Daughter of immigrants says she knows the challenges faced by families during hard times.
Indian American community leader and research scientist Darshana Patel, a Democrat, has announced that she would run for the California State Assembly from the North County in 2024.
“As the daughter of immigrants who struggled to realize the American Dream, I know the challenges that families can face during hard times,” she told the Times of San Diego
“I am running for state Assembly because I want to make sure that every person has the opportunity to succeed and thrive, and because I can use my experience as a scientist, elected school board member, and a civic leader to make a difference in their lives.”
California’s Assembly District 76 includes the cities of Escondido and San Marcos, portions of San Diego, and numerous unincorporated communities in San Diego County.
Patel’s campaign earned early endorsements from Indian American Congressman Ro Khanna.
In her campaign announcement, Patel said she wants to invest in public education, protect the environment, improve healthcare access, and keep communities safe.
Patel, 48, was elected to the Poway Unified board when the district was struggling because of financial mismanagement and criminal embezzlement and helped to restore fiscal responsibility, the Times said. She was reelected in 2020.
In addition to her work on the school board, Patel serves on the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs and as president of the San Diego County School Boards Association.
Darshana Patel lives with her husband and their three daughters in San Diego.
The research scientist has a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry from Occidental College and a PhD in Biophysics from the University of California, Irvine.
Recently, Patel was awarded the 2023 Occidental College Alumni Seal Award’s Alumna of the Year.
Patel previously held executive positions on the Park Village Elementary Parent Teacher Association, Education Foundation Board, Rancho Penasquitos Planning Board, and Rancho Penasquitos Town Council.