Tag Archives: Shukoor Ahmed

South Asians Running For Office – Raaheela Ahmed

Four Reasons Why!

That’s what pushed Raaheela Ahmed to run for office and win – TWICE!

Raaheela Ahmed was a freshman at UMD when her dad, Shukoor Ahmed, kept insisting she had four good reasons to run for a seat on the Prince George’s County School Board in Maryland.

“You’re passionate about education, our community needs you in this role, you’re qualified, and I will support you!”

So Raaheela decided to go for it.

She has just won a second term – this time getting 57.26% of the vote. And Raaheela is only in her mid twenties!

It’s been a family affair for the Ahmeds – and this is no ordinary family.  Raaheela belongs to one that takes persistence to new heights. Ever since her dad first went on the campaign trail many years ago, cousins and family members would have sleepovers to assemble campaign materials. Even today, says Raaheela, her grandparents are ‘out there’ campaigning for her.

Her dad brought members of the community to the polls, introducing many them to the democratic process. Raaheela’s own 2016 run brought many more young people out to support her race. Running for office has had a ‘cascading effect’  says Raaheela. It’s galvanized other young people to run for office in 2018 and 2020, including her own sister.

As a woman of color, “You have to believe in yourself, ” Raaheela says. This remarkable young woman tells DesiCollective the story of her immigrant family’s runs for local office and never giving up, even after losing some of them.  In her second term, she has plans to help the students in her county during the pandemic and beyond.

This story is the seventh in our series on conversation with candidates – SHORT TAKES for India Currents – where contenders for political office share their aspirations and plans with our community!

If you live in Prince George’s County in Maryland or anywhere else, take a look! You will be inspired to run yourself.


SHORT TAKES/DesiCollective: South Asians are Running for Political Office

Short Takes: Belal Aftab in Saratoga

Short Takes : Harbir Bhatia in Santa Clara

Short Takes: Sri Muppidi in Dublin

Short Takes: Kuljeet Kalkat in Los Altos

Short Takes: Ajit Varma in Palo Alto

Short Takes: Sumiti Mehta in Natomas

Small Business Owners Going Bust? The CARES ACT Can Help!

Small business owners across the country are hurting as the coronavirus crisis deprives them of customers and states enforce closures of all except essential businesses.

Indian American restauranteur Arun Mirchandani told CNBC he had shuttered his eatery in deference to his workers safety, but “As far as small businesses go, we have probably taken the biggest hit.”

Small businesses like these make up more than 99% of all American enterprise reports the Business Insider, and employ more than half of the US workforce.

As the outbreak spreads with economic disruption in its wake, small businesses face the brunt of its impact from the loss of customers, wage cuts, staffing cutbacks and even closures; a recent survey  reports that more than 80% of small businesses expect the situation to get worse.

The federal government has responded with a $2 trillion stimulus package to stabilize the US economy and earmarked more than  $300 billion for small businesses in the form of loans and payroll-tax deferment.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will provide emergency loans to small-midsize businesses to prevent layoffs and to continue paying workers during the crisis. Businesses of 500 or fewer employees that continue to employ and pay workers through the pandemic are eligible.

Entrepreneur, investor and strategist Shukoor Ahmed  reviewed the 1400 page Relief Bill  Division A of the bill, which provides more than $377 billion in support to small businesses. It includes prominent measures from the Keeping American Workers Employed and Paid Act and the COVID-19 RELIEF for Small Businesses Act of 2020.

He has provided summaries of the small business provisions in the stimulus via the following links. .

  1. General Summary
  2. Business Summary
  3. Succinct Business Summary

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash