Newly-elected Councilmember Anu Natarajan

anu natarajan
Anu Natarajan (anu4fremont.com)
cj cregg
Role model C. J. Cregg

Earlier this month Anu Natarajan became the first Indian American elected to a city council in northern California’s Bay Area. Appointed two years ago to the city council of Fremont, the Bay Area’s fourth largest city, she received enough votes in the recent elections to finish out the rest of her four-year term as an elected member.

Fremont is among the most diverse cities of its size in the country. Its 212,000 residents come from more than 155 countries, with the nation’s largest concentration of Indo-Americans, comprising roughly 10 percent of the population.

Because of these changing demographics, Natarajan said the color of her skin, the way she speaks and her gender may make her more approachable — especially to immigrants who typically shy away from government.

“Some of the people who wouldn’t normally go to city hall come up to me and ask questions on their own,” she said. (“Council’s first Indo-American has passion for community,” The Mercury News)

Natarajan’s background in architecture and planning should prove useful in the city’s upcoming dealings with the Oakland A’s—the team has announced plans to move to Fremont and and build a high-tech baseball stadium there.

Like most elected officials, Natarajan has her detractors. But there is one position she holds that should face little to no resistance among the pro-“West Wing” faction. That would be her choice of Allison Janney/C. J. Cregg as role model (bio)!

More information: City of Fremont, http://www.anu4fremont.com/home/

November 28, 2006
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