New York, Nov 11 (UNI) Mr Upendra J Chivukula, Deputy Speaker in the state of New Jersey has won the Outstanding Legislator award from the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce.
Mr Chivukula was one of the four to receive the award. He got the award for the progressive legislation he sponsored to help grow the state's telecommunications and utilities industries and keep and attract more business in and to the state, according to a statement issued on behalf of the lawmaker.
Mr Chivukula was the first first-generation Indian-American to get elected to a US state. Earlier this month, he was elected again, for the fourth time, to the state assembly of New Jersey.
He won the award in his capacity as chairman of the Telecommuncations and Utilities Committee in the New Jersey General Assembly. Mr Chivukula's background as an engineer and extensive work experience with companies such as Bell Labs and AT&T helped him better understand the needs and challenges of these industries, the statement said.
The Andhra Pradesh native was committed to keeping and attracting more business to New Jersey by advancing policy and legislation that would grow prosperity and jobs while protecting the rights and interest of ratepayers, it said.
Mr Chivukula was earlier elected to the NJ General Assembly in 2001, 2003 and 2005. New Jersey's Seventeenth District, from where he was elected, comprises North Brunswick Township, New Brunswick City, Franklin Township, Highland Park Borough, Milltown Borough, and Piscataway Township. In the 2007 elections, Mr Chivukula won 30 per cent of the vote in his constituency over his political rival.
He also serves as Deputy Speaker, a post to which he was appointed earlier this year.
A longtime resident of Franklin Township, Mr Chivukula enjoys the distinction of being the first resident of Franklin Township to be elected to the New Jersey State Assembly after a gap of 100 years.
Born on October 8, 1950, Mr Chivukula is a Democratic Party politician. He is the fourth Indian-American to be elected to a US state. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996 and 2000.
He earned his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from Guindy College, Chennai (which is now part of Anna University). He received the master's degree in the same subject in New York. He was born in Nellore and currently lives in Somerset in New Jersey.