South Asians for America (SAFA), a newly-formed voluntary organization whose objective is to advance the interests of South Asians in the United States, held its official launch Oct. 18, in New York City. The event, held at Stitch Bar and Lounge, featured former Kansas State Representative and congressional candidate, Raj Goyle, along with several dozen of supporters from the South Asian community, a press release from the organization, said.
“We are proud to officially launch South Asians For America, where our first order of business is to assist South Asian candidates at all levels throughout the country to help turn a wave against Trump policies in November and beyond,” SAFA Co-chairs Neha Dewan and Amit Jani. are quoted saying in the press release.
In addition to politically supporting candidates and campaigns, SAFA said it plans to advocate and activate South Asian networks to address current issues and vocalize community support to further causes impacting the community. It also expects to lobby on behalf of South Asian interests at the the local, state and federal levels of government.
“It’s not enough to just support candidates at the top of the ticket during presidential cycles, but to remain active and vigilant throughout the midterm and local elections as well,” said SAFA Communications Director Nidhi Khanna. “We must protect those policies that help the South Asian community and proactively fight back against those that don’t, such as what we are seeing now at the federal levels.”
The saforamerica.org website carries a list of several Indian-American and South Asian American candidates running for office and also has a newsletter to informed those interested in keeping up with the activities of the organization.
Speaking at the event, Goyle recalled challenges he faced running as an Indian-American in Kansas. Originally going the medical science route to appease his parents, Goyle said he saw the value in getting involved politically and eventually running himself.
“We have made a lot of progress as a community, now even having the Indian version of Emily’s List,” said Goyle, who is also the co-founder of the Indian American Impact Project, which supports candidates and campaigns financially. He said Impact needs organizations like SAFA to “do the heavy lifting on the ground and to offer grassroots support and mobilization.”