Name: Dipak Awasthi
Running for: Milpitas City Council
Why are you running?
I am a resident of 25 years, and have lived in different neighborhoods. This is where my son and daughter grew up and graduated from Milpitas High. My community service began when I first got appointed to Sister Cities, then to the Economic Development and Trade Commission; and I’m presently on the Planning Commission. I am here to make a difference by making resident-centered decisions by being an independent voice and working as a unity candidate with other councilmembers.
What’s the biggest problem facing Milpitas right now? And how would you intend to solve it?
Affordable Housing is the biggest problem facing Milpitas today. Even the School Board is requesting residents to help teachers rent housing in the community. We have to get more affordable housing for low and middle income levels, and I will be a strong advocate for that. As for Public Safety, catalytic converters are being stolen right now…and I believe that the government has a big role and responsibility to lift up the residents needing help, and ensure that all residents feel safe at all times.
What would your priorities be should you get elected?
Public Safety, Economic Development and Foreign Trade, and Affordable Housing for low and medium income levels. I want to create a position in the Milpitas Police Department of a social worker who will work with our unhoused population when we get calls; they can help if police intervention is not needed and also work with them for prevention of known problems. This will free police time for actual emergencies. The social worker can help all residents get the right resources while going through testing times in their personal life.
What can you bring to the table that you feel no other candidate can bring?
I have worked firsthand with a variety of diverse people who make up the population in every city through my small business. My experience on the Economic Development Commission will be put to use. I will support small existing businesses and work to attract new businesses, thereby increasing jobs and revenue. I will try to be a unity candidate, a councilmember who unites and does not divide. I will pay attention to data and facts.
Where do you see Milpitas 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I wish to see a more vibrant Milpitas with a thriving downtown, carbon emissions at their lowest, and a green city leading in climate control with the happiest residents proud of doing their bit to save the planet.
Who is your inspiration, and why?
My father, who came as a refugee to India during Partition of India in 1947 with no money. He worked odd jobs and after some years, started a small business helping family and community. He was always positive and respected everyone. He was good at heart, and everyone liked him for his down-to-earth simplicity. He had a positive aura around him, and everyone felt happy and comfortable in his presence. He always used to say, “Keep your ego at home when going out” and “Always be a good listener.”
Can you tell us one interesting thing about yourself that other people don’t really know about?
I enjoy playing hide and seek with my grandkids (I always lose) and watching Tom and Jerry. I also love to marinate different foods at home.
What’s your favorite spot in Milpitas?
The hills. Me and my wife like to drive up at night to see the city lights. Looking down at the silver and gold lights is mesmerizing.
What do you think is the most exciting thing happening in Milpitas right now?
After the pandemic, we’ve had so many events of different cultures at City Hall and across the City. Residents are very happy to be coming back to near-normal and enjoy going out with family – this, for me, is the most exciting thing happening now. It began with Christmas in the Park last year.
What do you love most about Milpitas?
The small community feeling. The diverse population and good schools. All the parks and many ethnic stores and restaurants. Milpitas welcomes diversity and places of worship for all communities. We have a great police force and accessibility to different cities throughout Silicon Valley in between two freeways. No wonder we live in the beautiful city called “Gateway to Silicon Valley.” We’re a short drive to the beach and close to mountains and a few hours drive to where it snows. Not many cities can compare with Milpitas on this.