Richmond Welcomes First Sikh Councilman

January 26, 2007

Author: John Geluardi

Source: Inside Bay Area

RICHMOND - With his hand placed on some holy scriptures of the Sikhs, Human Relations Commissioner Harpreet Sandhu was sworn in Tuesday as Richmond's ninth council member.

City Clerk Diane Holmes administered the oath in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 200 people that included 15 members of his family and 60 Bay Area Sikhs. Also present were county Supervisor John Gioia and representatives of U.S. Rep. George Miller and state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata.

"It was very exciting, really exciting," Sandhu said Wednesday. "It was especially exciting for the Sikh community, and I have received a positive and supportive response from the whole of Richmond."

Wearing a bright orange turban, Sandhu, 48, took his place behind the council dais after a short reception.

He was well-prepared for the night's agenda and seemed at ease in his new position, Councilman John Marquez said.