With 8 Indian-American candidates, community urged to vote in Tuesday’s tight local elections in Lexington

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LEXINGTON, MA—Indian-American leaders are urging members of the Indian community to vote in tight local elections in Lexington on Tuesday, March 1.

“Eight Indian Americans running for Town Meeting in Lexington,” said Narain Bhatia, a long-time Lexington resident and community activist. Here urged all Indian Americans and everyone to go the polls and exercise their votes.

He said there is a “fierce competition.”

Lexington-campaign-photo-s“Indian Americans in Lexington have shattered the prevailing view that they are busy working and taking care of children so they do not have the time to get involved in town affairs. Eight candidates are now running for Town

Narain Bhatia
Narain Bhatia

Meeting this year compared six last year against fierce competition,” Bhatia said. “All but one have full time jobs, five are women and several have kids. When you ask them why are the running, the answer is some variation of ‘ this is our town, our kids go to schools, we pay high taxes and if we do not participate, we have no say in the decisions and we must give back to the community where we live’.”

Dr. Dinesh Patel, MD, another long-time Lexington resident, said what started as raindrop of goal and mission to serve the public has nurtured into more.

“Indian Americans are making history in participatory democracy,” Dr. Patel said.

Dr. Dinesh Patel
Dr. Dinesh Patel

“Hopefully all will support and bless all who is trying to make difference.”

Sanjay Padaki, a Town Meeting Member and Lexington resident, said this year every one of the candidates is in a contested election.

“Each year there are typically seven incumbent candidates who stand for re-election from each precinct,” Padaki said. “So newcomers (like our IAL candidates) have to actively campaign in order to get recognized and elected.”

lexington-campaign-cover-sAccording to Indian Americans of Lexington (IAL), here is the bio of eight Indian-American candidates running for Lexington’s Town Meeting:

Sharmila Mudgal has lived in Lexington for almost 15 years. She is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 3. She has 2 sons who graduated from Lexington High School and a daughter, who is currently a sophomore at LHS. Sharmila is a Physician, who practices at Sports Medicine North in Peabody. She hopes to bring her experience in healthcare as a clinician and administrator to Town Meeting. Contact: smudgalmd@gmail.com

Anoop Garg is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 4 and has lived in Lexington with his family for 30+ years and he truly appreciates the town’s diversity, a fantastic school system, its great public library, sports fields, parks and playgrounds. His wife Kalpana is an educator who has taught at Lexington and Cambridge Montessori schools and is currently teaching in Newton. Their son went through the Lexington school system and Anoop, therefore, has first-hand knowledge of the incredible advantage a Lexington education gives young people as they begin their adult lives. For him it is now about giving back to this community. Anoop took early retirement from the corporate world where he managed various consulting and professional services organizations of large technology companies. He has a B.E. from IIT Delhi and an M.B.A. from SUNY, New York. Contact: anoopgarg99@gmail.com

Anil Ahuja is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 5. Anil and his wife Lata, along with their 2 kids, Rahul (senior at Lexington High) and Anika (6th grader at Clark), have lived in Lexington since 2006. He has Bachelors in Accounting, an MBA in Information Systems, and an MS in Computer Information Systems. He is an avid Chess player and teaches kids at academy of creative arts. Anil is interested in helping alleviate problems faced by Lexington Schools as well as ensuring that taxpayer money is utilized efficiently. Contact: anil_ahuja@yahoo.com or (H) 781-652-0555

 

Rita Pandey is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 5. She has been living in Lexington since 1988 where she raised 3 children who went through the Lexington Public Schools. During that time she earned a PhD in Sanskrit and Philosophy and became the Assistant Director of Harvard Summer School where she implemented a number of innovative programs. Dedicated to the community, she has volunteered for many organizations such as the Perkins school for the blind, Harvard Square homeless shelter, Cambridge community meals program, and Parents helping parents. She has also been an instructor of Hindi, teaching classes at the Lexington Community Center and for the Hindi Club at MIT. Since her retirement in the summer of 2015 she has become an ombudsman. Rita is passionate about creating collaborative projects to address issues such as: ageing, the elderly and their connection to the community, improving education and providing inquiry based projects and opportunities, growth and diversity, and creating a forum where people can share their enormous reservoir of knowledge and skills. Contact: reeta00@gmail.com

Vikas Kinger, is a Precinct 7 resident and candidate for the upcoming Town Meeting member elections on March 1st. My wife, Bhawna and I have lived in Lexington for over 8 years and our two sons Savik and Vikern go to Lexington Public Schools. As we all know, Lexington is one of the best places to live, work, raise a family and do business. As a management professional, I plan to use my finance and negotiation skills to find common ground and to keep Lexington moving in the right direction. I hope I will have your vote. I value your input, so please feel free to contact me to share your thoughts, ask questions or make suggestions. Contact: at vkinger@hotmail.com Twitter: @VikasKinger

Nirmala Garimella is running for town meeting in Precinct 8. I have lived in Lexington for 18 years with my husband Paramesh and two children, daughter Swini and son Kaustubh both of whom have graduated from the Lexington public schools. I currently work for a global non-profit and have a certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Boston University. I bring my experience of being engaged with the town at various levels: from a school parent in the early years to serving on the board of the Lexington Education Foundation and on the board of the PTSA, working on special projects at the Cary Memorial library and enabling partnerships with groups in town as a founder and Co-President of the Indian Americans of Lexington. I was privileged to be representing IAL in the subcommittee on demographic change (a subcommittee of Lexington Vision 2020) studying the rising demographics of Asian Americans in town. All this have given me a deep appreciation for town governance. I feel privileged to live in a place with this unique kind of local government that involves citizen’s law making. In all my interactions with town officials, volunteers and friends, I find an inclusive and thoughtful community who recognize the benefits of different perspectives and experiences that a diverse group brings to town. If elected, given my background, I will bring respect and inclusivity and engage in solutions that work for all. Contact: nirmalagari@gmail.com

Hema Bhatt is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 9. She and her husband Prashant are residents of Lexington for over 16 years. She has been involved with volunteering in elementary, middle, high school and Hayden Recreation as well as many other cultural and sports events in and around the town. She also serves on the committee of a non-profit organization that helps organize charity events. She believes in selfless action, working towards solving the problems and serving the community that has given us all so much. She is also actively involved in professional organizations and serves on the committee to coordinate many events, seminars and sessions for professional development. She holds degree in Civil Engineering and has extensive experience in her field, both in private and public sector. Her personal perspective both as a working parent and technical professional will greatly benefit the Town Government. Contact: hpbhatt2012@gmail.com

Pamela Joshi is running for Town Meeting Member from Precinct 9 (Bridge School area). She and her husband, Brent, have a son at Clark Middle School and are active volunteers in LPS and LUSC. Pamela has been a common sight at Brookhaven caring for her mom and is currently in her third term on the Lexington Human Services Committee. Pamela has a Ph.D. and Masters in Public Policy, is an experienced policy analyst, project director and teacher at Brandeis University. Pamela is running for re-election and looks forward to continuing her active involvement in Town Meeting. Contact: pam.joshi@gmail.com

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