- The Edgewood Councilwoman was one of four Democratic candidates vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). who is retiring in November.
Bhavini Patel, a Democrat and a small business owner from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has ended her campaign for Congress in the state’s newly drawn 12th District. The Edgewood Councilwoman was one of four Democratic candidates vying to succeed U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.). Doyle, who represents the state’s 18th Congressional District, announced in November that he will not seek re-election. The new 12th District shares much of the same territory as the 18th District which includes Pittsburgh, the city’s eastern suburbs and areas south of the city through West Mifflin and Pleasant Hills. The remaining Democratic candidates in the 12th District include University of Pittsburgh law professor Jerry Dickinson, attorney Steve Irwin and state Rep. Summer Lee.
In a statement posted on her Facebook page, she said her campaign, launched on Jan. 20, “didn’t gain any momentum.” She will “continue to serve her local community as Edge wood Borough council member,” she added.
A Monroeville native and Edgewood resident, Patel was seeking to become Pennsylvania’s first Indian-American member of Congress. The young lawmaker serves on the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and the University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association Board.
Patel is co-founder and CEO of BeamData, a civic tech company established in 2019. Through her startup, she has created an app, Be the Change, to keep citizens connected to state legislators to address social justice and inequality.
The genesis for the app began in 2019 when Patel ran for Allegheny County Council. She spent a lot of time knocking on doors, wanting to introduce herself and her agenda. She however lost the race, but those conversations inspired the idea for an app that offers users a direct line to their elected public officials, she told the University of Pittsburgh magazine in an interview. So at the beginning of the pandemic, she launched Be the Change.
According to her website, Patel was raised by a single mom, who immigrated here from India in the late 1990s, and built a food-truck business in Pittsburgh. Patel worked at the family business since she was 13, prepping food, taking orders, and balancing the books, and “learned hard work and persistence,” the website says.
She attended the University of Pittsburgh and then earned her master’s in international relations as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar at the University of Oxford. She has been recognized as 30 Under 30 by Pittsburgh Business Times, 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine. She lives in Edgewood with her mom, brother, sister-in-law, niece, and dog, Nat.