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Aurora aldermen approve Indian American Board

Updated: January 20, 2014 8:27AM

AURORA — City Council approved a plan to create a heritage committee to represent the city’s Indian American population this week.

Aldermen voted 12-0 to create the Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board which will act as a bridge between the city’s Indian American community and the city. The board would be modeled after the city’s existing African American and Hispanic heritage advisory boards.

Krishna Bansal, a Naperville resident who owns Q1 Technologies in Aurora, said the board will spur social integration and civic engagement within Aurora’s Indian American community. The creation of the board is a historic step, he said.

“We want to connect with the city and give back to the city,” Bansal said. “The idea is not to create a mini India out here. The idea is to be part of Aurora.”

The 18-member board would include one non-voting city liaison, said Dan Barriero, city chief of community services.

Mayor Tom Weisner said he appreciates the desire of Aurora’s Indian American leaders to become more involved.

“We look forward to working with you going forward to create a better community but also to educate the rest of our community to all of the positive culture and other assets that you bring,” Weisner said.

Members of the community first approached Alderman Rick Mervine, 8th Ward, about creating the committee. The idea was “refreshing,” he said.

“It makes so much sense,” Mervine said.

Between 2000 and 2010, the city experienced an 80 percent growth in the Indian American population in Aurora, according to City Assistant Chief of Staff Rick Guzman.

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