[Series] South Asians Spicing Up Politics: Niraj Antani
What experience led you to public service?
My political interest leads back to the 2000 election cycle when I remember watching Bush and Gore go back-and-forth on who was winning. Ever since then politics has captivated me and I have wanted to be involved. I believe that it is through public service that one person can affect create systematic and institutional change.
What role has your South Asian identity played in your political perspective?
It has played a great role. I grew up with Indian American values of hard work personal responsibility and conservative culture. I believe that led me into becoming a Republican and conservative values that I hold.
3. What advice do you have for South Asians who might run for office?
Learn the science of politics. Too many people just run for office without understanding that politics is actually a science in learning the levers of how people vote and why they vote. You have to understand why someone is going to support for you, give you money, vote for you, volunteer for you etc.
4. Why should South Asian Americans vote?
Every community should vote. Every person should vote. Our community has certain interests dealing with legal immigration, the medical industry, the IT industry, the hospitality industry etc.
5. How did your WLP experience influence your political ambitions?
WLP is critical to my success in politics. I learned a lot through my summer internship with them. I also learned the expensive network of the Indian American community. I owe a lot to the program.