Presidents Day celebration by Democratic Party of DuPage

Oakbrook IL: Democratic Party of Dupage County organization, (the largest event of the year for the organization) celebrated Presidents Day gala 2011 with great enthusiasm on Sunday February 13, 2011, 5:00PM, at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, IL. More than 500 people were present at this exciting program.

Prominent Leaders from the Democratic Party present were Gov Pat Quinn, Lt Gov Sheila Simon, Atty Gen Lisa Madigan, David Hoffman, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and Don Harmon. The Trustees and Executive Committee Members of the IADO, viz., Dr. Ram Gajjela (President), Dr. Ashish Sen (Vice President), Sainath Reddivari (Secretary), Peter Palaparthi (Joint Secretary), Lakshmi Lakshmanan (Treasurer), Dr. Mridu Sekhar (Joint Treasurer), Pramod Shah(Executive Director), Jitendra Diganvker (Directors) were joined by several prominent community Leaders from Indian-Pakistani community, CIOGC representatives, Project M representative, AIPHA, Islamic Center of Western Suburbs and ICNA Chicago representatives. Sunil Shah (President of FIA), Neil Khot, Mayur Patel, and members of the media including Suresh Bodiwala and Dr. Chandrakant Modi from Asian Media USA.

As the Master of Ceremony Bob Peickert, Chair, Democratic Party of DuPage County welcomed the guests and kept the audience spellbound with his wit and wisdom throughout the function. Bob Peickert is a long time resident of DuPage County. He has already announcing his candidacy for the position of Board member of the DuPage County Board serving District 1. Bob is a 34 year resident of DuPage County and resides in Elmhurst with his wife, Pat. Bob is a former math teacher and spent 25 years as a director of a teachers’ organization working to improve our educational systems. He is now a small business owner and member of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce. Bob has raised his family in DuPage and is dedicated to improve the future opportunities for the residents of as well as for his family that includes 5 grandchildren, and all families in DuPage County.

Bob Peickert, chairman of the Democratic organization Operation: Turn DuPage Blue said his party has finally broken the Republican party’s “stranglehold” on the county. “It’s exciting to see the election results, but we still have our work cut out for us,” Peickert said.

“We are so pleased to have Governor Dean at this year’s gala.” Said Bob Peickert, Chairman of the DPDC “He is the architect so many of the political grassroots organizing principles you see at work throughout the country today, and he is a tremendously inspiring speaker.”

Governor Pat Quinn in his brief address said that he grew up in Dupage County, and wanted to thank everyone because it was they who elected him in November 2nd election. He said that in 2012 he wanted to make sure that Presidents bama gets elected for the second term. He specially thanked Bob Peickert, his committee and
all those who supported him, because they worked hard from door to door and making lots of phone calls. He introduced the Keynote Speaker Howard Dean and recalled Howard Dean’s “vision for 50 states strategy in Democratic Party 2008. President Obama accomplished his vision. I hope that Howard’s dream becomes reality through President Obama.”

Howard Dean served six terms as the Governor of Vermont and was a candidate for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination. He is a former chair of the National Governors’ Association and of the Democratic National Committee. During his tenure as DNC chair, Dean created the “50 State Strategy” that was credited for sweeping electoral victories in 2006 and served as a model for the Obama campaign for the White House in 2008. Dean is the founder of the national grassroots organization Democracy for America and was named Chair Emeritus of the DNC after his retirement two years ago.

Howard Dean thanked Bob Peickert and Amy Tauchman for an excellent service rendered for the Democratic Party. He briefly made a remark about former President Clinton that the most prosperous decade for United States was when Bill Clinton was President. The country enjoyed 69 billion dollar surplus!

“For the first time in United States history, people below 35 won the presidential election. We will support President Obama for the second term and will make America proud. We will win the race nationally and we will start putting our efforts in Dupage County. We would like to see Dupage county “Blue” in presidential election. We want to change neighboring communities and this work will begin from the DuPage County. This grass root movement will change DuPage County and it will change the country,” he predicted.

Referring to the Muslim Community in the U.S, he said, “we cannot stand the Republican Party running against the Muslims claiming that they have 120 Muslim terrorists. It also means that there are Two million nine hundred ninety nine thousand eight hundred Muslim are not terrorists. We have to stand up for them and be united and proud for them,” he said in support of the Muslim population in the U.S. During his twenty plus minute speech over seven times he received standing ovations.

James Walsh received the Katherine “Tinker” Harvey Pioneer Award .This is an award that is presented annually in honor of Kathryn “Tinker” Harvey. Tinker has been involved with the DPDC for nearly 50 years. She has spent the last 50 years in various positions within the county including chair of the Downers Grove Township Democratic Organization and the Democratic Party of DuPage County. The recipient of the award is selected by the county officers and the township chairs.

James Walsh as a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; has been fighting for the working men and women and Democrats in DuPage since 1965. He has served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of DuPage County, York Township Democratic Organization, the DuPage Democratic Club, editor of the DuPage Democrat, Illinois State Central Committeeman, candidate for public office 5 times, Democratic Delegate to 3 Presidential Elections, and more. Jim Walsh has had an impressive career in the DPDC including chair of the party and a candidate for public office. He is also on the Ethics Committee of the DuPage Election Commission.

Gala committee Event coordinator is Rose Fitzpatrick and Committee members are Karen Hoffman, Janice Rinehart, Sue Burtnette, Marian Tomlinson, Thomas Castillo, Mary McGinty Mike Braun, Nasir Jahangir, Bob Jeffers, Kathy Grier, Richard Novinger, Sarbani Chowdhury, Edith Makra Kuzniera, Dave Kuzniera, Ken Kuchar, Karen Kuchar, Connie Sunderhaus, Amy Tauchman, Chris English Anne Marie Testa, Sue Yalatta, Kevin Allen.

Suresh Bodiwala, chairman of Asian Media USA had an opportunity to talk to Dr. Ram Gajjela (President of Indo-American Democratic Organization) about perspective of Dupage County. He said, “DuPage Turn Blue because of Indian population increased drastically in last 5 years. Dupage County has approximately 30 suburbs, majority temples are in DuPage County. It’s exciting to see the election results, but we still have lot of work to do in DuPage County. We want to change neighborhood and community and this two is a grass root that makes a change in the country”

Program ended with Raffles and prizes

Photographs and Press release by: Asian Media USA

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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