South Asians for America endorses two candidates for U.S. Congress

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Steven Olikara, candidate for U.S. Senate from Wisconsin, seeking Democratic endorsement in Aug. 9, 2022 primaries. Photo: Twitter

The organization South Asians for America, SAFA, recently endorsed two candidates running for seats around the country.

Steven Olikara of Wisconsin, an entrepreneur, and a nonprofit leader, is running for the U.S. Senate.

According to his campaign website, stevenolikara.com, the Indian-American candidate lives in Milwaukee, and is the founder and former CEO of the Millennial Action Project (MAP), the largest nonpartisan organization of young legislators in the country.

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He attended Wisconsin public schools and graduated as a University of Wisconsin Badger.

A musician, Olikara played in multiple bands in the Greater Milwaukee area and became a DJ for a community-focused radio station. “… through these experiences, he discovered the power of bringing diverse people together to positively impact communities,” the website says.

Through their affiliated Congressional Future Caucus, MAP introduced over 200 bipartisan bills, 35 of which have become law, the bio says, adding that Olikara helped develop diverse coalitions of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents to achieve reform in 30 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

South Asians for America calls it one of the ‘most-watched’ races in the country, and notes that Olikara is the first Indian-American to qualify on the ballot, and the only one in a competitive ballot, in the whole country. The Wisconsin Democratic primaries are scheduled for August 9, 2022, and 8 candidates are vying to get the party’s endorsement.

“Steven brings the most federal experience to this race,” contends SAFA, adding that as the leader at MAP, he trained more than 2,000 elected leaders and built diverse coalitions to help pass legislation relating to clean air and gun violence.

South Asians for America also endorsed Reema Rasoor for Congress from New York.

Reema Rasool, candidate for U.S. House from New York’s District 3, Demoratic primaries on August 23, 2022. Photo: Twitter

A life-long New Yorker, Rasool has helped build businesses, and is a social entrepreneur, community organizer and mother of two boys, her campaign website notes.

Rasool is on the ballot to represent New York’s 3rd Congressional District. The primaries are scheduled for August 23, 2022, and six candidates are vying for the Democratic Party endorsement, among them another South Asian woman Navjot Kaur.

“I’m running for Congress because I am sick and tired of the reality show-styled political rhetoric that has now become normalized,” Rasool says on her website. “I believe our representatives should focus more on health, economic, and environmental justice for our communities, rather than on themselves.”

A progressive Democrat, Rasool calls health care a human right and is for Medicare For All. She also wants to help middle-class small business which is suffering she says, and wants to cut taxes.

Born in New York City, Rasool has a bachelor’s degree from New York University, and is an entrepreneur and founder of the non-profit trade association, SAY WE.

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