Chicagoland’s South Asian-American community came together Jan. 12, for a reception hosted by the Indo-American Democratic Organization (IADO), to celebrate the victory of Illinois State Senator Ram Villivalam, who became the first Indian-American to sit in the State legislature in history.
Susan Patel, founder of Urban Convene, and IADO Treasurer Shajan Kuriakose, were the main organizers of the event which attracted more than a 100 guests including elected officials, civic leaders and community members to the West Peterson location, near Devon Ave. in Chicago.
Villivalam has served as president of board of IADO. Patel is the vice president.
Speakers included Congressman Ram Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois; Illinois Senate President John Cullerton; Cook County Board President & Chicago Mayoral Candidate Toni Preckwinkle; Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, D-Illinois; MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita and State Representative John D’Amico.
“While I was represented by the people of Illinois’ 8th state senate district – I want you to know that I will represent every South Asian American in this state,” Villivalam is quoted saying in the press release.
The secretary of the IADO board is Abin Kuriakose. The IADO board includes Bushra Amiwallah, Samay Gheewala, Nazneen Hashmi, Tom Kalayil, Al Khalfan, Sam Kukadia, Maneesh Limaye, Sameer Mayankar, Dilara Sayeed and Vivek Yeldandi.