The McKinney Area Democratic Club recognizes the accomplishments, contributions, and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
From the first documented settlers in the late 1500s until current day, Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans have offered their talents, experiences, and ideas to enrich our communities and our country as a whole. Keep reading to learn about a few notable local AAPI contributors.
Thank you for inviting the McKinney Area Democratic Club to witness Darshana: A Glimpse into Hindu Civilization. This exhibition offered us an opportunity to learn more about the culture, history, and philosophy shared by over 3 million Americans and over a billion worldwide. From the art to the food to the music, the exhibition was truly wonderful.
Thank you also to the City of McKinney for participating. It was great to see Mayor George Fuller, Councilmember Justin Beller, Councilmember Patrick Cloutier, the City Asst. Fire Chief Mike Smith, and MISD School Board members Stephanie O'Dell and Harvey Oaxaxa. We love our community celebrating the beauty of our diversity!
Chanda Parbhoo & SAAVETX
Chanda Parbhoo has lived in Texas for over 44 years and has seen tremendous growth in the South Asian community. South Asian-Americans for Voter Empowerment Texas (SAAVETX) started with five moms and has grown to over 600 volunteers. It is currently the largest South Asian outreach in the state. The group works to register South Asians, bring voters to the polls, educate new voters, and amplify South Asian voices to candidates and elected officials. They are currently working to safeguard elections against voter suppression in the South Asian community.. You can find out more about their mission here.
Photo Credit: Christina Cheng
Christina, a local mom with two boys, works full-time, practices karate and yoga, and still finds time to serve a community she and her boys care deeply about ... those who are unsheltered. Depending on the season, she collects and then distributes cold water, ice pops, sandwiches, soup, hot chocolate, and necessary items for hygiene. They recently started their own 501(c)3 Under My Umbrella, dedicated to serving the unhoused.
The current CEO of Match Group, Shar began her career at Texas Instruments as an engineer. After stints at The Princeton Review, Tutor.com, and Match Group, Shar accepted leadership of the dating apps giant in March 2020, right as the pandemic hit .
When the Texas Heartbeat Act went into effect in 2021, Shar announced a personal fund to assist Texas-based employees and their dependents who were impacted by the legislation. She stated, "I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent" ... "I am shocked that I now live in a state where women's reproductive laws are more regressive than most of the world, including India."
Veena Sharma is a small business owner who has lived in McKinney since 2006. Veena and her husband Rakesh have raised three accomplished daughters in our beautiful city. Veena loves working with young children and her former students often stop by to share their successes. In her spare time, Veena writes poetry and is very active in the Indian community.
Born into the Hindu faith, educated in Catholic schools, and raised in a majority-Muslim neighborhood, Sandeep Srivastava immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1998. While working in tech and real estate, he built strong immigrant community organizations everywhere he went and opened a chain of childcare centers to assist low-income families. With deep roots in Texas, Sandeep ran for U.S. Congressional District 3, believing that his small business experience, managerial skills, and desire to better the community would be the exact type of leadership CD3 needed. We appreciate him stepping out as a political leader.
Alex Cornwallis' passion in life is helping others to remove barriers to gaining and excelling in education. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Master's Degree in Software Systems, and works for a high-tech industry as a senior cloud computing architect. He is an active member of the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Texas Association of Gifted and Talented. In 2022, Alex ran for the Texas State Board of Education, with a focus on working with the legislative branch to provide FULL funding for public education. We thank him for his courage and conviction in political leadership. Alex lives with his family in Propser.