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Why And How To Get Involved In The Activities And Governance Of The Town

Syed Ali Rizvi

The Getting Involved Group (GIG) of Lexington, MA in association with Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL) successfully conducted a seminar on Saturday, November 12th at the Lexington Community Center. The session intended to educate the Indian American community on why and how to get involved in the activities and governance of the town was attended by around 25 Indian American residents of the town. It featured a key note address by Jessie Steigerwald of the School Committee followed by a question and answer (Q&A) session.

Narain Bhatia, a long time Lexington resident and  a formerTown Meeting Member traced the history of Indian Americans and GIG in Lexington. He said that Indian Americans started arriving in early 1970 and now make up 450 to 500 families or about 5% of town population. He highlighted the formation of GIG to 2013 in partnership with IAL and its incredible success---“there were only 2 town meeting members then and this year we have 12”.  He further added that “we have ways to go and urged the Indian American community to step up and participate”.

Jessie Steigerwald's key note address emphasized the importance of getting involved in the activities and governance of the town.  She reviewed the various initiatives of the School Committee since being elected and the intricacies of policy and administration.  A key message of her talk was that the diversity that is visible in our schools needs to be reflected in local government leadership and the need for Indian Americans to participate in Town Meeting, Town Committees and in particular, the School Committee.

In the Q&A session, current Town Meeting Members (TMMs), led by Dr. Dinesh Patel, explained why and how to serve the town as volunteers. The discussions addressed "why" it is imperative to give back to the town and "how" everyone can get involved despite busy schedules.

Please reach out to IAL GIG at ialgig.ma@gmail.com if you have any questions or interested in getting involved.

About GIG…

Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL) and the elected Town Meeting Members collaborated to create the Getting Involved Group (GIG). The mission of GIG is to actively reach, educate and encourage other Indian Americans to participate in the governance of the Town of Lexington and its committees.

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