He is a son of Saurashtra running for a Congressional seat in America — and 34-year-old Vivek Bavda’s politics is enriched by a virtue valued in the land of his ancestors: compassion. Indeed, Bavda has vowed to fight strenuously to prevent the elimination of social security, especially for the elderly. He feels that the economic slowdown cannot be used as an excuse to cut down social security benefits.
Bavda, an attorney in Chicago, is the third candidate seeking the Democratic nomination to oppose Republican Robert Dold for the revamped 10th Congressional District seat in the November 2012 general elections. “I encourage immigration,” he said. “The United States has benefited from strong, intelligent, and ambitious immigrants who help in creating jobs and wealth.” He said he wants that trend to continue. “In fact, when I am in office, I will create the Clinton-Bush Scholarship,” he said. “This scholarship will give 5,000 foreign students free American education and living costs. They will be obliged to immigrate to the United States, and to eventually become US citizens.” He said the scholarships would be proportional to every nation’s population, so India would receive many more than say Iceland.
Bavda has a strong Ahmedabad connection. “I pay frequent visits to Gujarat to meet my relatives who live in Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Jamnagar, and Limbdi,” said Bavda. His parents emigrated to the US in the 1970s, but Bavda speaks fluent Gujarati. His father is from Limbdi, and mother from Jamnagar. “I have extensively toured places in Gujarat, including Saurashtra,” he said. “I have visited many temples, historical sites, and love to spend time on the beaches of Diu.”
Bavda is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Lake County Bar Association, and the Chicago Bar Association. As noteworthy as his professional commitment is his passion for public service. As a child, he raised money for the UNICEF and to support people with multiple sclerosis. Later, he went on to fight against the ban on stem cell research and pushed for better education for all children.
Bavda is confident that he will win as he is strongly backed by more than 1,40,000 Indians residing in Illinois. “I stand for an ambitious America that gets the job done,” Bavda said. “Second, I take political chances, provide solutions, and do not rely on a group of cynical political consultants. Finally, I address concerns critical to the people of the 10th district and have workable solutions to improve lives.”
Bavda has a long history of involvement with Democratic politics. These include volunteering for 1996 Democratic national convention, and joining the campaign of Jan Schakowsky when she made a Congressional bid in 1998. Bavda was also a part of Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000.
Bavda worked for the Indo-American Democratic Organization, registering voters for the New Americans Democracy Project. He also completed an internship with Barack Obama when he was a senator. He has helped to create the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures and built coalitions to prevent a ban on stem cell research in Missouri. The ban would have slowed down research to find cures for cancer, Parkinson’s disease and Type 1 Diabetes.

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