An Indian-American Maths teacher has announced his run for Illinois' 7th Congressional District, a seat held by Democrat Danny Davis who intends to seek a 15th term in the Congress next year.
Nikhil Bhatia, who has worked in urban education for 11 years as a teacher and principal, presently serves as a local School Council member at Galileo Scholastic Academy in Chicago.
"I'm excited to share a big new step in my life: I am officially a candidate for Congress in Illinois' 7th Congressional District," Bhatia said in a statement posted on LinkedIn.
According to his campaign statement, Bhatia spent his entire career as an educator in urban communities, including five years as a middle school principal.
During the pandemic, he went back to school at night to get a masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago, in order to study how we can tackle the systematic issues that oppress many of our communities.
Bhatia, a Democrat, says he is running for the US Congress as there is an urgent need to address problems faced by students outside the classroom -- a gun violence epidemic, staggering student debt, an economy tilted towards special interests, a warming planet, and a democracy in peril.
"I have spent my entire career in urban education, but the obstacles all of our kids face -- underfunded schools, gun violence, climate change, and rolling back rights for women and LGBTQ students are overwhelming. We need a solution that goes well beyond the classroom. And to do that, we need to change who we are sending to Washington. Change can't wait," Bhatia wrote on LinkedIn.
"If we are going to provide a better future for our children, we can't keep sending the same career politicians to Washington and hope for a different result," Bhatia's campaign statement read.
According to Bhatia, Davis, who presently holds the seat, "is not getting the job done anymore", Crain's Chicago Business reported. "My issue isn't with Danny's age (81 years), but with his lack of action," he said.
Bhatia's parents moved from India to the US and worked as physicians.