USINPAC Congratulates Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera for getting re-elected to the US House of Representatives in one of the closet congressional races from California

Ami BeraIndian-American Congressman Ami Bera has been re-elected to the US House of Representatives in one of the closest congressional races from California.

More than two weeks after the Congressional elections on November 4, Bera led his Republican rival Doug Ose by a close margin of 1,432 votes.

According to the election officials, Bera got 92,394 votes against Ose’s 90,962.

Virtually all ballots have been counted. On the election night on November 4, Bera was trailing by more than 3,000 votes.

“It’s been my honour serving this community as a doctor for the last 19 years. I am grateful I will have the opportunity to continue serving as the representative for California’s 7th Congressional District in Congress,” 49-year-old Bera said in a statement.

Re-election of Bera, who was elected for the first time in 2012, has its own significance given that it was considered to be a Republican wave.
Not only this, Republicans had pumped in quite a substantial amount of money against Bera and that his challenger was a three-term Congressman.

“I want to make one thing clear: real success in life is not something to be demonised or looked down upon. No amount of TV or radio will ever change that,” Bera said.

“With a good education, hard work, investing in your own future, and chasing your dreams – a person can achieve real success. I regret that one of the themes in this election appears to have been that successful people by the very nature of their success are unworthy of elective office.

“In fact, people who are successful in the private sector are exactly the people we want to step forward and run for public office,” he said.

Former President Bill Clinton had campaigned for him and First Lady Michelle Obama had phone calls seeking votes in his favour.

Bera is only the third ever Indian-American to be elected to the House of Representatives.

Source: The Economic Times

USINPAC congratulates Indian-American Vanita Gupta on her appointment to head the civil rights division of the U.S.

Vanita GuptaIndian-American Vanita Gupta, a top lawyer from American Civil Liberties Union, has been appointed to head the civil rights division of the U.S. Justice Department, becoming the first South Asian to hold this post.

President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Ms. Gupta to serve as the permanent Assistant Attorney General of Civil Rights in the coming months.

“Vanita has spent her entire career working to ensure that our nation lives up to its promise of equal justice for all,” said Attorney General Eric Holder after he announced that Ms. Gupta will serve as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Ms. Gupta succeeds Molly Moran, who will become Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General.

She begins at the department on Monday, October 20.

“Even as she has done trailblazing work as a civil rights lawyer, Vanita is also known as a unifier and consensus builder. She has a knack for bridging differences and building coalitions to drive progress,” Mr. Holder said.

Ms. Gupta, who was most recently the Deputy Legal Director of ACLU, has expertise on federal and state policing issues, immigration, and criminal justice reform.

She started her career with the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund and has been active in supporting South Asian communities, including serving on SAALT’s Council of Advisors.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) applauded her appointment. “We look forward to working with her in the months and years ahead to address the range of civil rights issues that continue to face our nation,” said Suman Raghunathan, executive director of SAALT.

Over her career, Ms. Gupta has earned a reputation for working closely and collaboratively with law enforcement, departments of corrections and across the political spectrum to advance smart policing and criminal justice reforms.

Through her work with the ACLU, she has been involved in reform initiatives around the country pertaining to federal and state policing, sentencing, drug policy and criminal law.

Her recent work has focused on building a bipartisan consensus to end overreliance on incarceration.

Ms. Gupta began her career as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defence and Educational Fund.

In addition to her work with the ACLU and NAACP Legal Defence Fund, she has taught civil rights litigation and advocacy clinics at New York University School of Law.

She received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Source: The Hindu

An Event with Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard

tulsi gabbardUSINPAC hosted a reception a day after Prime Minister Modi’s speech at Madison Square Garden for Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. The agenda of the reception was to meet the only Hindu American member of the US Congress and hear her recount her first hand experience of meeting Modi. Congresswoman Gabbard promised Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lead an effort towards a Congressional resolution in support of International Yoga Day proposed by him. She also gave Modi her personal copy of the Bhagavad-Gita, which she has had since she was a child and was “a source of courage and comfort” during her two tours of duty in the Middle East as a soldier, and which she used to take her Congressional Oath of Office. Gabbard also presented Modi with a ginger flower garland from her home state of Hawaii, which Modi pointed out was a tradition in India as well.

During their meeting, the two spoke of the priorities shared by India and the US, including defeating the threat posed by ISIS and other Islamic extremists, cooperating to address environmental concerns, and maximizing economic opportunities.

PM Modi’s visionary speech leaves Indian Americans inspired

Modi at Madison SquarePrime Minister Narendra Modi not only won the hearts of Indian Americans amidst a full house at Madison Square Garden but also of nearly 40 top US lawmakers who described his words as “inspirational and visionary”. Many felt that he is a “charismatic” figure, while others felt he was “on the cusp of a transformation”. His views on minimum governance also struck a chord with the lawmakers.
Congressman Ami Bera, the only Indian-American lawmaker in the current House of Representatives, described Modi’s speech as inspirational and visionary. “Today the Indian-American community was celebrating. I look forward to continuing to work together to reinvigorate the US-India relationship,” he said.
“It was great to hear his message of peace and friendship at his address to an energized crowd at New York’s renowned Madison Square Garden,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.
“Modi’s visit marks a significant positive step toward growing the relationship between the US and India, which is a bond based on shared democratic values and a focus on mutual prosperity and security,” said Gabbard, who also called on the Prime Minister at his hotel. Gabbard presented to the Prime Minister a Gita, which she said had taken oath when she was sworn in to the US House of Representative.

A Brief Summary of Business Barometer 2014

Business leaders in both nations are willing to extend their reach into the roots of bilateral trades. They are willing to guide the Political administration in taking trade-friendly decisions and make bridges to help in development, prosperity and mutual benefit. The survey is done by APCO in close association with AUSIB. IT highlights the fact that leaders in both nations wish to evolve from diplomatic stand-still and breed friendly ties with each other motivated by the economic benefits and political stability.

The stand-out points that cropped out from the survey are as follows:

1. Business Executives in both countries see huge opportunities as far as economic growth is concerned.

 Most US executives see India as top destination for investment.

 70% US traders acknowledge that the economic relations are headed in right direction

2. Infrastructure development

 95% Indian executives want Indian govt. to focus on infrastructure add to 40% US counterparts who want the same.

 52% investors from US don’t invest in India only because of [poor infrastructure facilities.

 Both nations rank first as Investment destination.

3. Positive References versus Negative pointers

 The survey reports relationship health checker against the negative pointers that can hamper the evolution of trade.

 Major concerns are Visa restrictions, Chinese grip on market and Out-sourcing challenges

 Executives are willing to settle in the other country if stability is provided in the long run based on ethical backing and lower tariffs and taxation.

4. It reports the top 5 challenges in the immediate concerns facing each country

5. The survey ranks top 5 ways and ideas to further solidify Indo-US ties. Infrastructure tops both the lists followed by taxation structure and Visa regulations and travel options.

Conclusion: Overall, US Executives rate Indian market moderately, which is a motivating number, over the issue of regionalism which seems to affect the chances of doing any Investment in India. A majority of executives at midsize companies and those who view India as the best place to do business are more likely to do business in India as a result of the rise of state power