NEW YORK – Former White House staffer under the Obama Administration, Gautam Raghavan, has got a future job locked up at the same address – conditionally, though. He will get a coveted job at the best-known address in Washington, DC, if former Vice President Joe Biden beats President Trump in the November elections.
Raghavan, who was the Associate Director of Public Engagement under President Obama, acting as a liaison to both the LGBT and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from 2011 to 2014, and is currently the Chief of Staff to Democratic Congresswoman from Washington, Pramila Jayapal, has joined the transition team announced by the Biden campaign.
The team is led by Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman, and the role for the team is to lay the ground-work for Biden to constitute his administration if he wins the Presidential elections in November. Raghavan is the only Indian American named to the team so far.
“Gautam Raghavan joins Biden Transition,” said Impact, an Indian American political advocacy group, which Raghavan was formerly the Executive Director of, in a statement.
“The next president will confront an ongoing global health pandemic and inherit an economy in its worst shape since the Great Depression. No one will have taken office facing such daunting obstacles since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Joe Biden is prepared to meet these urgent challenges on the day he is sworn in as president, and begin the hard work of addressing the public health crisis and rebuilding an economy that puts working families first,” Kaufman said in a statement, issued by the Biden campaign.
When Raghavan had left IMPACT to take up a job with Jayapal, he received high praise from Deepak Raj, co-founder of the organization.
“Under Gautam’s leadership, Impact Fund endorsed over 20 candidates and deployed more funds for Indian American candidates than any political organization in history,” Raj had then stated.
Raghavan, who had endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries, has an impressive resume. He has also worked for the Progressive Majority, the 2008 Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, the Gill Foundation, and the US Department of Defense as the Outreach Lead for its “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Working Group.
Raghavan is also the editor of the book ‘West Wingers: Stories from the Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House’, which includes personal accounts by 18 Obama Administration staffers.
Raghavan, who was born in India, and raised in Seattle, Washington, facilitated conversation on issues impacting both the LGBT and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, including marriage equality, workplace nondiscrimination, transgender rights, bullying prevention, immigration reform, hate violence, and access to health care, during his stint with the Obama administration.
It was during Raghavan’s tenure that Obama spoke out in favor of marriage equality, and later signed an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to Wikipedia.
Raghavan, who lives with his husband Andy and their daughter in Washington, DC, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 2004, and attended the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University from 2004 until 2006.
JULY 4TH FIREWORKS in NYC
For the first time in the history of New York City, the annual fireworks sponsored by Macy’s, will reach all the five boroughs. There have been dozens of complaints of illegal fireworks going off in the city at all hours after dark in the last few weeks. For a week though, approaching July 4th, fireworks would seek to surprise and delight rather than offend residents.
From June 29th to July 1st and on July 4th, a series of fireworks displays will launch from various land and water-based locations across New York City, announced Mayor de Blasio, on Tuesday.
“These past few months have been some of the most difficult in our city’s history, and New Yorkers are looking for a break. This 4th of July Celebration with Macy’s will give all New Yorkers a safe and exciting way to enjoy the holiday together, even when we are apart,” said de Blasio, in a statement.
Susan Tercero, Executive Producer of the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks, detailed that the “five-minute surprise displays” will showcase Macy’s signature pyrotechnic design and scale, accompanied by lively music, while encouraging spectators to continue following safety and social distancing measures.
“These smaller, unannounced displays will allow New Yorkers to celebrate all week long. Each show is brief and will be over before residents can gather at the source. With heights reaching up to 1,000 feet from some firing locations, staying close to home and following social distancing guidelines is the best way to enjoy the show,” said a statement from the Mayor’s office.