NEW YORK – After Hiral Tipirneni’s announcement last month to run for Congress, now Indian American Anita Malik will be running for the House of Representatives for Arizona.
An emergency room physician, Tipirneni is running for the 8th Congressional District unlike Malik, a former journalist, businesswoman and digital media entrepreneur, who will be running for the 6th Congressional District and is aiming for the seat held by the three-term conservative Republican, David Schweikert.
She announced her candidacy through a video which she shared with supporters and voters throughout the district, saying, “Many of us are working harder and harder every day, but it seems like we can’t catch up and our dream is out of reach. Meanwhile, the egos of our current leaders are getting in the way of solutions. Hate and division are overpowering progress. It is unacceptable, and it is not my style. I am known for bringing people together and getting things done, and I plan to live up to my reputation.”
For four years, Malik, 41, has been the chief operations officer at ClearVoice, a content marketing company and has the confidence that her business experience as a brand and marketing expert will help her serve well in politics.
“As a woman of color, I stand a better chance of making a difference and affecting real change if I run for federal office because the average hard-working American is fed up with our leaders in Washington and this administration’s lack of progress,” she said.
“People want to see change and this is the time that other people, people who are not politicians need to bring that new, fresh, perspective. A different kind of approach to politics, and to me that was one of the main reasons I am doing it right now,” she added, saying that the racial discrimination which took place during the Trump campaign and his presidency was “definitely a factor” that prompted her to run.
“There were very few Indians when I was growing up, but I never felt the way I feel today, and I am in the same place and the same neighborhood and that is so disturbing to me, the fact that we are going in the opposite direction,” she explained, also mentioning that she was particularly angered by the fact that the rights of women were constantly being challenged.
So after consulting family and friends, she decided to run for Congress in May and said she would raise the necessary $2 million to $3 million for a viable campaign by tapping her network of small business supporters.
“I have the skills set to do this, and from then on I’ve taken this idea and the notion of this seriously and said now I am going to be knocking on doors of my community members, people in the political circles here in Arizona,” she said.
“We plan to run a highly digital campaign. This is a grassroots effort with digital savvy on our side,” she said. “I believe that is going to be a significant area that will help me and the Indian-American community will be a big support,” she added.
Malik is confident that her brief journalism times in radio news and with the Arizona Republic newspaper would allow her to keep her profile high, “and even though I didn’t stay in journalism, I’ve always been in content and the company I was a COO for was content marketing. I’ve always been a story-teller and so for me that story-telling aspect is something that I am going to really utilize in this campaign.”
Malik was also encouraged by Tipirneni’s decision to run in an entrenched Republican stronghold, “I applaud Hiral’s decision and candidacy, it’s very encouraging to see women, especially women of color running. I did not know about her decision or announcement until a few weeks ago, but I am heading off to her kickoff event tomorrow.”
Malik said that she will make sure that the voices of all South Asian and Asian-Americans were heard, “I’ve been doing that my whole life and I will continue. Our stories are often ones of success, but that overlooks the struggles of so many. I will make sure those challenges, those stories are heard, and that we find solutions.”
Malik’s parents Ashok and Kiran Malik are from Delhi and her father, who died of cancer, came to the U.S. in the early 1970s for postgraduate studies at the University of California, her mother still lives in Scottsdale.
She was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she now lives with her husband and two young children.
Malik has two bachelor’s degrees, one in finance and the other in computer systems operations, and after her first job at a tech company in Arizona, she began consulting for firms and startups across the state, including the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, PCS Healthcare, Schreiber Foods, Creative Testing Solutions and Rowboat Software.
She also worked full time at ASU as deputy director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Institute of Business Journalism, and in 2002, started East West Magazine, a nationally-distributed publication for the pan Asian-American community.