DEARBORN — This past weekend, state Rep. Padma Kuppa (D-Troy) took part in a panel discussion hosted by the New American Leaders organization in Dearborn. The event was held at their Ready to Lead reception where Rep. Kuppa was joined by state Reps. Alex Garza and Darrin Camilleri, state Sen. Erika Geiss and Ann Arbor School Board member Rebecca Lazarus. New American Leaders is an organization committed to preparing first and second generation Americans for using their power and potential in elected office. Following the event, Rep. Kuppa issued the following statement:

     “I have always worked to champion and improve our democracy, especially when it comes to building bridges across diverse communities to strengthen relationships.  As the first Indian immigrant elected to the Michigan legislature, I was grateful to be part of this panel discussion to provide attendees insight into my experience. When we see people who look, think and feel like us in elected offices, it makes us feel more hopeful and connected to the democratic process. While we need to stay grounded in reality and remain practical about the current obstacles in front of us, we also have an obligation to push at the barriers to achieve a more reflective democracy: that’s when the possibility of what we can achieve is limitless.”