The contentious race to represent San Ramon on the City Council continues to grow, with the announcement that local resident Varun Kaushal is seeking to represent the Dougherty Valley in San Ramon's District 3.
A more than 15-year professional in the information technology industry and Indian immigrant to San Ramon, Kaushal said he is running for City Council to help shape the city into a more inclusive, just and fiscally sound community.
"I am running because, just like the wonderful residents of the city of San Ramon, it is also my deepest desire and a shared vision to see this beautiful city we call our home, as strong, resilient and thriving with a robust local economy that is capable of catering to the diverse needs of its wonderful residents," Kaushal said.
"To make this vision a reality and to make our city more inclusive and just, so everyone, regardless of who they are, can have a place at the table," he added.
If elected to serve as a council member, Kaushal said his top five priorities will revolve around ensuring a balanced budget, working with law enforcement to maintain public safety, balancing sustainable development while preserving the city's open space and character, promoting inclusion and diversity throughout the community and increasing public engagement between the council and community.
Listing the budget as his first priority, Kaushal said that fiscal responsibility is paramount for any effective city government and proper budgeting can help offset economic downturns like the one currently felt throughout the country.
"Ensure a balanced budget, such that our shortfall and loss in revenues as a result of COVID-19 does not have any impact on our ability to provide the level of service that our residents expect while still ensuring adequate reserves," he said.
Kaushal also highlighted the celebration of diversity as vitally important aspects of a prosperous community, saying that his experiences growing up in India and living in California have helped cement in him the importance of inclusion.
"Like many of our fellow residents, I came here as an immigrant and worked hard to weave myself into this fabric. Having grown up in India, a country that is known for its diversity, the values of tolerance and acceptance are deep-rooted in me. Living in the world’s largest democracy taught me the importance of public engagement as a tool to bring about positive change in the community," he said.
"Growing up in the land of Gandhi and coming to the land of Dr. King made me appreciate our shared values of truth, honesty and integrity. I believe in the power of selfless service to build strong communities that can offer a great future to our children and give a sense of safety, and security to all our residents," he added.
Kaushal is seeking to represent District 3 on the San Ramon City Council, which primarily covers the Dougherty Valley region in southwest San Ramon. This race is turning out to be one of the San Ramon Valley's more contentious contests; as of Thursday, four candidates have officially registered to compete in the contest with a fifth pending final verification from the city.
District 3 was left vacant when incumbent councilman Phil O'Loane announced that he would not run for re-election in early August.