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Extend Invitation To Indian-American Community: Reddy Urges GoP Leadership

Narender Reddy at the GOP convention

Republican activist Narender Reddy recently addressed the Georgia State Republican Party’s annual convention at the Gwinnett Civic Center on May 18th. He is the first Indian-American to be invited to speak at the party’s state conventions.

Reddy has been active with the State Republican Party and Congressional and Gubernatorial elections in Georgia for several years. Appointed by Governor Perdue, he is currently serving on the board of Georgia Regional Transportation Authority. He is also the first Indian-American in the history of Georgia to have been a delegate to the Republican National Convention held in New York (2004) and to serve as Presidential Elector (Electoral College).2004. He reached 'Pioneer' level (fund raising) in the President Bush's election (2004), and served as State Vice-Chair for the Bush/Cheney 04 campaign committee in Georgia. He was also invited to a State dinner at the White House hosted in honor of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (2005).

At the convention, Reddy spoke about the importance and contributions of the Indian American community to Georgia.

“This is the community that immigrated from the largest democracy to the oldest democracy. Over two million of them have made this country their home. And about 70,000 of them live right here in Georgia,” he said.

“They are doctors, entrepreneurs, professors, information technologists, Nobel prize winning scientists, Pulitzer prize winning authors, presidents & CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, members of our Armed Forces, astronauts - In fact, as I speak, Astronaut Sunita Williams is orbiting the earth from the International Space Station,” he added.

“Indian-Americans, with a median household income of over $62,000 per year, are ranked as the highest income group in this country. This community epitomizes the American Dream.”

With 68% of them being college graduates and 42% of them holding graduate or professional degrees, this group recognizes education as a great tool for success, Reddy said.

He stressed that the community believes in family values and God.
“They believe that practicing one’s religion leads to self-discipline through which one can make a positive contribution to the community in which they live,” he said.

“Indian-Americans do not seek special treatment or handouts. They do not believe in affirmative action or special quotas. They believe in fair play and equal opportunity. This community strongly opposes illegal immigration.”

Reddy lamented that a huge majority of this community is aligned with Democrats, “even after having so much in common with the Republican Party’s social and economic agenda.”

He said the reason lay in the fact that till recently, the Republicans, totally forgot about this important ethnic group.
“We totally ignored them. In return, they ignored us. The other political party took advantage of the situation and pampered them with utmost attention and aggressive solicitation,” he said.

However, he added that the tide was changing, due to the efforts of President Bush and Governor Perdue, and the party was finally making inroads into the Indian-American community in Georgia and at the national level.

“In the 2000 elections, the Republican Party got only 5% of this community’s vote, whereas, in during the 2004 Presidential Elections, we increased our share to 37%. The community also contributed about six million dollars in political contributions to various Republican candidates,” he said.

“Today, I’m proud to say, we have an Indian American Congressman in Bobby Jindal elected from the state of Louisiana. Currently, he is campaigning to be the next Governor of Louisiana and chances of his getting elected are very bright. Also we have Nikki Randhawa Haley elected to the State Legislature of South Carolina,” he added.

Reddy expressed hope that in the near future, an Indian American would get elected to the state legislature in Georgia.

“During the past decade, I have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for various Republican candidates and President Bush’s election campaigns. More than half of that money came from the pockets of my democrat friends,” he said.

Urging the party leadership to focus on developing plans to extend an invitation to the fast growing affluent community, Reddy said most ethnic groups, by their culture, believe in being invited to join a group or party.

“Our elected officials should participate and be more visible in their community’s events,” he said. “We need to explain to this community that the Republican Party needs them and they belong right here with us. We need to assure members of this community that they are welcome and can feel at home with us.”

“Let us not rest till 90% of this vibrant community with its rich culture, supports our party,” he concluded.

Prominent speakers at the convention were, Governor Perdue, Senators Saxby Chambliss & Johnny Isakson and Congressmen John Linder, Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, Lynn Westmoreland. Former Speaker and probable presidential candidate Newt Gingrich delivered the key note address. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney made rounds at the convention. 



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