“I am a small business Democrat”, says Abhijit “Beej” Das who is running to be the United States Representative from the Third District of Massachusetts that was formerly held by Nikki Tsongas. Son of an entrepreneur and a professor, Beej was raised in Massachusetts.
“I am a constitutional lawyer by training, but an entrepreneur at hear” says Beej. After graduating from Law school at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, he became a federal law clerk to Hon. Judge Benson Everett Legg of the United States District Court for Maryland where he helped decide cases ranging from civil rights, affirmative action and discrimination, commercial disputes, intellectual property, to drugs and other criminal matters. After his clerkship he started a career at a leading Boston law firms, including the famed technology and VC firm Testa Hurwitz & Thibeault and real estate and corporate powerhouse Goulston & Storrs. The entrepreneurship got him and he decided to get into the hotel business.
“After leaving the law firm world, I became a hotel developer, first with Hilton Worldwide, then with my own company, Troca Hotels, in Tyngsboro. The focus of the company I've built is creating profitable and sustainable hotels in in interesting under-served communities that need them. It's a lot easier to make money building fancy hotels in big cities but it is far more rewarding to do what we do. When we bought our first hotel in Brunswick, Maine, it was a continually insolvent bank-owned property. Today, that property, The Daniel Hotel, is a thriving and highly rated asset which employs nearly fifty full time employees. I've worked hard to build our business, employing over 70 employees in the Third District at our third hotel, The Stonehedge Hotel & Spa, and dozens more outside it” says Das.
What motivated him to take the big step ad leave his business to move into politics? “There are times in ones life from we know it is time to take a big step. My father did it when he decided to leave India. For me the decision came because I see the American Dream is under attack. I want to protect it” says Das.
What would he like to say to Indian Americans who feel progressive Democrats do not represent their own values which is focused on self-dependence rather than relying on the Government to help? “ I am a small business Democrat. While I am a big believer in many progressive values when it comes to several issues, most importantly on immigration, being a small business owner I also understand the need for sensible regulation that does not overburden anyone. “
“In the current climate in Washington there has been a significant shift in the thinking on immigration which is very detrimental to the nation and to Indian Americans. I believe in resolving DACA permanently. The increase in the availability of longer duration temporary training visas and work permits is essential to keep America's economy moving forward. I will work towards a comprehensive immigration reform” says Das.
How does he hope to work in a congress that is controlled by the Republicans? “It is my hope that in 2018 Democrats will regain the house. I am working to support fellow Democrats around the country. Immaterial of what happens, I feel my Indian American heritage trained me to work with people who may not agree with me or be culturally similar to me. As Indian Americans we are constantly balancing between two cultures and I think I can do this in the congress as well”
What message does he have for our readers? “It is really important for Indian Americans to be politically active. Not many vote in the primaries but it really is very important to participate in the process. I hope all Indian Americans will come out and vote. For the people from the Third District, I would like to ask for your vote. When I win it will be the first time that any Indian American from the east coast has served in the congress and I ask for your support. If people would like to contribute to my campaign I truly value that as well”
To learn more about “Beej Das” please visit his website at www.dasforcongress.com