With barely a few days left for the final and one of the last of the primaries in the nation, a group of South Asians came together at the Curry Restaurant on Indian Square, Jersey City in the state of New Jersey on May 17 came together to launch a forum in support of the Democratic party front-runner, Hillary Clinton. New Jersey will hold its primary on June 7.
The formal launch of the group, South Asians for Hillary, aims at soliciting the community’s support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and to galvanize volunteers to reach out and be proactive. Attended by an estimated 100 people, including former New York City Deputy Public Advocate and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, former Kansas State Representative Raj Goyle, and Hillary for America Director of Women’s Outreach Mini Timmaraju, the event was also hosted by South Asians for Hillary Jersey City lead Bhavesh Patel.
Clinton was ahead of Bernie Sanders among likely Democratic primary voters, 54 percent to 40 percent, in the Quinnipiac University poll released May 19. While Sanders runs better in the general election, Clinton tops him 54-40 percent among likely voters in New Jersey’s Democratic primary. Only 6 percent of Democrats are undecided and 15 percent say they might change their mind before the June 7 primary, the poll said.
The event was described to be a show of support by South Asians for the former New York Senator and to demonstrate that the community is an influential voting bloc in the American electoral process. Supporters for Clinton had come from throughout the state, including Hudson, Middlesex, Passaic, Bergen and Union counties. Jersey City Deputy Mayor Marco Vigil and Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro were also in attendance, and spoke briefly.
“We were truly surprised by the overwhelming turnout at our New Jersey launch event,” said South Asians for Hillary New Jersey co-chairs Amit Jani and Dinesh Suryawanshi, who hosted the event.
The organizers said it was gratifying to see that the South Asian community would like to get more involved in the electoral process. Jani said that many people have explained what they can do to help Clinton’s campaign – from making phone calls to knocking on doors and urging their neighbors from the South Asian community to vote as well. “The South Asian community’s clout as an ever-growing influential voting bloc is becoming clear to establishment politicians, and we should continue to work towards further increasing our community’s voice,” he said.