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Guest Author- Neera Tanden on South Asians supporting Hillary Clinton

Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Politics”,  Neera Tanden, a close confidant of Clintons’ and President of the Washington based think tank, Center for American Progress writes about South Asian community to caucus for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

As an Indian American, I’m urging members of the Nevada Desi community to caucus for Hillary tomorrow because Hillary isn’t new to our issues and concerns.  As First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, she’s been a champion for issues of concern to our community.  Not just a friend, but a champion.  How do I know? I worked for Hillary when she was the First Lady, a Senate candidate, a Senator and Presidential candidate. 

First and foremost, a core value for Hillary is inclusion.  I started working for her when she was First Lady.  I was just starting out my career.  In her office in the White House, there were people from all walks of life – Asians, Latinos, African Americans, women, men, and LGBT folks – because she believes that diversity is strength.  And that was her frame work for so many issues of concerns – as a champion for immigration reform, especially ensuring families can stay together, ensuring high quality public education, access to health care. 

Neera Tanden addressing members of the Las Vegas Indian sub-continent community at Origin India Restaurant

But it’s not just the issues for her, its understanding.  Hillary has been to India many times, first in the mid-90s.  She has incredibly strong relationships with the Indian community in New York, from her time as Senator, but also from around the country.  She was co-chair of the India Caucus as a Senator.  She’s had Indian Americans in high positions in every job she’s had; I worked for her in many roles, but Raj Shah and Rich Verma served with her at the State Department.

Most important, Hillary has a keen understanding of the immigrant experience.  Being the Senator from New York, she knows how our diversity is strength for us as a country.  The fact that we have so many Indian Americans leading in the country is something we should all be proud of. 


I urge members of the South Asian community to caucus this Saturday at 11 for Hillary because over decades of services, she’s been a friend of our community.  Many of her efforts have gotten little attention, but they’ve been important nonetheless.


She’s been there for us.  I hope you will be there for her.


Neera Tanden

Former Policy Advisor and Policy Director to Hillary Clinton

(Currently, President of the Center for American Progress)


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