Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at ‘Impact Summit’ in Washington DC

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Indian American elected officials, youth leaders, enthusiastic lawmakers, influential politicians and policy makers, community organizers, pioneers and difference makers gathered in the nation’s capital on May 18 to explore the dreams and aspirations of South Asian Americans and discuss ways to work together. a fairer, safer, prosperous country for all.

Young politicians at the Indian American Impact Summit in Washington DC on May 18. Top photo, Soldan, Snigdha Sur, CEO of The Juggernaut, who led the opening session, Rep. Ro Kanna (D-Calif.), Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ami Bera (D-Calif.).

Speaking at the one-day summit organized by the Indian American Impact Project, panelists focused on the summit’s theme, ‘Dream with Ambition’, taking a cue from Vice President Kamala Devi Harris’s electrifying victory speech on November 6 in Wilmington, Delaware. , 2020, here begged young Americans to “dream with ambition, lead with faith, and see yourself the same way, not just as others have never seen before.”

Discussions centered around many pressing issues, such as the rise in hate crimes, immigration, climate change, healthcare, fighting misinformation, increasing voter turnout, raising LGBTQ+ awareness, and creating a space and voice for oneself. Panelists talked about their personal journeys and ways to overcome obstacles along the way. They encouraged South Asian Americans to run for office at the local, regional, state or federal level to get a seat at the table and make a difference. Using ambition and turning it into action.

1652991341 481 Indian American Political Strategists Lawyers and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at Impact Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at 'Impact Summit' in Washington DC
Aruna Rao, executive director and founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies, and Rohini Kosogolu, domestic policy adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris.

The event provided a space for the community to come together to discuss and debate important issues, promote civil rights in the diaspora, and engage in conversations to encourage more South Asian Americans to run for public office.

During the keynote panel discussion moderated by Snigdha Sur, CEO of The Juggernaut, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, and Ami Bera addressed and spoke about a variety of issues affecting Americans, including representation, inflation, abortion rights, and green card accumulation. Bills and policies they are working on “to advance America’s interests”.

Bera, the first and oldest Indian American in the U.S. Congress, spoke of the changing political landscape and recognized those elected to local and state governments, such as Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, and praised organizations like the Indian American Impact Project and those who do. work on the ground to mobilize votes and promote civic participation in society.

Both Khanna and Krishnamoorthi agreed in the landmark Roe v. They weighed in on the recently leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that overturned the Wade decision. Right. “People’s rights have been taken away,” Khanna said, adding that she does not remember a time in her life when rights were taken away. “This is putting the country back on track because of an ideology and a conservative movement that fundamentally rejects the principle of equality between men and women.”

1652991341 696 Indian American Political Strategists Lawyers and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at Impact Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at 'Impact Summit' in Washington DC
Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram, running for US Congress, presents New Jersey Assemblyman Sadaf Jaffer at the ‘Women in Executive’ panel at the Indian American Impact Summit in Washington DC on May 18.

Krishnamoorthi, his colleague Rep. He called out to Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). She spoke about her testifying before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform during her hearings on the need to protect and expand abortion rights and access. Jayapal talked about her own abortion and the very painful ways what led to her decision, and how “important it is for her own individual autonomy and independence,” Krishnamoorthi said. “And that’s what’s really at stake here. Whether we believe in gender equality and reproductive freedom, it’s about independence,” he added, adding, “this is just the beginning,” he warned. Noting that the risks of this choice are higher than ever before, he warned society not to remain indifferent and to mobilize large numbers of people. called to be.

Attendees heard from famous groundbreaking women like Neera Tanden, who, as White House Staff Secretary and Senior Advisor to the President, had the distinction of being the first Native American in the presidential cabinet; Rohini Kosugolu, Domestic Policy Adviser to Vice President Kamala Harris; and Opal Vadhan, personal assistant to Vice President Kamala Harris. With their individual stories, they encouraged women to make their voices heard. Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram, who is a candidate for US Congress, moderated the ‘Women in Executive’ debate.

1652991342 66 Indian American Political Strategists Lawyers and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at Impact Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at 'Impact Summit' in Washington DC
Harini Krishnan, California state co-director for South Asians for Biden, right, center Opal Vadhan, personal aide to Vice President Kamala Harris, and Vermont State Senator Kesha Ram, running for US Congress.

The pioneer women talked about their families’ reactions to their chosen careers in civil service and public policy, and how the difference in perception of ambition is different for a man and a woman. Through their personal stories, they told women in the audience the importance of taking credit for their work and achievements.

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1652991342 557 Indian American Political Strategists Lawyers and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at Impact Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at 'Impact Summit' in Washington DC

The summit, the global climate crisis, access to healthcare and equality, civil and suffrage rights, educational equality, running for public office, deciphering and combating misinformation in digital domains, mobilizing South Asian American communities, pan-South Asian mobilization and unity, LGBTQ+ inclusion and immigration.

In an inspiring dialogue, youth leaders offered insight into their journey into public service and shared tips and advice for prospective candidates. Participating in the discussion are immigration activist Pareen Mhatre, communications manager for Developing the Dream; Bushra Amiwala, members of the Skokie Board of Education in Illinois and the youngest elected Muslim woman in America; and Immigration rights activist Sumana Kaluvai, founder of The Hidden Dream.

1652991342 277 Indian American Political Strategists Lawyers and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at Impact Indian-American Political Strategists, Lawyers, and Candidates Attend Lawmakers at 'Impact Summit' in Washington DC
Aruna Miller, left, Victoria Virasingh, former Maryland State Delegate and primary candidate for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 8th congressional district.

Other panelists include Todd Schulte, head of FWD.us; Dip Patel, founder of Enhance the Dream; Meghna Damani, award-winning filmmaker and advocate for H-4 addicted spouses; Sunu Chandy, legal director of the National Women’s Law Center; Vaibhav Jain, National Outreach Director of the AAPI Victory Fund; Parag Mehta, executive director and president of the JP Morgan Chase Policy Center; Aruna Rao, executive director and founder of Desi Rainbow Parents & Allies; North Carolina State Senator Jay Chaudhuri; Aruna Miller, former Maryland State Delegate, Cherry Hill, New Jersey Assemblyman Sangeeta Doshi, Pennsylvania State Senator Nikhil Saval; Chiraag Bains, Vice President for Racial Justice and Equality; Jigar Shah, director of the Loans Program Office with the Energy Department; and Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director of the USA Climate Action Network.

After a day full of discussions, participation, learning and inspiration, the participants, mostly dressed in colorful Indian attire, gathered at the gala for cocktails and snacks. Deputies and speakers met with the attendees to further their morning conversations. At the gala, Ashish Jha, White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, India’s Ambassador to the US, Gautam Raghavan, director of the White House Presidential Staff Office; New Jersey Assemblyman Sadaf Jaffer; Victoria Virasingh, a primary candidate for the Democratic nomination for Virginia’s 8th congressional district; Leadership from American or South Asian for SAFA including Harini Krishnan, Avinder Chawla, Shruti Bhatnagar; Shekar Narasimhan, head of the AAPI Victory Fund; and Judge Juli Mathew, among others, District Court No. 3 in Fort Bend County, Texas.