US - INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW

tives and defines its mission as one that "builds Indian American political power by investing in leaders who catalyze change." And the The Impact Fund, the PAC, "is a new initiative to help talented and patriotic Indian Americans run, win, and lead," organizers say. The goals of Impact Project are to "convene Indian American leaders in policy, politics, and government; Recruit and train emerging leaders to run for office; Endorse viable candi- dates who reflect our values; Fund candidates early and often to build momentum and win.; and build power to fight back against regressive policies." While most of the organizers are Democrats, they told this cor- respondent the two organizations are distinct in their goals. "The IAIP (C3) cannot do any political work and that is a bright line we will never cross," says Goyle. "It gives us the flexibility to cover candidates at all levels," Raghavan notes about having two distinct entities. At local levels candidates do not have to have a party affiliation. Half of the candi- dates Impact is tracking around the country, are not affiliated. "That's how we build a bench of talent for public office and elected office." Meanwhile, the AAPI Victory Fund, which claims to be the "first of its kind SuperPAC," was found- ed by Shekar Narasimhan, an entrepreneur who was appointed by President Obama as commis- sioner on his Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. it rallies behind all Asian candidates. OUR TIME The need for such organiza- tions was felt years ago, and indi- viduals have come forward to fill some of the gaps. "Other commu- nities have this infrastructure. We have needed it for years," says Raghavan. But this is just the beginning. "Many aspects of the community are still untapped. A growth area for the organization (Impact) is to get out to other population areas such as Houston, Bay Area, Illinois etc.," says Goyle. “This is our time,” Raj, founder of the Raj Center on Indian Economic Policies at Columbia University, is quoted saying in a press release. “Across the coun- try, a record number of Indian Americans are running for office. We can't leave it to chance that they will win on their own. We owe 8 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JULY-SEPTEMBER 2018 Gautam Raghavan, former senior Obama Administration official, now head of GR Strategic LLC, working with Indian American Impact Project and Impact Fund Photo courtesy: Department of Labor Harin Contractor Photo: Twitter Shekar Narasimhan Photo courtesy: aapivctoryfund.com

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