Tag Archives: candidates

What Will My Next President Look Like?

As I’ve watched the Democratic Party debates over the past couple days, one thing has struck me – we have come a long way America! When JFK ran for election, it was a big deal because he was potentially the first Catholic President. In 2008, the election of Obama as our first black President prompted a national conversation about race. And more recently, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy as a woman caused equal controversy. For each of these individuals, the question of identity took front and center. Each faced intense pressure and endless questions.

Are you black enough? Are you too black? Are you likeable?  Are you strong enough? Can you be Commander in Chief?

Now look at the podium. No one seems to be asking those questions. We have 6 women running for President. We have candidates that are black, brown and Asian. Some are young and some not quite. Most are heterosexual and one, not so. The persona we expect to see in our President is no longer one-dimensional and we are all better off because of it.

The real victory isn’t just for the actual candidates but for all of us. The “first” ones always have the hardest time as they have to work hard to prove themselves. But their experience has paved the path for the rest . What is striking is that it is not just their looks, but the backgrounds of the candidates that are diverse; there is not one proven path to run for that office.

We can thank our first Reality Show President for that!

This unprecedented diversity of backgrounds, life experiences, gender and careers is a game changer.  Look at the topics being discussed on a national stage – health care, women’s reproductive rights, equal pay, immigration, climate change, criminal justice etc. Most of these issues, which affect every American, never got airtime before. What is significant about this diverse array of candidates is what it represents about the new democratic base.  The increasing diversity of democratic voters demands better representation. There is a battle of values and ideas within the party and this wide gamut is represented by this vast array of presidential candidates.

The next few months will be intriguing.  Some candidates will falter, others will bow out and eventually only one of them will make it to the final night. But I am excited to see that we have come to a place in our country where we can debate the merits of the ideas and policies that the candidates propose and not what they look like or where they came from.

What will my next President look like? Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

All I care about is what their policies are like.

Anjana Nagarajan-Butaney is a Bay Area resident with experience in educational non-profits, community building, networking and content development and was Community Director for an online platform. She is interested in how to strengthen communities by building connections to politics, science & technology, gender equality and public education.

Indian American Impact Fund Announces First 2018 Endorsements

The Indian American Impact Fund (“Impact Fund”) endorsed the following top-tier candidates in closely watched upcoming elections:
  • Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller in her bid for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. An engineer by trade, Miller has served in the Maryland State House since 2010 where she has worked to invest in STEM education, streamline the regulatory process for small businesses, and bring 21st century jobs to Maryland. Miller has been endorsed by EMILY’s List, 314 Action, all four sitting Indian American members of the House of Representatives, and a number of state and local elected officials. If elected, Miller will be the second Indian American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives.
  • Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval in Ohio’s 1st Congressional District. In 2016, Pureval won an upset victory, defeating a member of a powerful political family and claiming a seat that had been held by the other party for over 100 years. A former federal prosecutor and attorney for Procter & Gamble, Aftab has already delivered for his constituents by overhauling the Hamilton County Courts website, expanding its hours, opening a legal help center, and streamlining operations in order to return over $800,000 to the county’s general fund.
  • Ram Villivalam in his bid for Illinois 8th State Senate District. Villivalam is taking on an incumbent State Senator who was recently stripped of his leadership position and found to have violated the Ethics Act by the Illinois Inspector General. The 8th State Senate District has the highest percentage of Asian Americans in the state of Illinois. Villivalam has earned the endorsements of several Members Congress, including U.S. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi and U.S. Congressman Ro Khanna as well as constituency groups such as the Sierra Club and Equality Illinois PAC. If elected, Villivalam would be the first Indian American ever elected to the Illinois state legislature.
“Not only do these individuals showcase the talent and patriotism of the Indian American community, they also represent the next generation of American political leadership,” said Deepak Raj, co-founder of Impact and chair of the Impact Fund. “Voters are hungry for fresh faces and new ideas. These candidates are well-positioned to be part of a new wave of national and state leaders who will help fight back against xenophobic rhetoric and regressive policies and fight for economic opportunity and a stronger, fairer economy.”
In addition, Impact Fund has endorsed for re-election all four Indian American Members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Ami Bera (CA-07), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), and Ro Khanna (CA-17).
Added Raj Goyle, co-founder of Impact and former member of the Kansas House of Representatives, “These four Members of Congress exemplify what it means to be an Indian American elected official. Not only have they fought tirelessly for their constituents, they have provided bold leadership for our entire country. They are proof that our work matters.”
A political action committee, Impact Fund works with experienced operatives, campaign strategists, and donors to endorse candidates based on their viability and commitment to advocating for the needs and values of the Indian American community. Impact Fund continues to track nearly 60 Indian Americans running for office in 2018, including over 20 first-time Congressional candidates, and will issue further endorsements in coming months.