The who's who of Indian American community of Silicon Valley came together on Thursday, August 10 for a fund raising dinner for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's re-election campaign. The event not only highlighted the community's strong social and economic presence in the valley but also their desire for greater political visibility in their adopted land.
The Gubernatorial elections for California in which Governor Schwarzenegger is locking horns with Democratic candidate Phil Angelide are scheduled for November 7 of this year.
In recognition of the contributions of the South Asian community to the economy of California, Schwarzenegger complemented the hard work of the community members and announced the possibility of taking a trade delegation to India in 2007, if he is re-elected.
Commenting on the inclusion of the members of the community in state administration, he said, "The state administrative profile should reflect the populace of the state and since the south Asian community is an integral part of the state's profile, it is vital that they be a part of the administration."
Speaking exclusively to the south Asian press, he opined, "The wheel that squeaks the most gets most attention. Send me names and qualifications of people who you would like to see in myriad offices of state administration and on their merit, I can make requisite selections."
Answering queries on business collaboration with India, he said, "We have opened a business portal to facilitate information exchange. I will see how California can increase trade with India.
Schwarzenegger said he would like to collaborate with business and political leaders and plan events like fashion and food shows.
Speaking about his wife's recent visit to India, he said, "Maria was in India last week where she met the Dalai Lama and visited non-profit organizations working in the areas of women's issues and help for mentally challenged children. She specially mentioned the special Olympics on which we can collaborate in the future."
Enumerating his position on immigrant rights, he commented, "It is important to secure borders to curtail illegal immigration but the need of the day is for federal government to reform immigration laws. The current US policies are skewed towards doing everything illegally and this should change.
Amongst others, the attendee list at the exclusive dinner included Kanwal and Ann Rekhi, Sanjay and Suniti Subhedar, the Kumar Malavalli family, Promod and Dorcas Haque, Naren and Vinita Gupta, Arjun Gupta, and Romesh and Kathleen Wadhwani.