IAPAC Hosts Non-Partisan Reception to Build Bridges with Elected Officials

HOUSTON: The Indian American Political Action Committee of Greater Houston (IAPAC) hosted the first non-partisan reception for over 25 elected officials and over 130 members of the Indian American community at India House on August 4.

The event ‘Meet Your Elected Officials’ reflected IAPAC’s uniqueness of being the only non-partisan political voice for Indian Americans in the Greater Houston region. The event hosted officials currently serving in office from both the Republican and Democrat political parties. Additionally, multiple Indian Americans  representing both regional and religious groups as well as professional organizations  were present. Attendees had the opportunity to meet the officials who impact them the most: those serving in local offices.

IAPAC Board Member and Event Chair Vivek Menon kicked off the event with a quote by Rabindranath Tagore about service, setting the tone for the evening and how we need to focus more on our commonalities than our differences.

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher further cemented that idea with her speech about the work she’s been doing across party lines to better serve the community.  Speaking about diversity, she said, “This is a place where we welcome people, we welcome ideas and we come together to solve problems and instead of seeing those problems as obstacles, we see them as opportunities and that’s what tonight represents, and this engagement has to happen all the time not only at the ballot.”

Senator John Cornyn’s Office was represented by Jay Guerrero, who highlighted the continuous relationship Sen. Cornyn’s office has had with the Indian community, creating the first Senate India Caucus, and traveling to India last year with a delegation focused on strengthening the alliance of the two nations. Guerrero emphasized the need for such events by IAPAC spotlighting the important relationships that have been built over many years.

Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George and County Court at Law No. 3 Judge Juli Matthew were just two of the Indian American distinguished speakers at the event. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo sent a video message congratulating IAPAC and the importance of such organizations. Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Dist. 27 Representative Ron Reynolds also spoke about collaboration among the various levels of government and political parties.

IAPAC President Roopa Gir

While connecting the history of IAPAC from its early days known as “Association of Indian Americans” in 1984 to present-day, IAPAC President Dr. Roopa Gir said, “The progress we have made over these past two and half decades is nothing short of exemplary, with many aspirants from the community today in elected offices”. She made a call for more involvement from the community, especially from youth, as they are the future of the country.

Roopa recognized the founders and made special mention of Sanjay Ram, Chairman of the METRO Board of Directors, who was also a board member and former president of IAPAC. Reflecting on Ramesh Anand, the immediate past present, Roopa said, “He has been an inspiration to me and all of us and has provided exemplary leadership in many ways, including his creativity bringing in new blood into IAPAC.

In closing, IAPAC Vice President Gaurav Jhaveri thanked our sponsors and volunteers, and announced upcoming events for IAPAC including the WE@IAPAC women’s empowerment initiative in October, and a Thanksgiving lunch that brings together global ethnic and religious communities and their elected officials. Gaurav concluded by announcing that the IAPAC Gala will be held in Spring 2023.