering of Indian American elected officials, candidates, philanthropists, community leaders, and political strategists,” Gautam Raghavan, a former Obama Administration White House official, told PTI.

Organised by recently-formed Indian American Impact Project, the day-long meeting on June 6 is expected to be attended by nearly 200 Indian American elected officials, candidates, philanthropists, community leaders, and political strategists from across the country, Raghavan said.

“It will feature panel discussions about how we can build political power in the Indian American community,” he said.

“We are also honoured that Senators Harris and Cory Booker will join us and give keynote remarks. Senator Harris has been a source of great inspiration for the Indian-American community, and all immigrant communities and people of colour. Her leadership and commitment to public service are a testament to the talent and patriotism of the Indian American community,” Raghavan said.

Senator Booker, who represents the state with the third largest Indian American population in the country, has been a steadfast ally to our community throughout his career,” he said.

“We look forward to hearing from both of them about the importance of political and civic engagement,” he said.

“I am particularly excited that we have over 30 Indian American candidates and elected officials attending the Summit. Many of them are eager to connect with one another, to share stories from the campaign trail and lessons learned along the way. We look forward to celebrating their courage to run for office,” Raghavan said in response to a question.

The Indian-American Impact Project has endorsed several Indian American candidates running for offices; prominent among them are Sri Preston Kulkarni, Hiral Tipirneni, Aftab Pureval Aruna Miller, Ashwani Jain, Padma Kuppa, Samir Paul and Josh Kaul.

The organisation is heavily Democratic in nature. Traditionally, Indian Americans have voted for the Democratic party, but of late a significant number of them have become supporter of the Republican Party.

The two Indian American Governors so far – Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley – are Republicans.

The current Congress has a record number of five Indian Americans, all of them being from the Democratic Party. The four Indian Americans in the House of Representatives are Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal. Harris is in the Senate.

This election a record number of 20 Indian Americans are running for the US House of Representatives.

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