Bhavini Patel running for congress to represent power of “American Dream”

Patel is competing against Progressive Democratic challenger Summer Lee in Pennsylvania's District 12

Patel is the daughter of a single immigrant mother hailing from the Indian state of Gujarat / X/@PatelforPA

Bhavini Patel, an Indian American Democratic candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's District 12, stated that she is running to represent the power of the American Dream. 

The daughter of a single immigrant mother hailing from the Indian state of Gujarat, and the first in her family to receive a university education, Patel believes that having the opportunity to run for Congress is “powerful” and a testament to the beauty of the United States and the opportunity that the country offers. 

In an interview with New India Abroad, Patel recalled how her mother supported their family by working odd jobs in the restaurant industry. She eventually began supplying samosas and other dishes to the famous Indian restaurant Patel brothers, which prompted her to launch a food truck business. The family business, India on Wheels, currently serves Indian delicacies on the Pittsburgh University and Carnegie Mellon University campuses.

“The idea that a woman from a small village in India can come to this country, build a life, educate her children, and raise the daughter who's running for Congress in this country. It's a powerful thing. I think it's a testament to the beauty of this country,” Patel said, adding that her campaign and candidacy is about highlighting that message.

Patel’s campaign has been backed by 32 local elected officials within the district. Mayor Betty Copeland of Bridgeville, Mayor Michael Cherepko of McKeesport, council members Richard Dellapenna, Jim Barry, and Brian Evans of McKeesport, Mayor Nick Gresock of Monroeville, among others have endorsed her. 

“It is quite a historic thing to have an Indian-American that’s running. The ability to build a body in Congress … is an opportunity to craft legislation that reflects the diversity of this nation. A lot of people are excited by the history-making nature of this candidacy if I win my service in Congress,” she said.

On the U.S.-India relationship, Patel remarked that it is “critical” especially when it comes to attracting young talent. “Our relationship with India is very critical. I think there's a burgeoning young population there. There's a lot of hunger and desire to build a life and to contribute to the growth of India, but also globally there's a lot of talent,” she highlighted.

According to her, Western Pennsylvania has a huge chance of attracting young talent from the country who are willing to come, study, live, open small businesses, enter the workforce, innovate, and advance dialogue on some of the toughest challenges that the country is dealing with, for instance, the climate crisis. 

Speaking on the priorities of her campaign, the aspiring congresswoman said, “We are focused on positivity, building up the country, supporting the Democratic party, supporting President Biden...” 

Patel acknowledged that the Presidential elections later this year will primarily be between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and that voting for the latter is a vote for "getting the job done," as opposed to "extremism." Highlighting the accomplishments of the Biden administration, Patel stated that the next four years will be an opportunity to build on the progress made. 

The 2024 U.S. House of Representatives elections in Pennsylvania will be held on November 5, 2024, to elect the seventeen U.S. Reps. from Pennsylvania, one each from the state’s congressional districts. Patel is competing against Progressive Democratic challenger Summer Lee.