LEXINGTON, MA—If six Indian American candidates contesting in this year’s highly competitive Town Meeting Member (TMM) elections in Lexington, MA, win, the total number of Indian-Americans in local town government will reach 21.
Lexington Town Meeting Member elections will be held on March 4, 2019. Currently, there are a total of 18 Indian-American members of the 200-member body. Out of 18, two are re-running (incumbents), and one is retiring. The total population of Lexington is approximately 32,000 and Indian-Americans account for between six and seven percent.
“This year, there are two incumbent and four new candidates, all of whom are campaigning very hard to get elected,” said Ravish Kumar, a member of the Indian American Getting Involved Group, known as iGIG.
“This year’s elections are one of the most contested in recent memory, with nearly two people running for each open seat in some precincts. iGIG is supporting the campaign efforts of its members and requests Lexington citizens to actively participate in the upcoming election,” said Mr. Kumar.
iGIG is a volunteer organization with a mission to actively reach, educate and encourage Indian Americans to participate in the governance of the Town of Lexington and its committees.
Here are the bios of the six Indian-American candidates for town of Lexington elections:
Ajay Joseph (Precinct 2):
Ajay and his wife, Shoba Sarah Mathew have lived in Lexington for the last 18 years. Their three kids boys Armin, Ari (both in college) and daughter Rifka (a junior) have been/ are part of the Lexington School system.
Ajay has been working for the past 20 years at iBasis in Lexington, currently as the Chief Technology Officer. He is responsible for innovation and with a focus on launching new incubations within iBasis.
Ajay believes that giving our time back to the town will further enrich our town Ajay’s goals as Town meeting member are: Protecting the interests of Seniors; Responsible sustainable commercial development to rebalance residential taxes and Ensure feedback from precinct 2 constituents on a regular basis
Ajay has Served on GSM Association executive committees on mobile phone roaming, served on several technical advisory groups for telecommunications and teaches Northeastern University
Ajay has an Advanced Management Program – Harvard Business School and a Professional Engineering & Master’s degree in Science from Columbia University, New York.
Dr. Jyotsna Kakullavarapu (Precinct 5):
Jyotsna lives with her husband and kids- Juniors in college & LHS.
Jyotsna is a Physician, Public Health Specialist, Owner and CEO of Interim HealthCare of Lexington MA a Home Health Care agency. Senior care is her passion, she enjoys making resources available for reducing the ER Visits/ Rehospitalization and save money for Center for Medicare and Medicaid services under affordable care act.
Jyotsna is currently serving 3-year term as appointed Council on Aging Board member, Lexington. Liaison Vision 20/20 committee and part of Advisory group for Mental Health Task Force in Lexington. Her focus areas are: Encourage Commercial businesses in Lexington to lower tax base; Public health and community wellness initiatives under affordable care act, promote community-based services for seniors to live in the comfort of their own home and Improve on communication across the town departments and residents
Umesh Shelat, (Precinct 7):
Umesh, his wife Radha and two sons 13 and 15 have lived in Lexington for the last eleven years. Their boys have attended Estabrook Elementary and Diamond Middle, and both will be at LHS next year. His wife Radha is an engineering manager at a large software company, and Umesh manages a private investment fund (they also have a small skin care products company, Lexington Soaps).
From 2010 – 2014, Umesh was an active proponent for the design and construction of the new Estabrook elementary school. Currently, given the impending demolition of the Minuteman Tech pool, he has been engaged in working with the Lexington School administration to design a short-term and long-term solution for swim facilities for the LHS.
Swim Teams. He and his family have had a wonderful life, here in Lexington, and he would very much like the opportunity to give back and contribute in any way he can to the continued prosperity of this town
Vikas Kinger (Precinct 7):
Vikas, an incumbent candidate, has lived in Lexington for last twelve years with his wife and two children, aged 16 and 13, both in Lexington Public Schools. He has an MBA from Boston University and founder of a startup.
He was deeply involved in the issues town is facing and was instrumental in passing bills and bylaws to help our town become more safe, secure, both environment and business friendly, and support Lexington Public Schools. With your vote, Vikas wants to continue his active involvement on some of the pressing issues Lexington faces today and bring about visible changes in town.
Pam Joshi (Precinct 9):
Pam is an incumbent candidate. Pamela and her husband, Brent, have lived in Lexington for 17 years and have a son who is a junior at Lexington High School. Pamela is an active volunteer involved in town committees including the Human Services Committee, the Tax Deferral and Exemption Study Committee and the Mental Health and Wellness Task Force. Pamela has a Ph.D. and Masters in Public Policy, and is an experienced policy researcher, project director and teacher at Brandeis University. Pamela is running for re-election and looks forward to continuing her active involvement in Town Meeting.
Dr. Dilip Patel (Precinct 9):
Dilip has over 30 years of experience as a practicing physician, currently a senior anesthesiologist and managing partner at Winchester Hospital. He also serves as director of the acute pain service. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor at UMass medical school for 12 years and chief of anesthesia at Milford Regional Hospital for 10 years.
Dilip has been living in Lexington for 17 years and is looking for an opportunity to give back to the community. He has been happily married for 38 years with his wife Alka, who is a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. Alka and Dilip have a son who is a practicing physician at Winchester Hospital and a daughter who is a PharmD working in research in the pharmaceutical industry.