NRI Dunia
Think Outside The Box

Prominent Indian-Americans, business leaders endorsing Biden-Harris

As the race to the White House enters its final lap, over 1,100 prominent members of the Asian-American community, including Indian-American elected officials, artists, business and community leaders have endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris.

The list of the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) endorsing Biden for president and Harris for vice president includes prominent Indian-Americans who are serving as elected officials as well as those from the fields of healthcare, business and arts.

The 1,100 signatories represent the AAPI leaders from all backgrounds and ethnicities across the country and build on the previous list of 250 AAPI endorsers that was released in July 2020.

“Never before has the AAPI community banded together with such unity and excitement in a presidential election,” said Democratic National Committee (DNC) AAPI Caucus Chair Bel Leong-Hong, who organised the list.

“We are made up of almost 20 different ethnic groups, yet are united in our resounding support for Biden and Harris to lead our country and the world out of the mess (President Donald) Trump has created,” Leong-Hong added.

Leong-Hong said the people in the list come from all walks of life with different languages, culture and heritage “but share the same hopes and dreams for a better future”.

The list of more than 1,100 supporters includes prominent members of the Democratic Party, including the DNC and the AAPIs for Biden Coalition, which is made up of more than 14 affinity groups, including South Asians for Biden.

Among the prominent Indian-origin endorsers are Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ami Bera; Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal; Nisha Desai Biswal, former assistant secretary for South and Central Asia in the US Department of State; Devang Shah, chair of Maryland Democratic Party AAPI Leadership Council; Praveen Meyyan, chair of Democratic Asian Americans of Virginia (DAAV); Assembly member Ash Kalra of California State Assembly.

Candidate for the US House of Representatives Sri Kulkarni; Seema Nanda, former CEO of Democratic National Committee; Dhaval Shah, chair of Howard County, Maryland Democratic Party AAPI Caucus; Manisha Singh, vice-chair of Fairfax County, Virginia Democratic Committee; Ritesh Shah, chair of Monmouth County, New Jersey Democrats South Asian Caucus, are also in the list.

It also includes Surgeon General Parag Mehta, former chief of staff and senior adviser in the Office of the US; and Parag Parikh, community leader India Heritage Group founder; Jay Bhandari, president of Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin; and Nisha Ramachandran, co-founder and board chair, Desis for Progress.

Meanwhile, the Biden campaign on Saturday released a star-studded video of prominent AAPI personalities voicing their support for Biden and Harris, urging Americans to vote for “everything that matters”.

The 60-second video features Indian-American television host and author Padma Lakshmi, who urges people to “vote for our children” and actor and producer Mindy Kaling, who says “it’s going to take all of us”.

The celebrities join Harris in saying: “When we vote, things change. When we vote, we win.”

The video features actor Aasif Mandvi, actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, George Takei, Kumail Nanjiani and Lucy Liu among others.

“We may have our feet in two cultures but America is our home,” the video says.

Dennis Cheng, a senior advisor for the Biden campaign, was quoted by The New York Times as saying: “We’re extremely proud of our micro-targeted messaging and individualised outreach to the AAPI community, so that we not only feel represented in the campaign but also empowered and inspired to be a part of it.”

Biden and his running mate Harris are challenging Republican incumbents President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the November 3 US presidential election.