with Farooq Mitha
Neha has long been active in both local and national politics. Most recently, she founded and served as the National Director for South Asians for Biden, an organization dedicated to engaging, educating, and mobilizing the South Asian community to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. In 2016, Neha served as the National Co-Chair for South Asians for Hillary and was appointed by Hillary Clinton to the National AAPI Leadership Council.
Previously, in 2015, Neha was appointed as a guest of honor by the Consulate General of India in New York City where she was selected to speak about gender equality for International Women's Day. During the 2012 presidential campaign, Neha chaired the New York Chapter of South Asians for Obama and also served on the steering committee for Lawyers for Obama in New York. For several years, Neha served as an Officer of the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, an organization affiliated with the National Lawyers Council of the Democratic National Committee and comprised of Democratic lawyers and voting rights activists. Similarly, for many years, Neha served as an advisory board member of New Leaders Council, a national organization focused on training and supporting progressive political entrepreneurs. She has also been active in her local community board and political clubs. Neha served as the President of the South Asian Bar Association of New York in 2012, and now sits on the organization’s Board of Directors.
Mobilizing the South Asian Community & Building Political Power
Reena Maheshwari was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN, is Indian-American, and has been active in the MN Indian community since childhood through both work and volunteer efforts. She runs a business, Kahani Events & Design, serving primarily multicultural and South Asian couples and helping them navigate wedding planning, and also has recently started Colorful Weddings - an advocacy initiative, networking group, and listing site for BIPOC and/or culturally specific wedding vendors.
Reena's main background has been in the business & design world, but she has always been passionate about community advocacy, and through her previous work with SEWA-AIFW (a local non-profit serving South Asians) - she understands the many needs and concerns facing the South Asian community. She became involved with phone-banking, voter registration, and related work through SEWA-AIFW, and during the last election cycle volunteered with various groups including SAFA to find volunteers, spread the message, phone bank, etc.
During these COVID times, Reena misses traveling the most, but does find time to escape into the various realms of fantasy films on Netflix/Prime/etc. She and her husband have also been tackling various home improvement projects - from basement flooring to outdoor landscaping!