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Tune in to learn about politics/policies impacting Texas South Asians and hear from South Asians making an impact in America.
Oct 12, 2020
Interview with Sima Ladjevardian, Candidate for U.S. Congress (TX 2)
Sima Ladjevardian is running for United States Congress! The 2nd Congressional district covers the west part of Houston, and then extends around the north side of the city, including some suburbs. Sima talks about her background as an Iranian immigrant, and what she envisions for our country from immigration reform to managing the Covid-19 pandemic. Before deciding to run for office herself, she worked to help other candidates as a political activist (including Beto O'Rourke). Learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 12, 2020
WiseUp, MaskUp, and VoteUp and Down the Ballot--2020 Election Information
WiseUp TX founder and board member, Azra Siddiqi, returns to the podcast to talk about the upcoming 2020 Election. It's a podcast jam-packed with important information such as who is on the ballot, how to participate in mail-in voting (if you qualify), utilizing safe practices to vote during a global health pandemic, what to do if you face voter intimidation, where to find your polling locations, sample ballots, and why you should vote. On the voter page of our website, www.wiseuptx.org, you will find all the information you need to vote. It is a one stop shop with your polling locations, sample ballots, candidate infographics, your local newspaper's voter guide, FAQs, and podcast interviews! Let's make sure the Texas South Asian community is ready to WiseUp, MaskUp, and VoteUp and Down the Ballot!
Oct 10, 2020
Interview with Sri Preston Kulkarni, Candidate for U.S. Congress (TX 22)
Sri Preston Kulkarni is a South Asian candidate running for U.S. Congress in Texas' 22nd Congressional district (Suburbs of Houston such as Sugarland, Pearland, Katy, and Clearlake). If he wins he will be the first person of color to represent this majority minority district. He ran in 2018 and started the grassroots effort to get the South Asian community involved in a political campaign. In this interview, he talks in depth about creating a coalition of South Asian voters and the diversity within the South Asian community itself. He talks about "relational organizing," explaining how campaigns should rely on organic relationships among communities to reach out to more voters. Tune in to hear more about his campaign. You can visit his website here. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 10, 2020
Interview with Candace Valenzuela, Candidate for U.S. Congress (TX 24)
Candace Valenzuela is running to represent a diverse district of suburbs between Dallas and Fort Worth (such as Addison, Irving, Grapevine, Southlake, Carrolton, Euless, etc). This district includes parts of Dallas County, Denton County, and Tarrant County. She talks about the South Asian population in her district, and the power of diverse representation. She discusses the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic particularly on essential workers and her desire to serve those Texans. Finally, she talks about Islamophobia in the district which has been used by other political candidates to garner support. Learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 10, 2020
Interview with State Rep. Ed Thompson (District 29)
State Representative Ed Thompson currently represents District 29, which includes Pearland and other suburbs south of Houston. He talks about his service in this district as the State Rep. since 2012 and his current run as the Republican candidate. He talks about the Covid-19 pandemic and its toll, but also about the continued economic growth and opportunity despite it. Learn more about him on his website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 10, 2020
Interview with Mubasher Warraich, Candidate for Euless City Council
Mubasher Warraich is running for city council in the suburb of Euless (DFW metroplex). He talks about bringing more of the technology industry to the city and his passion and focus on affordable childcare for working parents. He talks about how South Asians could get much more involved in the political process and encourages others to run for office in the spirit of giving back to the community. You can learn more about him on his website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 9, 2020
Interview with MJ Hegar, Candidate for U.S. Senate
MJ Hegar is running for the United States Senate as the Democratic candidate against longtime incumbent, John Cornyn. She has served our country as a combat veteran, she has worked in the healthcare industry, and she is a working mom. She talks about how all these experiences led her to run for office and how she thinks he can make life better for Texans! You can learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 7, 2020
Interview with Judge Staci Williams, Candidate for Texas Supreme Court
Judge Staci Williams is running for TX Supreme Court as a democratic candidate. This is a statewide race that will be on every ballot this November. Judge Williams currently serves as Judge of the 101st District Court in Dallas County. Judge Williams talks about the important decisions the Texas Supreme Court has made lately, and how she could serve Texans on our highest court after her years of experience as a trial Judge and a practicing attorney. As a woman of color, Judge Williams believes it is time the Texas Supreme Court reflect the diversity of the State of Texas. You can learn more about here on her website. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Oct 6, 2020
Interview with Chris Hollins, Harris County Clerk About Voting in a Pandemic and More
Current Harris County Clerk, Chris Hollins, talks about safe and accessible voting this election seasons. Harris County is the 3rd largest county in the nation, and in his role, Hollins manages the election and protects voting rights, a role he does not take lightly. Listen to hear about unique things Harris County (Houston area) has done from increased polling locations, infrastructure around mail-in ballots, language access technology, and social distancing! Some of the initiatives are being questioned by the State of Texas, resulting in a lawsuit. Learn more about voting in Harris County and about Chris here. WiseUp TX is a nonpartisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or lawsuit.
Oct 5, 2020
Interview with Travis Boldt - Candidate for Texas State Rep. (Dist. 29)
Travis Boldt is the Democratic candidate for Texas House of Representative for House District 29. He is challenging Republican incumbent Ed Thomson. House District 29 covers Pearland and suburbs southeast of Houston. A small business owner, husband to a public school educator, and father, Travis shares what inspired him to run for state house representative and the issues are front and center for his campaign. You can learn more about him on his website. WiseUp TX is a non-partisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Sep 30, 2020
Interview with U.S. Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX 7)
United States Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX 7) of Harris County won a historic election in 2018, as the first woman to win the district and the first Democrat to win the district since 1967. She shares how through partnership great work can be accomplished in Congress. She reminds our listeners that engaging our democracy can be rewarding and even fun. Congresswoman Fletcher also talks about her work to honor Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in Harris County and who was a trailblazer for the Sikh community. Learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX is nonpartisan and does not endorse any candidate or party.
Sep 29, 2020
Meet the Hosts Part 2! An Interview with Sana Meghani and Zohaib Qadri of WiseUp TX
Areeba Amer hosts this episode! Areeba is a journalism and economics student at The University of Texas at Austin and a WiseUp TX intern since 2008! Sana Meghani is on the Get Out the Vote Committee for WiseUp TX and is hosting some podcast interviews this season! She has been working hard to get how to vote materials done in Telugu, Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Nepali, Tamil, Urdu, and Punjabi! Hear more about her life outside of WiseUp TX and how she landed in her dream job! Zohaib Qadri is also on the Get Out the Vote Committee and is working on candidate profiles so our followers can get educated on all the down ballot races! Zohaib's career includes working on a variety of campaigns and for a Texas State Rep. Tune in to learn more! Read more about them on the WiseUp TX website.
Sep 28, 2020
Interview with Jeff Whitfield - Candidate for Texas State Rep. (Dist. 92)
Jeff Whitfield is running for Texas State Rep. as the democratic candidate for District 92. This district is in the "Mid Cities" between Dallas and Fort Worth, including Hurst, Euless and Bedford. He is a veteran and an attorney whose work has taken him around the globe, but he was raised in the Mid Cities area, and settled down here with his own family. Now, he wants to serve this community by improving healthcare, education, and creating jobs post Covid-19 as a State Rep. Visit his website to learn more. WiseUp TX does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Sep 23, 2020
Interview with Mike Siegel - Candidate for U.S. Congress (TX 10)
Mike Siegel is a civil rights lawyer and former public school teacher running for Congress in Texas’ 10th Congressional District, which stretches from Houston to Austin. Mike discusses why he is running again and how he plans to win this time, the importance of relational organizing, the issues his voters are talking about, and the importance of South Asian voters. Learn about him on his website. WiseUp TX is a non-partisan nonprofit and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Sep 21, 2020
Interview with State Representative Gary Gates (Dist. 28)
In this interview, Representative Gary Gates (R - District 28) talks about how he won his special election runoff in January 2020, and his plans for the district as the Representative if he wins again this November. Gates discusses the impacts of Covid-19 and why he thinks his business experience makes him suited to bring Texans out of it. To learn more about him, visit his website. WiseUp TX is a non-partisan nonprofit and does not support any candidate or political party.
Sep 16, 2020
Interview with Eliz Markowitz Candidate for Texas State Rep. (Dist. 28)
Eliz Markowitz is running for Texas State Representative in District 28 (Suburbs of Houston). In this interview, she talks about the special election earlier this year that gave her campaign an early start, and why she expects to win this time against the same candidate who won the special election. She says she noticed how her suburban district was changing, but leadership stayed the same. That need for change sparked her moral obligation to run for this office. You can learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Sep 15, 2020
Meet the Hosts! An Interview with Punam Kaji and Neal Sarkar of WiseUp TX
Punam Kaji is a hosting and managing the WiseUp TX Podcast this election cycle, but who is she? Learn about her biography and the journey that fuels her passion for WiseUp TX and South Asian voter engagement. Neal Sarkar is a host of the WiseUP TX Podcast. Tune in to hear his story. Learn about the research and policy work he is doing with WiseUp TX to better answer the question "What does the South Asian community want and need from elected officials in Texas?" Learn more about Punam and Neal on the WiseUp TX website.
Sep 14, 2020
Interview with Sharon Hirsch Candidate for Texas State Rep. (District 66)
Sharon Hirsch is running for Texas State Representative for House District 66, which includes West Plano and far North Dallas. She discusses how after losing by just 391 votes in 2018, she decided to run again in 2020 on a platform of public education, expanding Medicaid access in Texas, gun safety, and ensuring fair maps when it comes to redistricting. Learn more about her on her website. WiseUp TX is non-partisan and does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Sep 9, 2020
Interview with Sadaf Haq Candidate for Frisco City Council
Sadaf Haq is running for City Council in Frisco (a suburb of Dallas). She talks about the leadership positions she has held with various boards before deciding to run for office. In this interview, she shares how she hopes to pave the way for other South Asians and she talks about how her diverse coalition of supporters inspires her throughout her campaign. You can learn more about her on her website.
Sep 7, 2020
Podcast Preview - 2 Months to Election Day
Host Punam Kaji shares a preview of podcast interviews to come between now and Election Day! The WiseUp TX Podcast will feature interviews from South Asian candidates running throughout Texas, candidates for Texas State House, and candidates for U.S. Congress!
Sep 1, 2020
Interview with Lydia Bean, Candidate for Texas State Rep (District 93)
Lydia Bean is running for Texas State Representative (House District 93) as the Democratic Candidate. This district includes parts of Arlington, “Mid Cities", and North Fort Worth, stretching through much of Tarrant County. Lydia says her South Asian voters want what her other constituents are looking for too - well-funded public education, access to healthcare, and civility. She talks about how coming from a family of faith shaped her aspirations to work in public service. You can learn more about Lydia on her website. WiseUp TX is nonpartisan and does not support any candidate
Aug 27, 2020
Interview with Pooja Sethi, Candidate for Austin City Council
Pooja Sethi is running for City Council in Austin, Texas (District 10). She shares how her South Asian identity influences her campaign - if she wins, she will be the first South Asian American to serve on Austin's City Council. Her work as an immigration lawyer taking on pro bono cases for domestic violence survivors motivated her to become a local leader. She has served the City on various Task Forces and decided to run for City Council to be a voice for those often unheard. You can learn more about her on her website.
Aug 19, 2020
Interview with They See Blue Texas
Karthik Soora and Hena Rafiq are two of the co-founders of the They See Blue Texas Chapter. They See Blue is a National organization mobilizing South Asian Americans to help Democrats win races. Hear more about how their organization engages the South Asian community. With less than three months until the election, and amidst a pandemic, they are motivating South Asian Texans to vote for Democrats, and that Texas state races matter in addition to the Presidential and National races, reminding folks that politics is local. WiseUp TX is a non-partisan organization and does not support any political party or candidate.
Mar 6, 2020
Texas Primary Results
We all know how Super Tuesday turned out for the Presidential Candidates but how about the down ballot races in Texas? Lots of South Asians ran on both the Congressional and State levels! Punam and Azra talk about how South Asian candidates fared and discuss results of the races with a heavy South Asian population. Tune in to hear all this and how South Asians could make a difference in the upcoming November election.
Feb 24, 2020
Interview with Lulu Seikaly
U.S. Congressional District 3 covers parts of Collin County, including parts of Plano, Frisco, Allen, and McKinney. An area known for its South Asian population! In this episode we meet with democratic candidate Lulu Seikaly. Seikaly believes the South Asian vote is critical for this election cycle. As a daughter of immigrants and Arab American, she feels uniquely qualified to serve her diverse constituents.
Feb 3, 2020
The Iowa caucus is TODAY! You may be wondering what is a caucus, how do they work, are there differences between a Republican and Democratic caucus, etc... Don't worry--we are here to help you WiseUp on what is a caucus! Tune in to hear more!
Dec 9, 2019
Interview with Donna Imam
You rarely hear about a Bengali Texan running for office but guess what? There is one! Meet Donna Imam, who is running for Congress in TX31! TX31 encompasses parts of Austin, Roundrock, Leander, and other northern suburbs. Tune in to hear more about her political platform and if elected, how she intends to improve healthcare, education, and real pay for all. **Please note that WiseUp TX does not endorse any candidates. We simply want South Asian Texans to WiseUp and learn more about the candidates running for office!**
Dec 2, 2019
Interview with Raj Salhotra
The Houston runoff elections have arrived! Raj Salhotra is in a runoff for an at large city council position. Tune in to WiseUp on his platform and how he intends to fix the educational, flooding, and transportation issues facing Houston.
Nov 23, 2019
Interview with KP George
Judge KP George, representing the Fort Bend county area, was one of the first South Asian judges elected in Texas. Tune in to hear more about what a county judge does, what prompted him to run for office, the hurdles he overcame, and how he hopes to move a fractured South Asian community forward after the visit of Prime Minister Modi. **Interview was done at TribFest on September 27, 2019.**
Nov 5, 2019
An Interview with Asma Uddin
Check out our latest interview with, Asma Uddin, the founder of altMuslimah and the author of the book, "When Islam is not a Religion". The book takes a look at religious freedom in the United States through the prism of attacks on the constitutional rights of American Muslims. We discuss what motivated her to write on this topic and the reason why she chose the title for her book.
Oct 7, 2019
Milennial V. Gen Z
Tune in to hear about some exciting updates about WiseUp TX! We are also joined by one of our awesome interns, Areeba Amer, to discuss the Millennial v. Gen Z thoughts on the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates we saw at the Texas Tribune Festival last weekend.
Oct 6, 2019
Millennials v. Gen Z
Tune in to hear about some exciting updates about WiseUp TX! We are also joined by one of our awesome interns, Areeba Amer, to discuss the Millennial v. Gen Z thoughts on the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates we saw at the Texas Tribune Festival last weekend.
Jun 17, 2019
Interview With Our Daily Planet
#GreenNewDeal #ClimateChange #GlobalWarming What are all the #2020election candidates talking about? Our Daily Planet helps us unpack these terms & explains why many 2020 Presidential candidates have the #environment at the top of their platform.
Apr 25, 2019
Interview with Aisha Ojha
Early voting has begun for local elections and will continue till April 28th. Election Day is May 4th, May the Vote Be With You! Check out this interview with Aisha Ojha, who is running for HEB ISD Trustee. The interview was conducted by incoming board member, Ava Damri.
Apr 22, 2019
Interview With Afshi
An update on Texas politics, a reminder of upcoming local elections, and an interview with Afshi Charania who is running for Fort Bend ISD School Trustee! The interview was conducted by incoming board member, Karim Farishta.
Mar 31, 2019
The Desi Deception
When you are at a South Asian establishment, do you wonder how the other South Asian workers are treated? Unfortunately, many South Asian American business owners mistreat their own South Asian employees by threatening to call ICE on undocumented workers, human trafficking, wage theft, harsh working conditions, and taking advantage that their employees don't speak/understand English. It's easy for us to complain about the current political situation on social media, but how many of us are looking within and realizing the many issues we complain about are happening within our own community? As we end Women's History Month, check out our latest interview with Pabitra Benjamin, the Executive Director of Adhikaar, a women founded organization catering to the Nepali American community. We chat about the many instances where South Asians take advantage of their own, bring the same racism from the subcontinent and apply it here in America, and how we can start having conversations to change…
Mar 24, 2019
Talking about the Equal Rights Amendment with Jamia Wilson
Did you know that men and women are not considered equal under the US Constitution? Yes, you read that correctly. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a bipartisan movement to guarantee equal rights for all US citizens regardless of gender. There needs to be 38 states to ratify (approve) this legislation so Congress can add it to the US Constitution. Currently, only 37 states have ratified it. It’s Women’s History Month and this is the perfect time to bring up this relevant issue. I chat with Jamia Wilson, the Executive Director of the Feminist Press, about her advocacy fighting for the ERA, why the ERA is so important, and what we can do to ensure this legislation moves forward. Jamia and I both want to tell our future children that they live in a place where both genders are considered equal under the US Constitution.
Mar 17, 2019
Interview With Deepa Iyer
We dedicate this segment to the 51 lives lost in the terrorist attacks at the two Mosques in Christchurch, NZ. In the two previous podcast segments, we interviewed inspirational women for Women's History Month. We continue this in our latest interview with Deepa Iyer and the conversation couldn't be more timely. We discuss the current Islamophobia rhetoric permeating American politics and media, which are detrimentally impacting the South Asian, Muslim, and Arab communities. We also talk about accountability for our politicians and media on Islamophobic rhetoric, and how we move forward in solidarity.
Mar 11, 2019
Interview With Nabila Mansoor
We continue our interviews with inspirational women for Women's History Month. Today our interview is with Nabila Mansoor, who is running for City Council District 2 in Sugar Land, Texas. Tune in to hear about Nabila's policy platform and the latest political news happening at the Texas Legislature.
Mar 4, 2019
Interview with Rabia Chaudry
Interview with Rabia Chaudry by WiseUp TX
Feb 25, 2019
The History of Solidarity Between South Asian American and African Americans
In honor of Black History Month, it is important to learn about the many struggles the African American community faced during the Civil Rights movement and how it impacted the South Asian community. If the Civil Rights movement never happened, most South Asians wouldn't even be in America. I interviewed Anirvan Chatterjee, the founder of BlackDesiSecretHistory.org, to learn about the history of solidarity between the two communities and what the South Asian community can do to better overcome anti-black sentiment. Tune in to learn more!
Feb 11, 2019
Interview With Comptroller Hegar
The Texas Legislature is in full swing and deciding the best ways to utilize your tax dollars. Last week the Governor gave the State of the State and at the top of the list are increasing funding for public schools and lowering property taxes. Many Texans don't realize that the two issues are correlated to one another. Thankfully, Comptroller Hegar gives us an overview of the Texas budget for this biennium and explains how public school finance and property taxes work hand in hand.
Feb 4, 2019
Ready to talk about the Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020 and the Bills Tho Pagal Hai in the Texas Legislature? We sure are!
Nov 5, 2018
VOTE 2018 by WiseUp TX
Oct 21, 2018
Interview w/ Justin Nelson for Attorney General
Justin Nelson states his campaign is about Integrity v. Indictment. The current AG, Ken Paxton, has been indicted but not proven guilty. Justin believes his campaign can bring transparency and integrity back to the Attorney General's office. Tune in to hear more about his campaign platform!
Oct 15, 2018
Interview With Kim Olson For Agriculture Commissioner
Are you concerned about the lunches served at your child’s school? Concerned about the produce and meat you consume? Ever wondered where or how you can even make an impact in those areas? Well, this is where the Agricultural Commissioner comes in and YOU get to have a say as to who that will be this November. The incumbent, Sid Miller, has had plenty of contentious news despite his work on the job. He has compared Syrian refugees to rattlesnakes, used taxpayer dollars to get the “Jesus shot”, and posting jokes about Pakistan recruiting suicide bombers from a suicide hotline. So, check out our interview with Kim Olson and hear about her platform and how she hopes to include the diversity of Texans in the food you eat!
Oct 15, 2018
Interview w/Ravi Sandill for Texas Supreme Court Justice
Interview w/Ravi Sandill for Texas Supreme Court Justice by WiseUp TX
Oct 8, 2018
November, Women, And The Kavanaugh Confirmation
I attended some policy festivals and panels these past two weeks: The Texas Tribune Festival (Austin), the Atlantic Festival (DC), and the Women Who Impact panel (IMPACT). We've had a pretty tumultuous few weeks with the Kavanaugh hearing and drama--so of course this topic was prevalent at all the events. Tune in to hear my recap of these panels and my thoughts as to what is in store for us this November!
Sep 24, 2018
Interview w/Mike Collier (Democrat running for Lt. Governor of Texas)
The position of Lt. Governor is considered one of the most powerful positions in Texas government. The Lt. Governor has the ability to kill legislation within the Texas Senate, administer procedural maneuvers to by pass the minority party's votes, and effectively have a hand in the many policies the state legislature passes. Our current Lt. Governer is Dan Patrick (R) and his opponent Mike Collier (D) thinks he can do the job better. Tune in and hear about Mike Collier's background and why he thinks he is a better candidate for Lt. Governor!
Sep 17, 2018
Get Out the Vote
The deadline to register to vote in Texas is less than a month away. It is imperative to ensure as many South Asian Texans are registered to vote. Our vote can make a major difference in several statewide races in Texas and give our community a seat at the table. Tune in to hear an overview of who will be on your ballot come November and the uphill climb Democrats face in the statewide races including Beto's.
Aug 27, 2018
Texas Democratic and Republican Platform on Immigration
A very Happy Raksha Bandhan to our listeners! And Happy Women's Equality Day to our fellow females! Equality for women has come a long way but there is still so much more work to be done. Tune in to hear some of the many issue women still face today. We continue discussing the platforms of the Texas Republican and Democratic Parties. This week's segment is about Immigration issues. Learn about the Immigration issues impacting the South Asian community and how each party's platform intends to address them. Don't forget the deadline to vote is October 9th and Election Day is November 6th!
Jul 30, 2018
Texas GOP & Democratic Platform On Healthcare
And so we continue our understanding of the Texas GOP and Democratic party platforms. Today's segment is about Healthcare. There are several healthcare issues plaguing our state which are not only impacting our economy but the lives of millions of Texans. Tune in to hear the many healthcare problems our state is facing, and what each political party is aiming to do about them.
Jul 23, 2018
TX GOP And Democratic Platform On Education
Both the Republican and Democratic parties had their state party convention last month. At their respective conventions, each party developed their party's platform for what their party stood for. We are focusing a few of our podcasts on certain issues we feel are important for the South Asian community to understand. This segment we focus on Education. Tune in to hear the highlights of each party's platform on Education and some of the differences between the two parties. With the midterm elections less than four months away, it is imperative for our community to begin Wising Up on their candidates!
May 28, 2018
Interview with Salman Bhojani
Tune in to hear about the current affairs of the state of Texas and our nation. And hear from a South Asian Muslim candidate who faced an insurmountable amount of bigotry during his campaign and still won by 37 votes. This segment covers what our Texas politicians are doing/saying about gun reform after the horrific Santa Fe shootings; what we can do about the current DHS revelation: 1500 kids are lost and separated from their parents after crossing the US Border; the outcome of the Texas Primary Runoffs; AND an interview with recently elected Euless City Councilman Salman Bhojani. Our community is WINNING against Islamaphobia but LOSING when it comes to gun reform.
May 15, 2018
Interview with Laura Moser
If you live in Congressional District 7 (parts of Houston), the Democratic Primary has been a contentious one and heavily covered by the media. Laura Moser, who is running to be the Democratic nominee for CD-7, had opposition research used against her by the DCCC in the March Primary Election. The DCCC claimed she was too progressive for the district she is running for. Texans, don't like non-Texans telling them what to do, still gave her enough votes to send her off into a heated Democratic Primary Runoff. Early voting has begun in the state of Texas for the Primary Runoffs with Election Day on May 22nd. Tune in to hear what Laura has to say about this upcoming runoff election, learn more about her platform, how it is to be a mother and running for office, and why she thinks she'd be the better Democratic nominee to go up against Rep. Culberson in November. Don't forget to early vote this week or vote on election day (May 22nd) for the Primary Runoffs!
Mar 8, 2018
2018 Texas Primary Results
Here my thoughts on the results from the 2018 Texas Primary
Feb 25, 2018
Chetan Panda Interview
The Texas Primary is on March 6th, 2018. Our third interview is with Chetan Panda, he is running in Texas Congressional District 25 which encompasses the cities of Wimberly, parts of Austin and areas south of Fort Worth.
Feb 15, 2018
Tahir Javed Interview
The Texas Primary is on March 6th, 2018. Our second political candidate interview is with Tahir Javed, he is running in Texas Congressional District 29 which encompasses the cities of Pasadena, Southeast Houston to Northwest Houston. Tune in to hear more about him!
Feb 11, 2018
There are three South Asians running for Congress in Texas! All three are competing in the Democratic Primary which is on March 6, 2018. Our first interview is with Sri Preston Kulkarni who is running for Congress in Texas District 22, which encompasses Sugarland, Pearland and Katy. Tune in to hear about his platform and what motivated him to run for office.
Dec 24, 2017
The Politics of Alleviating Oppression- Interview with Imam Omar Suleiman
This week's segment focuses on our interview with Imam Omar Suleiman. We discuss what led him to move to Dallas from NOLA, what it was like for him and his family when ISIS targeted him, and how he intertwines his Islamic faith for standing up for social injustices for EVERYONE! Tune in below to hear all about it!
Dec 17, 2017
Keep Marching Forward- An Interview With Congressman Keith Ellison
This week's segment is an interview with Congressman Keith Ellison. We discuss the Muslim Ban, the impacts of the FCC repealing net neutrality and the implications of the current GOP tax bill. We also talk about his work with DNC Chair Tom Perez on mending the HRC/Bernie divide within the Democratic Party, how he broke the barriers to become the first Muslim-American person in Congress and the current atmosphere in Washington D.C. Tune in below to hear all about it!
Dec 3, 2017
A Tribute To His Country - An Interview With Khizr Khan
Tune in and hear our interview with Khizr Khan! He discusses why he decided to speak at the DNC convention and why South Asians and Muslims must be civically engaged. ** We apologize for the background noise, we had to interview in the lobby of the venue!**
Nov 20, 2017
It's been a while folks but we are here to give you the latest political news. 7 Constitutional Amendments to the Texas Constitution passed and 2018 elections are less than a year away. Find out what changes are happening to the state constitution and how you can get involved for the 2018 election!
Sep 24, 2017
Beto O'Rourke- The Interview
Beto O'Rourke is running for US Senate against Senator Ted Cruz. Check out my interview with him at the Texas Tribune Festival. We discussed healthcare, education, Islamaphobia and his refusal to accept PAC money instead utilizing a grassroots campaign.
Sep 10, 2017
DACA- the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals was implemented by the Obama Administration through executive order in 2012. The children impacted by this order are called DREAMERS. Last week President Trump repealed this executive order and instead put pressure on Congress to pass some type of legislation dealing with the Dreamers. Majority of people believe only the Latino population is impacted by this but this is false, several South Asians will also be impacted. We wanted our listeners to understand the detrimental impact DACA will have on our community and Saba Nafees was kind enough to volunteer her story. Tune in to listen to Saba Nafees, who shares her personal story of how the repeal of DACA directly impacts her.
Jul 31, 2017
Tax Cuts Are Killing Public Education
We continue our interview with Chairman Anchia and discuss the politics surrounding the funding of Texas Public Education. While the soundbites of tax cuts always sounds amazing, it usually has unforeseen consequences. Tune in to hear how some of the politicians in Texas want to cut property taxes without addressing the impact it will have on the Texas Public Education System.
Jul 24, 2017
Battle of the Sanctuary (Radio Azad Version)
A much shorter clip of the Battle of the Sanctuary podcast which was aired on Radio Azad! During the Regular Session the Texas Legislature passed an incredibly contentious bill, Senate Bill 4 (SB4) pertaining to sanctuary cities and illegal immigration. For this segment, I interviewed Chairman Rafael Anchia from Dallas to discuss the detrimental implications this legislation will have not only to the Latino community but also to the South Asian and Muslim communities as well. Tune in to WiseUp on this bill and what YOU can do to have your voice heard to make a difference!
Jul 23, 2017
Battle of the Sanctuary (Full Interview)
During the Regular Session the Texas Legislature passed an incredibly contentious bill, Senate Bill 4 (SB4) pertaining to sanctuary cities and illegal immigration. For this segment, I interviewed Chairman Rafael Anchia from Dallas to discuss the detrimental implications this legislation will have not only to the Latino community but also to the South Asian and Muslim communities as well. Tune in to WiseUp on this bill and what YOU can do to have your voice heard to make a difference!
Jun 18, 2017
Texas Legislative Update
WiseUp about what happened in the latest Texas Legislative session and how it could impact you!
Apr 30, 2017
News Briefing 4:30:17
The Texas Legislature is in full swing. Tune in to hear the major bills being passed and how they can impact you!
Apr 3, 2017
The System Is Not Broken, We Are
In the months leading up to the November 2016 election, many of our Presidential candidates discussed a political system that was broken and it seemed people from both sides of the political spectrum vehemently agreed. We have undoubtedly become a more polarized nation than anytime in current history. These days people see each other in two categories, with them or against them and there is no mutual respect or understanding from either side. It got me thinking, is our democracy really broken right now? A part of me realizes corporate money and interests have played a pivotal role for why people feel the system is broken. People feel the government doesn't care about them anymore instead politicians are vying to satisfy their own greedy interests. Furthermore, the two main political parties are in a stagnant gridlock it seems difficult to see any type of bipartisanship in the near future. It's easy to point the blame on the politicians claiming to be representing us but what about us?…
Mar 21, 2017
Elections Are Coming!
May 6th, 2017 many of you will be electing new mayors and city council members. These politicians will have a major impact on your day to day life by deciding on the best ways to fund infrastructure, schools, city ordinances and how your tax dollars will be spent. This is not an election to miss out! Furthermore, many South Asians are also running for office. Now is the time to vote for them AND campaign for them to win!! This is the perfect opportunity to relieve that itch of getting involved in politics and making a difference. Oh yah and we have the crazy news of the week regarding politics in Congress and the Texas legislature realms!
Mar 6, 2017
I have been incredibly blessed to have traveled quite a bit and meanwhile from each country I always learn so much. I recently went to Germany and had a great time. But, this vacation was a bit different compared to others because it had a much more political undertone. Germany's history is vast but it is most well known for the roles it played in the two major World Wars. I couldn't help but notice that in museum after museum so much of the history I read about is currently occurring in America. In this segment I parallel the history I learned in Germany with what I have been seeing in current day politics along with of course, the news of the week.
Feb 21, 2017
Tune in to hear the latest political happenings nationally and in the Texas legislature!
Feb 6, 2017
You all have been seeing all sorts of posts on social media on how to resist the current administration, but how much of it is actually true? Tune in to hear the best ways to resist and the Nation and Texas news of the week.
Jan 23, 2017
Alright, so we felt disheartened this past Friday, inspired on Saturday, contemplated Sunday and now we get to work. There are several ways to utilize your time and money such as donating to great journalism or to non-profits that fight for your civil rights but how about keeping tabs on the Representatives you voted for? You know those people who are getting paid with your hard earned tax dollars, yah them. Enter IssueVoter! IssueVoter provides you the opportunity to engage with your House Representative at the Federal level while giving your input on the bills they vote on.
Jan 10, 2017
Session Is Coming
In case you didn't know, the Texas legislative session begins today. Several of the bills they pass will have a much larger impact on your day to day life compared to the bills passed by Congress. Just because election season is over doesn't mean we stop paying attention to what our representatives are doing. So what all do you need to know?
Nov 15, 2016
Where Do We Go From Here
It's been a rough week for many of us. I have had a week to brood over the election loss and think things through. I have come to terms with certain things and for some things I haven't. In this segment I talk about my feelings regarding the election results, where I think things went wrong with the HRC campaign and where do we go from here. This is my last podcast of the year. Don't worry, I'll be back in January to cover our new President and the Texas Legislature.
Nov 11, 2016
Today is election day! Tune in as to how the electoral college works and how we must heal and move on as a nation after today.
Oct 31, 2016
Early voting in Texas began Monday!! Besides the Presidential race you will be voting on several local elections. Find out Hoo else you will be voting for and how they will impact your day to day lives! Finally, you can now check out the updated Voter Info page- here you can find your sample ballot, where your polling locations are and your local newspaper endorsements! Check it out at www.wiseuptx.com/voter-info/ #WiseUp
Oct 17, 2016
We are right around the corner till the election, early voting begins in Texas October 24th. I hope you all are WisingUp on your national and local candidates before you head to the voting booths. Along with the news of the week, I have an interview with Imam Adeel Zeb about the Black Lives Matter movement and how important it is for the South Asian and Muslim communities to be understanding and supportive of them. **This track aired on 10/17/2016**
Oct 10, 2016
This election cycle we have been barraged with an overload of information by the media and it has proved difficult to discern the real issues our nation needs to focus on. Unfortunately, this has bled into our Presidential race and no end to this horrible political nightmare is in sight. Which is why it is very important for us to be able to distinguish what is credible so we will make wise decisions. We must judge credibility not only of politicians but also amongst ourselves when we debate or discuss politics with our peers. Tune in to hear my thoughts on the second Presidential debate and how we must hold ourselves to a higher standard for credibility when discussing politics because the implication of spreading false information could lead to dire consequences.
Oct 3, 2016
Texas Tribune Festival
Two weekends ago I attended the Texas Tribune Festival to hear about the politics and various policies affecting Texas and our nation. I was able to attain interviews with Wendy Davis, Dallas Mayor Rawlings, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Representative Castro. I got to discuss how they felt the South Asian and Muslim communities could make an impact in local and national politics and what our communities needed to do to have our voices heard. Tune in to hear all this along with my thoughts on Ohio Governor Kasich and Senator Ted Cruz's panels! ***Don't forget the deadline to register to vote in Texas is October 11th!***
Sep 19, 2016
Accountability Across The Board
In this segment I briefly discuss how we need to hold our politicians, media and ourselves accountable for the decisions we make and the articles we choose to read about politics. I also talk about the media's coverage on HRC's health, how HRC dealt with her pneumonia issue, Trump's lack of transparency on his health records, and the latest news in Texas Politics. Finally, I have an interview with Vance Black who is a citizen of the Cherokee nation and was kind enough to discuss the ongoings of the Dakota Access Pipeline Movement occurring in North Dakota as we speak. The Native American community is one we don't have daily dealings with but have been marginalized throughout the entire history of America. They are not only currently dealing with an environmental crisis but environmental racism as well. It is time for us to hold our media, politicians and ourselves accountable for what's happening in our country. It is time to WiseUp.
Sep 5, 2016
Tune in to hear about the current political news of the week along with my experience at the Texas Turnout event! The Texas Turnout was hosted by the Texas Tribune and the Society for News Design. People who come from varying backgrounds but are passionate about politics came together to discuss what we could do to increase voter turnout in Texas. To my listeners: Do you have ideas of how to get the South Asian and Muslim communities to become motivated to vote? I'd love to hear them! Email them to me at email@example.com !
Aug 21, 2016
The theme for this podcast is deafening silence. There has been a plethora of unpleasant news the past few weeks but many of us have been silent. It is said that silence is golden but not in these instances. Tune in to hear about how the world has been silent about the innocent Syrian children being continuously bombed, the devastation from the Baton Rouge floods, the corporate greed from American insurance companies, the systemic racism and its continuous occurrence in Baltimore and North Carolina, the horrific Islamaphobic incidences in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Queens, NY. All these situations begs the questions of why have we been silent? What can we do to help these people? And why we cannot be silent anymore. Our silence to these tragic situations has been deafening. In order to change this we MUST say something, we must get involved. WE CANNOT BE SILENT ANYMORE.
Jul 29, 2016
My thoughts on the RNC and DNC conventions, the DNC leak and my personal opinion on how you should vote in the upcoming November election!
Jul 17, 2016
Disappointingly Hopeful is the theme for this podcast. I am disappointed with the violence all over the world but hopeful for the progress we have made and can continue to make. In this segment I go in depth of what the Black Lives Matter movement is about along with debunking the common misconceptions around it. Furthermore, I talk about how the police also deserve our support for the protections they give us every single day. Supporting BLM or the police need not be mutually exclusive, we can do both. Lastly, the South Asian community needs to do a much better job to support the BLM movement because if it wasn't for their fight for civil rights in America, South Asians would not have the successes they have today. Original air date: July 17, 2016
Jun 28, 2016
It's been a newsmageddon week here! Check out my thoughts on four of the major SCOTUS rulings that heavily affect Texas, the No Bill No Break Democrat sit in and Brexit!
Jun 20, 2016
The latest WiseUp podcast contains the news of the week, basic information about World Refugee Day (June 20, 2016) and the potential VEEP candidates for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Original air date: June 21, 2016
Jun 14, 2016
Justice Is A Manifestation of Love (Part 2)
In today's segment I discuss the latest national news and updates on the Presidential election; along with my opinion on Hillary Clinton's stance on Radical Islamism, the sexual assault case at Stanford, and the horrific incident that occurred in Orlando this past weekend. We also continue last week's interview with Simran Jeet Singh regarding the Islamaphobia in Texas study.
Jun 6, 2016
Justice Is A Manifestation Of Love - Part 1
In the latest WiseUp podcast, I discuss the major news from the past two weeks affecting our nation and Texas. I also have an exclusive interview with Simran Jeet Singh discussing a study the Institute for Diversity and Civic Life did on Islamaphobia and it's implications in Texas. The Islamaphobia in Texas study is the first of its kind and the information will be pivotal in deciding the best way to talk about the problem and combat Islamaphobia. You can read about the study here: https://diversityandciviclife.org/research/islamophobia-in-texas/ Original air date: June 7, 2016
May 23, 2016
The Sikhest Interview
This week's podcast discusses the latest political news along with an interview with the creator of Sikhtoons and how he uses humor to combat misconceptions.
May 16, 2016
WiseUp Weekly News
News affecting our nation and the great state of Texas! Plus, a personal plea to our South Asian community to become a bone marrow donor to help save lives.
May 9, 2016
Bills to Pagal Hai
In today's segment I discuss the political news of the week along with my experience at the Vietnam War Summit where I got to hear Former Secretary Kissinger and Secretary of State John Kerry discuss the foreign policy implications of the Vietnam War and how it affects our foreign policy today. I also provide an overview of how a bill becomes a law in the Texas Legislature and what we, as citizens, can do to try to stop a bad bill from passing. Tune in to hear all about those crazy crazy bills!
May 2, 2016
If You're Not At The Table, You're On The Menu
In this weeks podcast, I discuss the weekly political news for Texas and the US and have an interview with the Communications Director for the Texas Democratic Party. Most importantly, Austin, Houston & Dallas and their surrounding areas have upcoming elections on May 7, 2016 for their city council and school district. These local elections are the ones that will make the largest impact on your day to day lives! Please make sure to read up on the candidates running for office in your local election and go vote! Tune in to hear what these local elections are about, the South Asians running for political office within Houston & Dallas and how this is the time for South Asians to be a part of the conversation and at the table and not on the menu to be chosen from.
Apr 24, 2016
Navigating the Choppy Campaign Waters
It's been a while! But, in this weeks segment I cover the national and Texas political news for the past two weeks. I have an interview with Wajiha Rizvi who has worked on both a local Texas Senate Campaign and a National Campaign for President Obama. So, tune in to hear about her explaining and navigating the choppy campaign waters so we can understand the political campaign process and hear about her personal experience.
Apr 11, 2016
The Ambassador's Obligation
In this podcast I discuss the latest political news affecting our nation and the great state of Texas. I also have a great interview with Mustafa Tameez who has been active in Texas politics for a very long time and he gives his personal insight of what we as South Asians can do for the 2016 elections! As South Asian-Americans and Muslim-Americans we have to remember that we are ambassadors of our community to the rest of America. Therefore, we have an obligation to make sure we look out for and get to know our neighbors and be of service to one another.
Apr 6, 2016
Everything's Bigger In Texas, Even The South Asian Population!
In this podcast I have an exclusive interview with the Executive Director of the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee, Ana Ramon. We discuss how the South Asian population is booming in Texas and can make a pivotal difference in some of the upcoming local elections.
Mar 31, 2016
Sway To The South Asian Tune
New podcast/blogpost covering the results of the political survey for the South Asian community. Thanks to everyone who participated! #WiseUp
Mar 30, 2016
It Takes More Than Two To Tango Podcast
In this podcast I discuss the current political news along with the history and evolution of America's two political parties and if there's a potential for there to eventually be a third political party. I have always been fascinated with the history of how we came about to the current day Republican and Democrat parties. Throughout our history we have seen the Federalist and Whig parties come and go, is there a chance that another legitimate third party could come into play? If not, how would the current day political parties evolve with the current fracture that is overtaking our nation?
Mar 22, 2016
In this podcast I discuss my SXSW experience and other political news affecting the Muslim and South Asian communities.
Mar 17, 2016
Modern Day Gettysburg
Gettysburg was a major turning point in the American Civil War and paralleling it with the end of the third Super Tuesday which was a turning point for this 2016 election season. This podcast covers the results of the second and third Super Tuesdays along with a brief overview of the new SCOTUS nominee Merrick Garland.
Mar 11, 2016
This podcast covers the Super Tuesday results for both the Republican and Democratic parties, how the Republican party is reacting to Donald Trump, how the rest of the local elections in Texas went and what South Asians needs to do next!