Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Just in from India…

Today’s news source is the Indo-Asian News Service, by way of Kerala, India and the New Orleans Sun. The subject is Indian American Nial Patel, 25, who works for recently elected Representative Bobby Jindal, also of Indian descent. Jindal has another Indian Americans in a key staff position, Sapna Delacourt is legislative director and counsel in his Washington office.

Patel says he absolutely "loves" public service. He looks after Metairie, on the western side of Greater New Orleans, for Jindal, making sure the freshman congressman maintains his links with the people who sent him to the House of Representatives.

"I represent Bobby to his constituents in the First District of Louisiana. I act as a liaison between constituents and various federal agencies. I love public service and I cannot think of anything more pleasing than being able to help people better their lives and understanding government," Patel told IANS.

Patel was born in Toronto, Canada, but moved to New Orleans at age 1. His father Ashok Patel, an engineer who has worked for the US space agency NASA and now a businessman, is from Gujarat and his mother Gita is from Kisumu, Kenya. A graduate of Louisiana State University, Nial studied economics and political science, and later earned a graduate degree in economic public policy.

He began working for Jindal as a volunteer on the gubernatorial campaign.

"I love politics, but was never active until I saw that I could play a role in something I really believed. I did everything from answering phones to organizing volunteers to helping research for policy papers and debates. I was pinned down from project to project and was used to help all aspects of the campaign," Patel said.

"I consider myself a Louisiana political operative and hope to help build the Republican Party in the state by true leadership, educating the voters and hard work," said Patel, a claim Jindal takes seriously. He considers Jindal "an excellent role model" and admires his devotion to public service. "It comes straight from the heart," he said.


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