Council's First Indo-American has Passion for Community

November 21, 2006

Author: Lisa Fernandez

Source: Mercury News, the

She's the first Indo-American elected to a city council in the Bay Area, and among only a handful of others in the country. That alone assures her place in history.

But Fremont City Councilwoman Anu Natarajan, 44, doesn't want her ethnicity to define her, though she's proud of her Bangalore roots.

"I want people to know I'm more than just a woman from India," she said.

And she has shown the community just that, proving even to former foes that she's a skilled architect and a compassionate human being who is capable of building bridges to the city's large Indo-American population -- and beyond.

Natarajan was appointed to the city council two years ago. But the Nov. 7 election was the first time voters had their say, cementing her position for a four-year term. Colleague Bill Harrison was the top vote getter with almost 44 percent securing his spot for the other council seat. Natarajan had almost 36 percent.