WHAT began as a meeting with 50 former Bangladesh residents three months ago inside a Van Nuys garage evolved into a community picnic Sunday for 500 from the South Asian country who now call the San Fernando Valley home, Sue Doyle writes in Los Angeles Daily News.
Wearing T-shirts with the green and red flag of their homeland, members of the group Bangladesh Community gathered at noon for the six-hour effort to organize political lobbying efforts, propel themselves into America’s mainstream and reach out to fellow Bangladeshis becoming U.S. citizens.
“We want to make sure Washington hears us Bangladeshi Americans,” said Masud R. Chowdhury, a software developer who spearheaded the group. “We want to unite, raise our children in our culture, but be Americans.”
Topping their message to federal leaders, the group wants the United States to improve its trade policy with Bangladesh and waive heavy taxes on products from the impoverished Muslim country that sits next to India.
From January to May, the United States has imported $1.47 billion in goods from Bangladesh – a 5 percent spike from last year during the same months, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.