08/20/2017

Ask A Staffer: S. R. Sidarth

Ed Note: While we will not make a pre-primary endorsement, AAA-Fund invites every Democratic Presidential campaign to reach out to Asian Americans. Ask A Staffer is a new and ongoing series of informal interviews with Democratic staffers who care about APA issues.

A native Virginian and graduate of the University of Virginia, S. R. Sidarth currently works as Special Project Coordinator in the communications office for Governor Bill Richardson’s Presidential campaign. In 2006, he shot a video in which former Sen. George Allen mocked Sidarth because of his skin color – galvanizing Asian Americans and Democrats to defeat Allen, elect Sen. Webb, and retake the U.S. Senate. In May 2007, Sidarth graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Government. Our questions are in bold and Sidarth’s (SRS) responses are below.

1) What drew you to your candidate?

SRS: Having spent nearly a quarter-century in a variety of positions in public service, Governor Richardson is the most qualified candidate in the Presidential field. Of the major candidates, he has proposed the only plan that truly will end the war in Iraq: to remove all of our troops and use diplomacy to promote reconciliation in the region. Governor Richardson also possesses the ability to win the general election by bringing the southwestern United States into play for Democrats.

2) How will your candidate benefit Asian Pacific Americans as President of the United States?

SRS: Having grown up in a bicultural household, Bill Richardson understands the value of diversity. As Governor of New Mexico, 2/3 of his senior staffers are either minorities or women. His practice of hiring the most qualified person for the job will continue as President. In addition, Richardson will continue to work on issues important to APAs, including ending the war in Iraq and restoring America’s leadership in the world, improving our education system, and fixing our broken immigration system.

3) How did you become involved in politics and what led you to campaign life?

SRS: I started working in politics in 2003 upon enrolling at the University of Virginia. Being involved in a campaign is the best way to understand how the political process works.

4) What’s one thing that you didn’t know about campaign life beforehand that you’d like to share?

SRS: Until this past year, I did not know how gratifying it would be to help elect a candidate who truly represents what you believe in.

5) How do you think the Asian Pacific American community has evolved politically this campaign cycle and where do you see us going by the next election?

SRS: Thanks to groups like the AAA Fund, we are making significant strides. However, more APAs need to get involved in campaigns and run for office. As public service becomes more prevalent in the APA community, our interests will be better represented.

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Like the Ask A Staffer series? Write in the comments section with more questions or suggestions for potential interviewees. And spread the word by linking us or forwarding this interview.

Note: The AAA-Fund welcomes a diversity of views and voices. In that spirit, the views expressed in this article are the author's own. Unless an article states that it was written by the AAA-Fund or its Board of Directors, it does not necessarily reflect the views of the AAA-Fund.

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