Indian-American running for City Council in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Hari Pillai

Hari Pillai, an engineer by training, recently announced his run for Cambridge City Council. The elections are scheduled for Nov. 7. Twenty six candidates are running for the 9 seats on the City Council, some of them for re-election, according to the City of Cambridge, MA Board of Elections website.

Pillai was born and raised in the Mississippi Delta and has been living in the Cambridge area of Boston for over 17 years.

“My parents were both activist educators, and they imbued in me progressive values, sense of social justice, inclusivity, and civic involvement. I made it a point to move to Boston/Cambridge area over 17 years ago because I knew that my convictions to these values are welcomed,” said Pillai, who has always been extremely interested in politics, volunteering for many campaigns since 1994.

“As an Indian-American, I’m very proud of my dual heritage, and I maintain close ties to India. I want to be the voice for the Indian-American community here, and I will not take any vote for granted,” he added.

Some of the issues on his agenda range from hate crimes to parking space, quality of internet services, local development projects, affordable housing, increasing voter turnout, raising the minimum wage to $15, and dispensaries for marijuana.

Pillai has a BS in Engineering from Mississippi State University, and an MS in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. His father was a physics professor at a historically black college and his mother was a middle-school science teacher in Mississippi.

He has worked at GE Power Systems as a Process and Quality Engineer and has also touched upon other areas including being a tutor and health and wellness coach at the Oak Square YMCA and an Account Manager in the Technology Sector.

According to his profile on the web, Pillai has been involved in many campaigns for local, state and federal elections as well as, volunteering as a Massachusetts Service Alliance grant reviewer where he mentored young kids and at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution, Shirley, where he promoted the practice of mindfulness.

He is also a member of the African American Business Leaders for Excellence (ABLE), the Asian American Professional Group, and Pride in addition to mentoring and coaching junior employees.