Indian American Saikat Chakrabarti, who is the chief of staff to newly-elected New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been named among Politico’s “Power List” of people to watch in 2019.
According to Politico, the list “highlights politicians, activists and operatives across the country who are positioned to play a critical role in the political landscape leading up to 2020.”
Chakrabarti is from Fort Worth, Texas and he graduated from Harvard University, after which he worked on Wall Street before going to California where he co-founded a web design tool called Mockingbird.
He then built up the product team at the payment processor Stripe, however, he left in 2015 to work for Bernie Sanders’ campaign; he has been in the Silicon Valley for eight years.
Chakrabarti had always wanted to start his own company, but got sucked into the industry.
After Sander’s campaign, Chakrabarti co-founded the progressive political action committee Justice Democrats with Alexandra Rojas and Corbin Trent, and served as its executive director.
Justice Democrats joined hands with Brand New Congress, also co-founded by Chakrabarti, and together they aimed to recruit 400 candidates by asking people to nominate individuals from their own communities.
According to Politico, Chakrabarti has big policy dreams, like a “Green New Deal,” which would tackle everything from mitigating climate change to transforming the American economy, and criminal justice reform.
He also wants to lay the groundwork now to make them realities.
“Another thing to really do over the next two years is to basically show the American people what will be possible if the Democrats win the House, the Senate and the presidency in 2020, and that means putting our best foot forward,” Chakrabarti told Politico.“It means putting the most ambitious, the boldest, the biggest things we can, and then just build a movement around that.”