HomeAsian AmericansKamala Harris encourages more Indian Americans to run for office

Kamala Harris encourages more Indian Americans to run for office

Vice President Kamala Harris said she encourages more Indian Americans to run for elected offices, noting that the community’s political representation does not reflect their growing population. 

“Over the years, we’ve had so much more participation by Indian Americans in the electoral process running for office. But the numbers are still not reflective of the size of the growing population,” Harris told the audience at the annual ‘Desis Decide’ summit.

The summit, which was held this Wednesday, was organized by Indian American Impact, a political advocacy organization, The American Bazaar reported. The event served as a “cornerstone event within our community, uniting thought leaders, influencers, and changemakers to engage in meaningful dialogue, celebrate achievements, and chart the course for our collective future.”

As the first Indian American, African American and woman elected as Vice President of the U.S., Harris took the time to highlight the five Indian American Congressmen. She stresses the importance for this number to increase, as she explained, “there is so much that we still have to do as a country.”

“It really is extraordinary. I wanted to stop by to thank of course the organization for everything and for all that it represents, but also to say especially to those who have run for office or aspire to run for office, that you must run,” said Harris during the event, The American Bazaar reported.

During the summit, she asked the audience to raise their hands if they were planning to run for office, noting the upcoming election in six months. She explained that holding these positions of power can help the Indian American community shape what “kind of world … we want to live in and what kind of country … we want to live in.”

Reflecting on her personal experience, Harris shared that her Indian immigrant mother arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s, where she then contributed to the civil rights movement in Berkeley, California, according to The American Bazaar. She stresses the importance for diversity and political representation even in the face of opposition. 

Deepak Raj, co-founder and treasurer of Impact, described Harris as a trailblazer for women, immigrants and other minority groups, Times of India reported. Others at the event chanted “Four more years” while others expressed disapproval, which prompted their removal from the summit. 

“What will happen, invariably it’s happened to all of us, is you are going to find yourself invariably in rooms where you are the only one who looks like you, the only one who has had your life experience. What I then say to you each, look around this room and hold onto this image. And remember then when you walk into those rooms, when you walk into those situations, you remember, you are not alone. We are all there with you. You must remember that,” Harris told the audience, Times of India reported. 

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