May 29, 2014 | By Parmjeet Singh
Washington, USA (May 29, 2014): Newly formed National Sikh Campaign launched by US Sikhs has hired the most prominent political consultant in Washington DC to begin the first-ever exploration of creating positive perception about Sikhs among Americans.
Geoffrey Garin, who helped direct the strategy team for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and in 2012 he served as the pollster and strategic advisor to Priorities USA, the super PAC supporting President Obama’s reelection, will take an in-depth survey of feelings and misperceptions towards Sikhs in order to develop messaging that will deliver new information and visuals that can positively change attitudes toward Sikhs. This research will lay the foundation for the largest promotion of Sikhs in the western world coordinated by National Sikh Campaign, a ground breaking initiative launched by few prominent Sikhs from across America gathered by the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) earlier this year in Washington, DC.
Gurwin Singh Ahuja, Executive Director of National Sikh Campaign and who was part of the Obama’s two election campaigns in Ohio, said, “We have hired Garin due to his exceptional record in American politics and policy research and he is without a doubt one of the most prominent pollsters of our generation. Sikhs have been part of American scene since we first immigrated to North America 100 years ago and there is no one better than Mr. Garin to properly conduct a study that can show how Sikhs can dispel the misperceptions about our community and portray us as part and parcel of American society.”
Dr. Rajwant Singh, Chairman of SCORE, said, “ Geoffrey Garin will head an unprecedented campaign that will examine Sikhism and its current place within the American psyche. It is important that we create positive awareness about Sikh community’s presence in America and its contribution in strengthening this nation. This study led by Mr. Garrin will help us tailor our message effectively and help us launch the biggest PR campaign for Sikhism and Sikhs in America. It will create an conducive environment for Sikhs to rise politically, socially and economically even more. The National Sikh Campaign is an undertaking that will require participation and support of all sections of the community.
According to Gurwin Ahuja, “The campaign will be reaching out to Gurdwaras, Sikh organizations and stakeholders all across America and internationally to create the largest network of connected Sikhs on the planet while exposing the world to Sikhism and the positive values it possesses. This is a historic moment for the Sikh community, as it represents one of the first steps in effort that will magnify “Chardi Kala”, the Sikhs’ sense of infinite optimism, and how it has succeeded in America and throughout the world. The campaign plans to engage individuals across the U.S. while providing grassroots organizing throughout Sikh communities.”
Now the current president of Hart Research, Garrin has undertaken landmark policy research for many of the nation’s leading foundations and educational institutions on a wide variety of issues, including global health, school reform, college affordability, health care reform, global climate change, and federal fiscal policy.
The meeting was hosted at the historic Willard Inter Continental, near the White House in March 2014, and was facilitated by SCORE. It included presentations from AKPD, a media firm behind Obama’s campaign as well as Paul Monteiro, former Associate Director of Office of Public Liaison at the White House. Several prominent Sikh attendees immediately became the initial charter members of this endeavor.
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