US - INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW

16 THE INDIAN AMERICAN JULY-SEPTEMBER 2017 6 US-I DIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018 becoming House Majority Leader. He is still there, one of very few if any, who were successful in the year that the Bill Clinton wave was sweeping America, and a slew of Indian-American candidates ran on his coat-tails. Ram Uppuluri, Neil Dhillon, come to mind. Soon after however, Satveer Chaudhary got elected to the Minnesota House and later the state Senate. serving from 1996 to 2010. In 2003, Swati Dandekar was elect- ed to the Iowa state assembly, and later to the state senate. The 1990s were also the years when some Indian-Americans took to learning the craft behind government, breaking the stereo- type of doctor, engineer, scientist, etc. The mid-1990s onwards was the time when a germ was plant- ed of the need to help aspiring Indian-American candidates run and win in campaigns. But it was not an organized effort with an infrastructure to push it along. The Washington Leadership Program was launched by publisher Gopal Raju in 1996, placing Indian- American youth in Congressional offices. The Indian American Leadership Initiative took off. Meanwhile, there were Indian- Americans around the country making individual efforts to get elected to school boards, city councils, etc. Today, WLP continues in the hands of alumni like Harin Contractor, has expanded and is supported by publisher of U.S.- India Global Review, Padma Shri Dr. Sudhir Parikh, who took over the mantle from Raju. Fast forward to 2016 -- five Indian-Americans are in Congress, after the Obama wave, and a host of candidates (80 by some counts) are running up and down the ballot (see iaimpact.org). As of July 2018, five Indian Americans serve in the United States Congress: Senator Kamala Harris, D-California; and Representatives Ami Bera, D- California, Pramila Jayapal, D- Washington, Ro Khanna, D- California, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois. Those in the House are in the throes of campaigning for re-election come Nov. 6. Of the 16 Asian-American Congressional candidates endorsed by the AAPI Victory Fund, 9 are of Indian origin. The Indian American Impact Project (Impact Project) and the Indian American Impact Fund (Impact Fund) (collectively referred to in rest of article as Impact) launched formally Jan. 17, lists candidates running for U.S. House, State Houses, and even an Attorney General. In early June, Impact held a 'Summit' Impact Co-founder and former Kansas State Representative Raj Goyle, with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington. Photo courtesy: IAIMPACT Impact Project Board Member Priya Dayananda with former U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma. Photo courtesy: IAIMPACT

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