Neera Tanden, the 45-year-old CEO of a major Washington DC think tank, led a small but noticeable charge by Indian-Americans at the Democratic National Convention.
“I would not be here without the policies of the Democratic Party,” Tanden said in a speech on Wednesday, using her life story to highlight the party’s values and seek support for party nominee Hillary Clinton.
After her father left, she said, “my mother had to be on welfare. She worked hard to support me and my brother. We also had help; a lot of help. We used lunch vouchers at school and food stamps at the supermarket”.
“It wasn't easy, but we eventually got back on our feet because of the investment Democrats have made in struggling families,” she added.
Tanden, a former Obama administration official and CEO of Centre for American Progress, is likely to land a senior position in a Clinton administration.
“For Hillary, politics is about fighting for people, not when the cameras are on, but when they are off. Not when the decisions are easy, but when they are hard. She is a leader we can have faith in. She will be a president we can count on always,” Tanden said.
Ami Bera, the only Indian American in US congress who took the stage later with a group of Asian-descent Democratic lawmakers, said, “As the only South Asian member of congress, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I support Hillary Clinton because she is the only candidate that understands the complexity of the world and is prepared from day one to lead America.”
And, Raja Krishnamurthi, an Indian American running for the House of Representatives from Illinois, got a shout-out from a lawmaker from the same group as an emerging leader.