The field of candidates seeking to lead San Ramon has grown once again, with the announcement that 21-year-old Sameera Rajwade has declared their candidacy to represent District 3 on the San Ramon City Council.
A local community activist who has taken a leadership role in recent San Ramon Valley protests, Rajwade self-describes as an agent for progressive change in San Ramon, centering their platform around defunding the police, promoting educational reform and fighting for "intersectional justice of climate, race and economic well-being."
"I am running for San Ramon City Council because I love San Ramon and want to fight for all of my fellow residents, not just those whose financial interests are aligned with government officials," Rajwade wrote on their campaign website.
"As a City Council member, I will be able to translate my work on the streets fighting for marginalized communities into governmental policies. I will have the power to reinvest the city budget in parts of our community that has been forgotten by those with interests that lie in corporations," they added.
"Defunding" and "demilitarizing" the San Ramon Police Department is a key pillar of Rajwade's campaign, emphasizing that support from local and suburban communities is vitally important toward progressing meaningful change.
"Defunding the police is a national movement and bringing that movement into wealthy white/Asian suburbs is an extremely integral part into actually making police defunding and eventual abolition and reparations a true manifestation in this world," Rajwade said in a video posted on the candidate's Instagram account.
A graduate of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District and a first-generation Indian-American who identifies as non-binary, Rajwade is an enthusiastic proponent for educational reform as well -- advocating for a more inclusive curriculum in schools that teaches about historical genocide and brutality of slavery that transpired in the United States, as well as the innovative contributions by Black and indigenous people of color.
Acknowledging that promoting revolutionary change in the community is a tall order, Rajwade said that they hope to continue the conversation locally and increase participation from residents -- particularly among San Ramon's youth population.
"My campaign is to encourage, motivate and inspire other people who are young to run for office, to bring forth policy to their state or local governments and really bring this revolution in motion," Rajwade said.
"I know for a fact that what I'm doing right now is an uphill battle and I have no idea if I'm going to win and even if I don't I'm still going to keep fighting for liberation because that is why I am here," they added. "I truly believe in a better future. I truly believe that change is coming but that can only happen with your participation."
An active advocate for revolutionary change and supporter of the Black Lives Matter Movement, Rajwade announced plans to run for San Ramon council during the Danville Black Lives Matter protest on July 4 -- a message reinforced during a protest Rajwade led in San Ramon on July 11 titled, “End Environmental Racism and Modern Day Colonialism."
Rajwade is a longtime San Ramon resident who attended Coyote Creek Elementary and Gale Ranch Middle schools before graduating from Dougherty Valley High School in 2017.
To learn more about Rajwade and their campaign, residents can visit their campaign website at www.sameeraforsanramon.com.