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IAFPE Hosts Forum For Candidates For The 11th Worcester District State Representative

Press Release

Indian American Forum for Political Education Hosts Non Partisan Forum for Candidates for the 11th Worcester District State Representative

Indian American organization embarks on series of candidate forums to help Indian American community members learn about candidates for political office and voice their views on political issues.

The Massachusetts Chapter of the Indian American Forum for Political Education (IAFPE-MA) hosted a joint non partisan candidate forum with the India Society of Worcester (ISW) for political candidates for the 11th Worcester District State Representative at The India Center in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, on March 22nd, 2015. Attendees included political candidates Jason Palitsch (D) and Hannah Kane (R), as well as members of the Indian American, Westborough and Shrewsbury communities. The forum co-hosted the event to provide an opportunity for members of the Indian American community and voters in the surrounding areas to learn more about candidates running for office in the March 31st Special Election and voice their concerns about issues specific to their community. IAFPE plans to host similar candidate forums and meet and greets during this election cycle.

At the event, candidates from both the Republican and Democratic parties, Hannah Kane (R) and Jason Palitsch (D), spoke about their personal background, their work experience, and their desire to run for State Representative of Worcester’s 11th District.

"I enjoyed Sunday's candidate forum a great deal, and I appreciated the thoughtful and issues-oriented questions that were posed to the candidates. The Indian American Forum for Political Education is doing fantastic work in helping to bring a large, vibrant, and active community more and more into the political sphere. Members of the Indian American community comprise such a large portion of residents in Shrewsbury and Westborough, and I was pleased to be part of the first-ever candidate forum in our district to focus specifically on this community,” said Democratic Candidate for the 11th Worcester District State Representative Jason Palitsch.

“I am extremely grateful to The India Society of Worcester and IAFPE for allowing myself and Jason the opportunity to discuss issues and hear directly from the Indian American Community. Shrewsbury and Westborough are communities rich with diversity and it was wonderful to see so many people taking an interest in this race and the impact its outcome will have on our community and the Commonwealth. By offering forums for open debate and discussion their organizations are making significant strides in educating and empowering people in our community to participate fully in American democracy. If elected on March 31st I look forward to nurturing a productive relationship with these organizations and the Indian American Community,” said Republican Candidate for the 11th Worcester District State Representative Hannah Kane.

“I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to invite two bright, talented and dedicated individuals to our IAFPE political debate. Shrewsbury and Westborough communities and fortunate to have two such candidates who care about the community so very deeply. I would like to thank all the committee members of the Forum for coming together and contributing their time to making this event great. The support from ISW was greatly appreciated and The India Center was a perfect location to hold such a terrific event,” said IAFPE President Neena Mohanka.

The event also served as a way for candidates to connect with Indian American community members about their individual and collective interests and would not have been complete without the singing of the Indian national anthem, a plentiful provision of samosas and chai and a robust debate about who would win the Cricket World Cup.

“Through building traditions like this, IAFPE continues our commitment to providing an open space for the community at-large to learn about local and statewide issues affecting them. Being educated about local decision makers as well as the decision makers we elect to represent us on Beacon Hill is an integral part of being a successful community - one that can give back to others. And, educating our leaders about all aspects of our community, including parts of our cultural and historical background is just as important. Indian American communities have had a presence in this country and in American politics as early as the 1920’s. The hope is that each generation finds their own voice and continues to engage in politics as way to encourage cross cultural dialogue and have an impact that recognizes the individual and collective impact we can have on each other.” said IAFPE Vice President Sonali Lappin.

Established in 1982, IAFPE is the oldest and largest non partisan Indian American organization for political education in the country. It is nationally recognized for its outstanding work to enhance political awareness among the Indian American community and encourage civic engagement through seminars, symposiums, and their flagship fellowship program.

To learn more, follow us on Twitter: @IAFPE_MA or Facebook: facebook.com/IAFPE.MA or visit our Website: IAFPE-MA.org

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