Accountant Becomes Charlotte’s First Indian-American Council Member

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Dimple Ajmera, 30, a certified public accountant who immigrated to the U.S. with her family when she was 16, has been named to Charlotte City Council Jan. 23 to finish the term of Democrat John Autry in District 5.

Five other people applied for the position, but Ajmera, the only Indian-American among the applicants, was the unanimous choice.

But before the vote, Democratic council member Al Austin nominated Matt Newton, an activist who has worked to reform the Citizens Review Board. Democrat Claire Fallon said Newton was her choice, but that she was going to support Ajmera because she would “go with the majority,” according to a report in The Charlotte Observer.

Ina speech to the city council as to why she should be appointed before her swearing in Jan. 23, Ajmera, who is currently a member of the Charlotte Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, said how the community invested in her future and that she wanted to ensure that everybody gets opportunity to have a better life.

“My family made it here in search of better opportunities when I was 16. We landed here with no economic base. Unfortunately I had to be on free lunch at school and in after school tutoring to help me learn English … a job in retail so I could go to college. My parents and my brother worked very hard so I could be the first college graduate in my family and have the economic opportunity. I could come here because my community invested in my future,” Ajmera who is a Democrat, said.

She added that not everyone gets the same opportunity that she did and that is why she had been advocating for opportunities for all, Ajmera who has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, said.

In deciding whom they should appoint, council members said they preferred someone who would not run for the seat this year. “I told them I will fill the term for 11 months,” Ajmera was quoted as saying. “I’ll support whoever decides to run for the district.”

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