Congressman Ami Bera speaking at the Sacramento event, Oct. 26. (Ras H. Siddiqui)

U.S. Congressman Ami Bera of the California 7th District (Sacramento County) was invited for a “meet and greet” by the area South Asian community at the Sharzad Restaurant in Rancho Cordova, Calif., Oct. 26. During this fundraising event he addressed the gathering about important issues and the upcoming election on November 8th.  Congressman Bera is the only elected Indian American member in the U.S. House of Representatives today and he has a tough fight ahead of him against Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones for this seat, writes Ras H. Siddiqui. – @siliconeer #siliconeer #Vote #Democrat #SouthAsian #AmiBera #CongressmanAmiBera #BeraforCongress #KamalaHarris #RoKhanna #MikeHonda

What Bera could possibly have in his favor this time (beyond his sharp wit and quick grasp of important issues) is that he is a Democrat running against a Republican (Jones) and the national mood fired up by the controversial Trump candidacy might be reflected in voting patterns here in Sacramento. If more Republicans than Democrats decide to stay home and not cast their vote or move across party lines, and minorities (Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, and Muslims) plus Bernie Sanders supporters really turn out to vote, this election could turn in favor of the Democratic tickets nationwide including in the 7th District.

This particular event was hosted by Sacramento area luminary Dr. Najme Minhaj aided by his wife Seema. Quite a diversity of local South Asian community was represented here including Afghans, Indians, Pakistanis and Arab Americans. A similar fundraiser by Sacramento’s businessmen was held for Scott Jones earlier in October which this reporter unfortunately could not attend. But as Minhaj said in his introduction, Ami Bera has had a lot of support from this community in the past and that support continues to a higher level in this coming election.

Congressman Ami Bera (2nd from r) with event organizers and friend. (Ras H. Siddiqui)

Congressman Ami Bera (2nd from r) with event organizers and friend. (Ras H. Siddiqui)

Congressman Bera was at ease and answered questions about individual and community concerns ranging from hate crimes, Obamacare (rising premiums) and the high cost of college education.  He said that we need to de-legitimize hate groups, control health care overhead, and introduce more online technology into the college curriculum so that more can benefit at a lower cost. Bera is a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs but the community focus here was more on domestic issues.

It will be interesting to see how many Indian Americans win their election on November 8th. Another tight race everyone in Northern California will be watching closely is the Mike Honda-Ro Khanna race in SF Bay Area. We believe that this time Khanna has the edge and will come out ahead but it is difficult to pin this race between two Democrats. On the other hand, the race for U.S. Senate is one which Kamala Harris is heavily favored to win. But amongst these, incumbent Bera has to prevail. He joked at this event that his wife would like to see him win on Election Day (for a change) because the outcome of his last race took too many days to decide!