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Kamala Harris Lack of Indian American Representation in Offices

Photo : Reuters

US Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the issue of underrepresentation of Indian Americans in elected offices during the annual summit of Indian American Impact, a democratic party think tank. Harris emphasized the need for greater participation of the Indian American community in the electoral process, noting that while there has been increased engagement, the number of Indian American representatives in proportion to the population remains inadequate.

Highlighting the current landscape, Harris acknowledged the presence of five Indian American members in Congress: Dr. Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, and Shri Thanedar. Indian American Impact projects this number to double by 2024, indicating the growing political influence of the community.

With Indian Americans being the second-largest immigrant group and the fastest-growing demographic in many states, Harris stressed their potential to sway key electoral outcomes. She commended the efforts of Indian American Impact in supporting candidates and facilitating electoral victories, including senatorial wins in states like Georgia.

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Addressing the audience, Harris urged aspiring candidates to pursue political office, emphasizing the collective responsibility to shape the future of the nation. She encouraged individuals to draw strength from their community and experiences, recognizing the significance of diversity in political representation.

Reflecting on her own journey, Harris underscored the importance of standing up for justice and equality, drawing inspiration from her Indian heritage and family values. Despite facing challenges and encountering opposition, she reiterated the need for perseverance and determination in the pursuit of public service.

Deepak Raj, co-founder and treasurer of Indian American Impact, lauded Harris for her leadership and trailblazing achievements, highlighting her role as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the community. Harris's dedication to promoting diversity and inclusion resonated with attendees, who hailed her as a role model and symbol of progress.

However, Harris's remarks were briefly disrupted by a protester, underscoring the complex issues and divergent opinions within the community. Nevertheless, Harris remained steadfast in her commitment to fostering unity and advancing social justice causes.

In closing, Harris shared personal anecdotes of her upbringing and family heritage, emphasizing the values instilled by her Indian roots. She reiterated the importance of upholding principles of fairness and integrity, echoing the sentiment of collective responsibility in shaping a better future for all.

May 16, 2024 10:42 a.m. 4014

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