February 26, 2021
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South Asian Community Is very Humble.

  16/03/2018 मा प्रकाशित

Michael G. Miller is the Assemblyman of 38th Assembly District in Queens County of New York which is also known as the home of South Asian Community. Kiran Marahatta, a senior journalist interviewed with him regarding his efforts to empower the South Asian Community. We have cited this interview considering the best resource to understand Nepali American vibes.

If talk about the recent activities at Albany; you have proposed a bill for funding to build a community center in your district.

It’s not proposal or resolution; we requested a funding, so that’s the first step. And every time we meet and negotiate how we gonna get this money. As I mentioned to the community leaders it gonna take 4 or 5 years so we gonna get to that point, but you have to start somewhere, and you have to fight for now.

Which factor motivated you to do this?

So, meeting a lot of Nepali people, community leaders from Ridgewood, their need for the community center, for me it was very important to try to help out and make that happen.

Regarding Nepali community, there are large numbers are living Ridgewood and surrounding area, what is your analysis of them?

In life, in business or in politics you learn to read people. You learn to see what people are about. I have learned that Nepali is a good heart and good nature people and always wanna do help. When people wanna help you make sure that we keep you and get you to help because you wanna do it, it’s in your heart. You wanna help better the community you live in, better the group you belong to, and I saw that. I saw a lot of great people. I wanna make sure that we help them to make a better stand in the community.

As an Assemblyman, do you have any specific program or strategies regarding South Asian community?

I introduced many bills over the years to help the South Asian Community lots of them deal with translation; for example, we just introduced a bill to have DMV paperwork and application in the Nepali language. We have done a Panjabi and other languages may not have it. We have put bills so that hospital forms and stuff in Punjabi, Bengali. We work in Muslim community; make sure Hallal food is provided in our schools. Bills are important and we are keeping working to get them approved. It takes a lot of time because you have to get other people to agreement. That’s a big process.

As you mentioned regarding DMV, what is the progress?

It was only put up to us a couple of weeks ago, we have introduced the bill. We had the bill written. We need a big push from the Nepali community in the Assembly to get labyt there to push. To make sure that they get on board, let’s sing on the bill, so more people we have signing on to the bill so easier we can get move on it.

So, what should Nepali community do to make this happen?

We discussed the other day getting the member from Nepali community to write to their Assemblyman. They have to speak them to write to the Speaker, the main in charge of the Assembly, to tell, hey, “this is an important bill.” If he gets great numbers of petition or a great number of letters that he may say, “oh, I need to look deeper on to this.”

I believe this issue was disclosed last month at the inauguration ceremony of Himalayan Democratic Club. So, how long do we need to wait to pass the bill?

That’s not something I can guess on. There is no specific time frame that when bills are introduced how long it will take before they will come to the floor. It matters about getting support from the Assembly and making leadership in the Assembly know about it so once we can get that all done it helps the boll to move on. We need the community involvement.

Can you explain your plans to enhance the socio-economic life of South Asian Community?

We have done a lot of to build this making sure they have a prevailing wage, we have done a lot with minimum wage. We worked to raise that to $15 an hour which is a good number. We try to put things in the place when people come to us say, hey I need a help with this; we try to work out a plan. Not something that with specific people we work for all community.

People from South Asia have little access in the U.S. politics; do you have any specific strategies to get the involvement of South Asian Community? 

For that, you have to start somewhere, okay. So, Nepali community in Ridgewood has a Democratic club. My plan is to raise their involvement and one of them must be on the county committee, it’s an elected position. You help to shape the politics and who represent you and the things that you need in your community. That’s how you get involved. If you get involved in the political size it is elevating you. You can’t involve and wannabe president, it’s impossible.

What is the significance of Himalayan Democratic Club?

Democratic is where you meet to foster democratic values in your community.  That can help to get recognition and position, so you come in to start the club. You might have about 50 people at the first meeting. The ideas to get people involve, build on them, the ideas about people in the political system. There are exciting things to do. You get signature, knocking the door. That’s helps elected officials. It helps the people that we want to get on the county committee. It’s a process, you have to enjoy it.

As an experienced politician, would you mind making some prescription for the newly established democracy like Nepal has?

The only thing I will suggest to people is, to be honest, to be truthful and believe on you. And if you were doing politics only to help people, then you will be very successful. So I would live to suggest that worry about the people who looking for help not about yourself.

How do we strengthen the New Democracy?

They have to strengthen by themselves. And the ideas are to make sure that the people better representing regular people find the resources necessary to give them a great life. If you can give them a great life then you become a well-respected.

Can South Asian Community expect anything more from you, apart from the regular services?

The only thing that I want to do is to help people and so, as I go out to my community, my promises and support to them are to get everybody involve. Over the years, I worked with Latino Community, my promise was to get them involve into the political system. When positions opened up, I asked people to take a lead role, became a district leader, become state committeeman to get them to next level. Apart from Nepali, I have a great relationship with the Indian community, Sikh community because I don’t go and ask anything, I go and ask, “How can I help you?” Indian and Shik are at State level where I want to see Nepali leader in the future.

 

Watch the interview:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=rmxcbVIhCww

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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