As a mayor of Richmond, I had the privilege of representing a large diaspora of Indians and Indian-Americans who choose to call Richmond their home. During my terms as Mayor, I was fortunate enough to be exposed to their rich culture and tradition. Today, India marks the 70th anniversary of its independence from Britain. India’s freedom struggle is a lesson and example to be studied by anyone trying to fight tyranny. Mahatma Gandhi fostered a people-powered movement to gain freedom from the very powerful British empire. The Indian independence campaign showed that when everyday people come together and organize peacefully, there is no army that’s too big to conquer or interest to powerful to take on. My own campaign seeks to to create a truly people-powered movement to wrestle control away from the current corporatocracy. In this shared spirit, I would like to wish every Indian and Indian-American “Vande Mataram.” 

Today, also marks another special day for the Hindu community. Today, Hindus celebrate the birth of their god Krishna. In the Hindu tradition, he was the light that fought tyranny wherever it was found. While embarking on an important fight against tyranny, Krishna also teaches people to rediscover their inner child, their curiosity, and an enthusiasm for life. This spirit is something all of us can appreciate regardless of our religion or cultural tradition, and in this spirit, I would like to wish all Hindus:

ॐ जय जगदीश हरे!