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Get more involved in politics: Anu

October 24
23:28 2012

Anu Natarajan

Anu Natarajan is Vice Mayor of Fremont, and is a well known public figure in the Bay Area. She has been in Fremont for the past 14+ years and has been very active in community.

Despite being less than 1% of American population, Indo-American community holds significant proportion of positions in education, politics, medicine, administration, technical and business fields. What do you attribute this growth to?

Anu: Indians have done extremely well in above areas as they have been able to integrate well with American life and have worked hard to excel in these areas.

We have done a good job in educating our children and this reflects well in overall achievements of the community.

How are Indian Americans able to integrate easily with American mainstream?

I think it is possible because India much like US is a democracy. This helps us to integrate socially and politically in the country. Also, English being a common language in India helps us integrate with mainstream here.

What potential areas of improvement you see for further growth of Indian Americans here?

Having made progress in multiple areas, Indo Americans now should also get more involved in politics and journalism. Recently, Indian Americans have started getting into these areas, but need to get entrenched more. They should try to reach every area of decision making, be it at local, state or federal level. There are only three Indian American Council members in Bay area and I am the only woman. Asian and Indian women should get out of their comfort zone and get more active in political field. We are fast learners and can make a difference.

What message you would like to give to Indo-American community on integration and assimilation with American mainstream?

We are part of mainstream. We need to give back to the country. We should be part of government, politics, military.

Last few years have seen a big economic turmoil in the country. What have you seen in Fremont?

Fremont has faced the brunt of economic downturn. Fremont’s unemployment is in line with other cities in Bay area. Closure of NUMMI resulted in loss of 4700 well paying jobs. We have been making sure that we use that land judiciously and keep future development in mind. We are focusing on clean and green tech businesses.

What is your vision for the city of Fremont?

I would like Fremont to be one community with several ethnicities and diversities. We need to maintain that make up of Fremont.

How can people get involved to support you in campaigning?

There are several ways community can be involved. High school and college students can be involved and bring new ideas. We are running a grassroots campaign, making phone calls, going door to door. We need to get message out to several thousand voters. You can also go to website anu4fremont.com.

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