Alumni of IITs from different states of the U.S. Oct. 3 held a virtual meet and greet event with 22nd Congressional District Democratic candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni.
If elected, Kulkarni will become the first Indian American and Asian American from Texas in Congress.
Kulkarni in the 2018 election came close to unseating the six-time incumbent Pete Olson by reducing his margin of victory from 19 percent to 5 percent.
In 2020, Kulkarni, who has been endorsed by the Houston Chronicle, is looking to erase that difference from the mid-term election.
Kulkarni at the event discussed his compelling reasons for plunging into electoral politics. The tipping point came when there was Nazi rally in Charlottesville. It was compounded by President Trump stating that there are fine people on both sides, the IIT news release said.
As a foreign service officer with an ability to speak in six languages and having gained expertise in national security by working in Iraq, Russia, Israel, Taiwan, and Jamaica, he had a great career ahead of him.
Even without ensuring financial security as many do before entering politics, driven by high idealism he took up the challenge to fight for the noble principles that America believes in, the release added.
The first question was concerning the prevailing racial inequality. Kulkarni himself has faced a form of racial discrimination when he had been asked to go back to his country. He was born in the U.S. and his mother is a direct descendent of Sam Houston.
Kulkarni used to wonder which country he should go back to. It became clear later during the session that his fight for racial justice will not be a zero sum game as being handled today, the release notes.
On immigration, while he expressed his opposition to illegal entry by violating the laws of the country, he disagreed with the current government’s inhuman treatment of separating children from their parents and the unAmerican way of handling refugees from Central America as caged animals, the release added..
He expressed his anguish at the way America has been divided by hatred of one kind or another as though they have been infected by a divisive hatred virus.
While working on Senate committees, Kulkarni had the opportunity to work with Republicans and he told the participants that one of his goals is work over the current division, which is likely to destroy the very fabric of American democracy, to find common ground to solve some complex issues facing the nation, the release said.
Kulkarni stated that once elected he would organize town hall meetings every month with his constituents to keep in touch with them, according to the release.
Several other candidates in the country have approached Kulkarni to learn and adapt the innovative way of campaigning by studying the immigrant-, youth- and woman-centered relational model which incorporates calling people in their own languages.
Kulkarni’s campaign has been successful in providing the PPE to health care professionals and educated the people on the critical need to wear masks and maintain social distancing, it said.
While the candidate was promoting more voter participation by trying to provide more mail-in-vote collection centers, the governor has put a spoke into his scheme by announcing only one collection center for a county – a deliberate attempt to prevent voting by some section of the society, he said. Hopefully the court may rule against this voter-unfriendly decision, the release noted.