More Indian Americans stepping into political leadership roles in US

Parikh said his focus is on increasing access to justice, improving customer service, modernising the Clerk's office, and ensuring that the Clerk's staff reflects the diversity of Hamilton County.

Washington: In the past 10 years, Indian Americans have increasingly taken political leadership roles besides being at the forefront in private industries, according to a prominent member of the diaspora in the US state of Ohio.

Pavan V Parikh, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts said that he was appointed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party in December 2021 to replace Indian American Aftab Pureval, who was elected to the office of Cincinnati Mayor.

“We are coming to a time where Indian Americans are really taking on leadership roles across the country. We’ve seen it happen in private industry, but we’re in this period now in the last 10 or so years or so..,” told PTI.

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Parikh said his focus is on increasing access to justice, improving customer service, modernising the Clerk’s office, and ensuring that the Clerk’s staff reflects the diversity of Hamilton County.

“In 2023, there are a large number of Indian Americans in elected offices across the country and more are aspiring to run for elected offices. It’s impressive. It’s wonderful. There’s still much more work to be done. But I think it is time for us to take that leadership role, and I’m so happy to be surrounded by so many people that are doing that,” he said.

Responding to a question, Parikh said when he was young, this was never an opportunity to serve as an elected official in the US.

“We had no idea that you could even do this. We know that we can achieve this now. So opportunities will come. We’ll work hard to be excellent, be focused on a community, and be focused on doing good for the people in our community. And these opportunities will come. I look forward to seeing so many more people come up behind us. I look forward to supporting them as well,” he said.

Inside the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Parikh said he is working on carrying out various people-friendly reforms.

“We are trying to make it more customer-focused as a whole by making the process easier for people in all sorts of ways, from giving them access to translators to making sure that all of our documentation is translated in different languages to provide them with attorneys. They can come into the courthouse and ask for legal advice on whatever issues they have,” Parikh said.

“One of the big projects that we have is we have a help centre at the courthouse which is staffed by two attorneys. We’re looking to expand it to four attorneys. Any person can come to the courthouse and have questions about what they need to do in their case, they can get legal advice, to really help them through what really demystifies the courthouse and to really focus on trying to help anybody who comes.

“Because it’s a complicated process. If you’re not a lawyer, you don’t have access to a lawyer. It’s very hard to understand how this building operates. But it has real-world consequences for people’s lives. We’re really just trying to help people out,” he said.

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