Sunday, January 29, 2023

Indian American wins seat on city council of Sunnyvale

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Murali Srinivasan, an Indian American engineer, recently won a seat on the city council of Sunnyvale in Silicon Valley, California, by a single vote.
“It was the closest election in Sunnyvale’s history. Though I was trailing, the trend was favourable as additional ballots were counted. There were sufficient ballots for me to go past the finish line by one vote. This election proves that in every democracy, everyone should participate and every vote counts,” Srinivasan told the Times of India about his historic victory from District 3 of Sunnyvale. Given the slimmest of the margins, Santa Clara County’s registrar of voters automatically conducted a recount before Srinivasan was declared the winner.
“The registrar of voters (similar to district Election Commissioner in India) had completed manual recounting before this recount request. The manual recount and the machine counting matched exactly,” Srinivasan said about the recount process.
Born and raised in Bengaluru, Srinivasan immigrated to the US to pursue his American dream after completing an undergraduate degree in engineering. He started his engineering career in the Silicon Valley after a master’s degree in computer science from Virginia Tech and later got a masters in management from Stanford University.
A resident for over two decades of the district that he will now be representing; Srinivasan will be focusing on improving residents’ participation in the city’s governance and policies, by outreach.
“This is the next step of democracy after electing the representatives. In addition, I will be addressing the issues that the city faces such as housing, traffic, climate change, and public safety,” he said.
Like many Indians in Silicon Valley, Srinivasan has had a successful career in the software and IT industry and has been a serial entrepreneur as well corporate executive at large companies including Sun Microsystems and General Electric. But for more than 15 years, he has also been involved in the community by contributing time and skills.
“I have been a community and neighbourhood volunteer and leader in Sunnyvale and was recognised as the ‘Distinguished Resident of Sunnyvale’ in 2021 for my contributions to the community,” he said. He now wants to contribute his experience to the city by serving on the council as an extension to his community and neighbourhood activities.
Srinivasan also supports charities in India related to education, health, and environment. “I support students from low income families. I am planning to help mentor entrepreneurs in India,” he said.
An active member of the Indian American community in the Silicon Valley; he organised the first Diwali festival in Sunnyvale.
“We also organised Indian cultural exhibitions at the Arts & Wine festival and the Heritage Museum,” he said. Srinivasan is involved with organisations that are addressing issues important for the Indian American community such as hate crimes and immigration.

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