Indo-American Conservatives of Texas Visit Republican Leadership in Austin

IACT delegation with Governor Greg Abbott (center).

By Kumari Susarla

AUSTIN: Indo-American Conservatives of Texas delegation visited the Texas State Capitol on March 24, 2023. Founded in 2019, IACT’s objectives are to educate and promote political awareness among Indo-Americans, to encourage them to become citizens to register and vote, to facilitate debate with political candidates, and to keep the community informed of the legislative changes that will affect them.

This was the IACT team’s second visit to the State Capitol in Austin. The first visit took place on April 22, 2021.  This year, the team included the involvement of enthusiastic young adults to introduce the workings of the government to the next generation.  

About 30 participants gathered at the Rotunda Hall for a guided tour of the Capitol building. The Capitol structure, originally completed in 1853, was burned down in 1881. The original building consisted of about 366,000 sq ft. By 1888 the Capitol was reconstructed with an additional  600,000 sq ft. The current layout is now almost 1 million sq ft with beautiful architecture and an ornate interior. The rotunda has terrazzo flooring with the six seals of the countries that ruled over Texas. The six flags flown over our capitol are Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the USA. 

The team saw the chamber of the Texas House of Representatives, which accommodates 150 state representatives. An electronic board in the chamber displays each representative’s vote. They then visited the Texas Senate chamber, which has 31 desks for the senators. The senators vote by raising their hands — one finger for yes, two for no, and three fingers to indicate presence only.

The team visited State Representative Jacey Jetton in his office. IACT received a Resolution from the Texas state legislature commending IACT’s involvement with the Indo-American community to bring greater political awareness and for promoting conservative principles.  The team also paid a  visit to the offices of the Secretary of State Jane Nelson, Senator Joan Huffman of District 17, and Senator Lois Kolkhorst of District 18. 

The aides for Senators Cruz and Cornyn and Representative Jacey Jetton were very helpful, informative, and encouraged questions. IACT received a Senate proclamation as well.  At the end of the tour, the IACT team visited the Governor’s office.  The delegation was excited to be able to meet Governor Greg Abbott and have the opportunity to take a picture with him. 

A lunch was arranged by IACT in the Legislative Conference Center (LCC), which included Indian food catered by Biryani Pot. The Deputy Director of the Governor’s appointments office, Brent Connett, joined us for lunch.  He informed the team about committee appointments and the application process and encouraged participation.

The Texas state’s constitution gives the Governor the authority to make governmental appointments to state boards and to task forces that advise the Governor. The Texas legislature meets once every two years. The sessions last no more than 140 days. There may be special sessions as needed, and they last no more than 30 days. 

Radha Dixit has been the president of IACT since 2019. Dixit expressed her satisfaction with the success of the days events.  Her mission of educating the Indo-American community about the workings of the government was on display through this last event of her tenure.  “The enthusiasm I saw in the eyes of the younger generation has confirmed the importance of IACT as a unique organization standing up for its beliefs while at the same time being available for educating our community from the people actually doing the work in our State,” Dixit explained.  “I am proud of all that IACT has accomplished over the years with success at each event and excited for the incoming President Bijay Dixit. who coordinated this Capitol Day event to take IACT to the next level of success.”