Thursday, October 20, 2005

Another Desi Running for U.S. Congress?: Upendra Chivukula

Upendra Chivukula is a State Assemblyman from New Jersey.

He's profiled on today's Marketplace (an NPR radio show). He doesn't come out and say it in so many words, but it sure sounds like he's running for Congress.

In the story they say there are nearly 200,000 Indians in New Jersey (they don't talk about Pakistanis or Bangladeshis). It's still not a large number if you consider that there are 8 million people in the state. Still, he's a Democrat, which means some of us are likely to be a little more enthusiastic than we were with Bobby Jindal last year. Chivukula does have to get over the hump of his last name, which some Americans might find difficult to pronounce. In the Marketplace story he makes a little joke about it ("think 'Chevy' plus 'Cola' -- it's not so hard!").

Sreenath Srinivasan, the omnipresent Columbia journalism prof. also makes a cameo in the story.

Incidentally, Upendra Chivukula is also profiled on something called the Indian American Leadership Incubator.

And there's more on him on this Telegu-centric blog.
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UPDATE: I randomly met Chivukula at a big Navratri/Garba fest in Parsippany three days after posting this. Seems like a nice guy. And he confirmed that he's likely to be running for Congress next year.


Mrudula said...

I hope Chivukula makes it. I have a feeling he is from my home state state, Andhra Pradesh.

12:58 AM  
Mrudula said...

Oh! He is. I didn't see the last line.

1:00 AM  
Chuck said...

His method for handling the last name pronunciation issue is pretty smart. Nothing more "American" than Chevrolet and (Coca) Cola.....

8:30 PM  
DBK said...

Assemblyman Chivukula is my representative in Trenton. While I am very glad to have him representing me, and I think he is doing an excellent job (he has had my unwavering support for several years), I don't see him running for Congress any time soon. I am not certain of his US congressional district, but he would have to run for either Congressman Holt's (Democract) or Congressman Pallone's (also a Demcorat) seat, and I don't see him getting either of those in a primary. Fact is, both of those representatives are great as well, so there's nothing for it but to stay as it is and allow me to continue to enjoy the best representation in the country.

12:34 PM  

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