Raja Krishnamoorthi Visits Houston to Muster Support for his Congressional Run

Raja 1in

By Sanchali Basu

HOUSTON: Who would have thought that this unassuming, down to earth, practical, pleasant person with no airs about him would be running for Congress in the 8th district of Illinois? The democrat, the son of Indian immigrants to the US, graduated with honors from Harvard Law School and earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in mechanical engineering from Princeton University.

In a small private gathering at Mayuri Indian restaurant, arranged by IAPAC on September 18, Raja thanked the attendees and gave a brief background about himself. He alluded to his humble beginnings,  when his father had lost his job. The fact that he was a product of public housing, welfare and food stamps struck a chord with the audience.

It is but natural that he is representing the district which has the highest concentration of Indian Americans in Illinois. He jokingly remarked that, “There are too many chiefs but not enough Indians in Congress.” He is clearly the front runner among 3 candidates and his seat favors the democrats by 8 points. He has the support of several influential political figures namely David Axelrod, Ami Bera and half of Illinois has endorsed him. He has all the structural tools in place to win and has done an excellent job of raising funds so far. He has been to new Jersey (AAPI meeting), Washington DC, Atlanta, Silicon Valley etc on his campaign tour and is expecting to raise the money needed to win the election soon.

Raja, during his term as the Deputy Treasurer of Illinois helped increase the amount of property returned to taxpayers and cut the cost of the unclaimed property program. He helped run Illinois’s technology venture capital fund which created hundreds of good paying jobs. He also served as Special Assistant Attorney General and chairman of the audit committee of the Illinois Housing Development Authority. He was the policy director and a senior advisor for Barack Obama’s 2004 US senate campaign.

On being asked why he was running the race, he quipped that it was because of us. The population demographic of his district is 44% minority of which 13% is Asian American. The district has been very economically challenged lately, with industries downsizing and mass layovers. He plans on eliminating the student loan burden by making college education free, implementing combined education and child care programs and creating jobs in the renewable energy sector. He himself is a living example of the latter since he is the President of the small business, Sivanathan Labs and Episolar, Inc. which develops and sells products in national security and solar panels. Last, but not the least he wants to strengthen India US relations.

On addressing the issue of the 500 billion dollar debt that the country currently incurs, he stated that as a businessman, his first initiative will be to cut costs and reallocate resources to programs that do work and cut programs that don’t. He wants to keep the economy strong and also help the underdogs. He believes in building relationships of trust and get to know as many people as possible

With his very impressive resume and vast professional experience and background, Raja knows how to get things done. With the backing and support of the very successful Indian American population, it will definitely be possible for him to get elected to Congress. Friendswood and downtown Houston were his next stops in the Houston campaign trip and he promised to come back to Houston before the elections. Register at www.rajaforcongress.com to show your support and for financial contributions.