An Indian-American has announced he will run for the US House of Representatives from Florida district. Sanjay Patel will challenge incumbent Republican Bill Posey in Florida’s District 8. Patel, a resident of Satellite Beach, announced his candidacy this week at a meeting in Viera of the Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee that was attended by about 400 people. On his campaign website, Patel is described as “an activist, change-maker and organisational transformation consultant”. He says he believes in economic justice for all. If elected, Patel promises to work to build prosperity for communities on the Space and Treasure Coasts by supporting policies that ensure large companies pay employees fairly, and that help small businesses launch, compete fairly and thrive. “I will work to build prosperity for Florida’s families; guarantee health care for all Americans; protect our land, air and our water; and reform our immigration policy to reflect America’s deepest values,” Patel wrote on his campaign website. “I am the American Dream, a first-generation immigrant, the son of parents who have barely a high school education, a graduate of UCLA with a degree in economics who has built a small business and a nonprofit, and led transformative efforts in business, philanthropy and politics,” Patel said.
He said he’d take his skills and experiences to “transform our collective sadness and outrage into justice for all”. “I believe it’s time to cultivate a real conversation on the Space and Treasure coasts about economic, social and environmental justice for all people,” Patel said.
A graduate of UCLA with a degree in economics, Patel began his career in technology, with strategy and consulting roles at Deloitte, Genentech and the Santa Clara County Social Services Agency. He then launched a small consulting business in San Francisco; and subsequently co-founded a nonprofit, Epic Change, that used social media to raise funds for change-makers across the globe, according to his campaign site. Patel was one-year-old when his family arrived in America.
His father worked at a 7-11 and his vegetarian mother worked at a McDonald’s, while raising four children, including Sanjay. “My parents’ hard work for other companies earned little wealth for our family, and even less for our community,” he said on his campaign site. Patel is half of a Brevard Democratic Party power couple. His wife, Stacey Patel, chairs the Brevard County Democratic Executive Committee. Both were elected Bernie Sanders delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention.