Sepia Meets Sumi: Sri Lankan-Born Candidate for Office in Ann Arbor, MI

So, I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Recently, I’ve been walking around town and seeing signs that say

SUMI KAILASAPATHY

To Google or not to Google? Like that was the question. :) These signs are encouraging A2 residents to vote for a Democratic candidate for First Ward, Ann Arbor City Council. (The primary election is August 3, and since the Democratic candidates here are heavily favored in the general election, the primary is crucial.) This particular candidate grew up in Sri Lanka, came to the U.S. 19 years ago, and has been living in Ann Arbor for 13 years.

Imagine how verklempt I was to discover this.

In Jaffna, Sumi was a student activist, and was involved with Poorani, a women’s organization. She’s now a CPA; she previously taught at Eastern Michigan University. I contacted her and asked if she’d chat with the Mutiny about her background and candidacy. She agreed, and so here, in four parts, her filmed conversation with me.

Videos of Sumi debating her opponent, incumbent Sandi Smith:

Bonus link to event with Ann Arbor League of Women Voters

League of Women Voters City Council Primary Candidates Forum

and an interview about her candidacy with Boston Lanka News!

13 thoughts on “Sepia Meets Sumi: Sri Lankan-Born Candidate for Office in Ann Arbor, MI

  1. THIS IS AWESOME VV! I love stuff like this! Thanks for following up and making the videos, going way beyond linksifting, VV!

  2. Heh, I am absurdly in love with my new camcorder. Glad you guys liked the videos! I didn’t want to repeat too much of what was in other articles about her… and this was really fun. I’ll probably be doing more video in the future.

  3. Cool Interview.

    I’m sorry you live in Ann Arbor though. It’s about to be 7 years in a row this November. :)

    -Anil The Ohio State University Class of 2005.

  4. I’m sorry you live in Ann Arbor though. It’s about to be 7 years in a row this November. :)

    You are right, times are very tough right now. But regardless, there is some peace in knowing that Ohio State grads will typically end up working for Michigan grads. Incidentally, we are looking for a Sepia Mutiny intern. ;)

    -Abhi Michigan Class of 1998.

  5. Very awesome, but there’s more than a little irony in an aspiring politician’s surname containing “apathy”.

  6. DP @ 6: Kailasapathy is one of many names of “Shiva” or “Shanker” – the Destoyer in the Hindu Trinity Bhrahma-Vishnu-Mahesh. He, according to Vedas lives in Mt. Kailash – which now belongs to Tibet and by default to China. Kailaspati in Sanskrit bacame Kailsapathy in Dravidian languages. It has nothing to do with your garden variety “apathy”. Good luck to Sumi. You go Girl……

  7. “You are right, times are very tough right now. But regardless, there is some peace in knowing that Ohio State grads will typically end up working for Michigan grads. Incidentally, we are looking for a Sepia Mutiny intern. ;)

    -Abhi Michigan Class of 1998.”

    Typical diversionary tactic. Michigan fans have gotten quite good at that in light of their abysmal performance on the football field (and on the basketball court).

    I’ve interned for a Northwestern Grad before, but never a Wolverine lol.

  8. If you live in AA, then can we PLEASE have a Michigan meetup? Please please please????

  9. Another desi Ann Arbor resident here. I am really interested in the meet-up y’all are organising. Please keep me posted.

  10. It has nothing to do with your garden variety “apathy”.

    For Hindu theologists, probably not.