Indian-American bids to be US city’s first South Asian mayor

Washington, Sep 11 (IANS) An Indian-American engineer is making a bid to become the first South Asian mayor of Sugar Land in the US state of Texas, a media report said.

Harish Jajoo, who has been a Sugar Land City Council member since 2011, has lived in the city, which has 35 percent Asian population, since 1985 after migrating first to Canada and then the US.

Jajoo, who is one of two Indian-Americans on the six-person city council, will face colleague Joe Zimmerman — and possibly others who have not declared yet — in the 2016 election to replace mayor James Thompson, reported on Thursday.

“I look different, I talk different, maybe I eat different… But my values for the city are no less than the next person,” Jajoo was quoted as saying.

He said he knows that eventually a South Asian will be mayor of the city. But stressed that he was “not looking for that label”.

Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid 1800s and incorporated in 1959, Sugar Land is located in Fort Bend county, some 30 km southwest of Houston.

The county’s Asian population has grown more quickly than any other group, according to a 2013 report by Stephen Klineberg, sociology professor at Rice University, about Houston’s increasing diversity, and his colleague Jie Wu.

Between 2015 and 2040, the population of voting age Asian-Americans is expected to grow by 80 percent while the population of Asian Americans in general is expected to grow by 74 percent, according to a study by Paul Ong and Elena Ong of the University of California, Los Angeles’ Centre for the Study of Inequality and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

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