A first-generation Nepali American immigrant Sarahana Shrestha has announced her candidacy for the New York State Assembly. She is the Nepali American to announce her candidacy for the New York State Assembly. Shrestha has announced her candidacy from District 103.
She has spoken out on the issues of climate change and economic and social justice. The Hudson Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialists has endorsed her candidacy.
She had started her election campaign last year for the upcoming primary. Shrestha has supported progressive agendas such as the New York Health Act, the Good Cause Eviction, and the Green New Deal. The Hudson Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialists and a group called ‘For the Many’ supported Shrestha’s candidacy.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a prominent US lawmaker has endorsed her candidacy. Likewise, Cynthia Nixon, a well-known American artist and rights activist, has also endorsed her candidacy.
She will have to compete with another candidate Kevin Cahill in the June primary. If she wins the primary in June, she will compete in the last election in November. Shrestha is also a member of the Democratic Socialist Party in the United States and co-chair of the Ulster County for the Mid Hudson Valley Chapter of the Democratic Socialist Party. She is also the leader of Coalition Public Power New York, which works to promote clean, renewable, affordable, and accessible electricity supplies.
In the New York State Assembly, each member represents approximately 130,000 residents. The term of the New York State assembly member is two years. In 2020, the Democratic primary was canceled and Kevin Cahill won the election with 51,234 votes.
Kevin has been consistently winning elections from District 103 since 2012. Prior to that, he had won from District 101 from 1998 to 2010. He had previously won the New York State Assembly from the same constituency in 1992. But this time, he will have to face the Democratic primary with Nepali-American candidate Sarahana Shrestha.
She came to New York in 2001 to study as an excellent graphic designer and also advocated for democracy in Nepal. Due to the political articles published in the online literature journal run by her, the then monarchy even banned her online in Nepal. Shrestha obtained US citizenship in 2019.
Lately, the participation of Nepali Americans in mainstream American politics has been increasing. Harry Bhandari, a Nepali-American Maryland Delegate, has succeeded in reaching the highest position elected by the people.
Nearly 60,000 Nepalis across the United States have obtained US citizenship, according to the US Department of Homeland Security. About 15 percent of them are living in New York.
Nepali Americans, despite being a minority community, have been actively participating in US elections. The interest and participation of Nepali Americans in mainstream American politics have been growing in recent years. Nepali Americans have not only started running in the election but have also started making history by winning the election.