Reflections on the Campaign


By Harish Jajoo

SUGAR LAND: My campaign to become Mayor of Sugar Land – city I have come to cherish – ended last week.

While I was not elected, to say the campaign was not a success overlooks the important milestones reached, both for me personally and for the Indo-American community as a whole. As a person, and as a citizen, taking part in a municipal election enlarged my sense of both civic pride and Americanism.

As a person of Indian ancestry, it was clear to me that I would be viewed as a window into our community, its culture, its place in American society, and its aspirations. Though India is a place of many faith traditions, scores of dialects, and a rich and complex network of social groups, it was inevitable that many voters would draw conclusions about Indian community as a whole from what they saw in the campaign.

It was gratifying, first, to see the Indo-American community not simply offer support, but to participate in larger numbers than usual in the Sugar Land Election. While I was grateful for their support, it is important to note that some Indo- Americans felt confident enough in their place in American democracy to support my opponent. That is a healthy sign, one that speaks volumes about our assimilation into our home.

It was equally satisfying to know that, win or lose, I had visited with my fellow citizens of all backgrounds, heard their thoughts, and perhaps made myself and so many other “new” Americans, seem a bit less foreign.

I am here to say that America is fulfilling its promise to its immigrants. For all the turbulence and strife that surround our political system, the Indian-American community has a role to play in fulfilling the great experiment that is our new and wonderful land.

For that, we can all be both grateful and optimistic as we look toward the future and our place in it.