Recognizing this trajectory of growth, and the coming of age of the fast-growing Indian-American community, particularly in the state of Illinois, the Indian American Caucus (IAC), a non-partisan platform formed with the objective of educating and encouraging the civic engagement of the Indian-American community, hosted a political forum on Thursday, Oct 13th, 2022 at the Mall of India in Naperville, IL.
Attended by a record number of 43 candidates running for offices to several local, district and statewide elections, representing both the Democrat and the Republican parties, the event provided the Indian American community with a platform to learn of the local and national issues that impact our lives on a day to day basis. The first of a kind event held three weeks ahead of the midterm elections scheduled for November 8th, attracted local residents, visitors, and the media.
Describing the objectives of the Caucus, Dr. Anuja Gupta, President of IAC commented, “Indian-Americans are realizing their influence in the elections. The Indian American Caucus was established to provide a platform for our community to get to know the candidates of both parties and make a more informed decision.”
Members of the organizing committee included Ms Shree Guruswamy, a local community leader and delegate of the Democratic party, Mr Vinoz Chanamolu, the proprietor of the Mall of India property and the VP of the American Indian Engineer’s Organization, Mr Girish Kapur, a Naperville community leader from the Indian Community Outreach organization and Ms Ghousia Wajid, a prominent person for civic engagement in the South Asian community.
The organizers are active members of the Indian American community of Chicagoland and serve in leading roles in many local organizations. The Mall of India is unique property development with Indian retail, restaurants, and hosting several public events.
The wide range of candidates who participated at the event shared with the audience their perspectives and the objectives/goals they want to accomplish by contesting the election. The forum offered a unique opportunity for the Indian American community toi hear from their candidates, some of them are elected representatives, who are seeking re-election in November 2022.
Dr. Suresh Reddy, past President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) and a current Trustee of the Village of Oak Brook, and a candidate for the Mayor of Oak Brook attended the event and shared his perspectives on the importance and need for the Indian American community’s active role in the political life of the United States.
The list of candidates who attended the event included, for the Supreme Court Justice Michael Burke, for IL Circuit Court Judge Mike Reidy; for IL Appellate Court Judge Sonny Choi Williams, Judge Liam Brennan & Judge Joe Birkette; for IL Congress Congressman Raja Krishnamurthy, Scott Gryder & Catalina Lauf, For IL State Senate Senator Laura Ellman, Rachel Ventura, Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton & Laurie Novak; For IL State Rep Paul Leong, Deanne Mazocchi, Stephany Hood, Janet Yang Rohr, Jackie Williamson, Stephanie Kifowit & Anne Stava Murray; For Dupage County Chairman Deb Conroy; for Dupage County Sheriff Jim Mendrick, for Dupage County Treasurer Gwen Henry & Don Potoczny; for Will County Treasurer Tim Brophy & Raj Pillai; for Dupage County Clerk Evelyn Sanguinetti, for Dupage County Board Bob Larsen, Cindy Cronin Cahill, Patty Gustin, Kari Galassi, Tina Tyson Dunne, Sheila Rutledge & Saba Haider; for Will County Board Meta Mueller, for Forest Preserve Commissioner Jeff Garhis; for Forest Preserve Liz Van Arsdell, Bob Schillerstrom, Daniel Hebreard & Mary Beth Carlson. State Attorney Bob Berlin is not running for re-election but attended the event as a well-wisher.