- The inaugural list examines how strategists, politicians, activists and influencers are impacting the intersection of race, politics and policy.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Cincinnati Mayor After Pureval, and Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Manjusha Kulkarni are among ‘40 power players of 2021,’ named by Politico’s The Recast. The inaugural list examines how strategists, politicians, activists and influencers are impacting the intersection of race, politics and policy.
Aftab Pureval is chosen for “shattering AAPI glass ceilings and ushering in a new political era.” The 39-year-old Indian-Tibetan American lawyer is the first Asian American elected to Cincinnati’s highest office. Most recently, the Hamilton County clerk of courts, Pureval campaigned on the idea that he would bring fresh ideas to City Hall.
When Pureval was elected in 2016 as the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, he became the first Democrat elected to this position in more than a century. He won a second term as clerk of courts in November.
He is listed along with Boston mayor Michelle Wu and Seattle mayor Bruce Harrell. The Recast says that although their respective wins made history, they didn’t get much time to celebrate it as “their grand inaugural fetes — and their plans for their first days and weeks in office — got swept away by the Omicron wave.” Pureval declared a state of emergency in Cincinnati as his fledgling administration scrambled to secure enough Covid-19 tests.
Manjusha Kulkarni who co-founded Stop AAPI Hate with Russell Jeung and Cynthia Choi is the executive director of the South Asian Network (SAN), an organization dedicated to advancing health, empowerment and solidarity of persons of South Asian origin in Southern California.
Stop AAPI Hate was formed in March 2020. It runs the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center, which tracks incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.On the website, people could self-report incidents of harassment, discrimination and assault — which otherwise might have been stigmatized or gone overlooked by officials.
By September 2021, the organization recorded over 10,000 incidents. Its work helped identify who’s disproportionately affected by age, ethnicity and gender. “When you are community-centered and grounded, and when you come with facts about your community’s experiences, I think you bring an integrity and moral authority that is hard for others to ignore,” Kulkarni told The Recast.
TheRecast says Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has put her different stamp on Biden’s signature domestic policy agenda. Jayapal heads the Progressive Caucus, a sprawling group that makes up nearly half of the party’s slight majority in the House. Jayapal and many in her caucus withheld support of the bipartisan package for roads and bridges, holding up the passage to gain concessions for the climate bill.
She is named along with Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition, an alliance of moderates that pursues a fiscally driven approach to government Both leaders emerged as prominent voices in 2021. They demonstrated they’re willing to use their leverage to impact strategy and shape the scope of the president’s infrastructure bill — now signed into law — as well as the social spending and climate package known as Build Back Better, which the Senate put on ice in December.