Yogi Chugh is known more as a community leader than as a businessman in his city, Fremont, California — the city of Tesla which has a large Indian-American population.
According to Census data, 58.4 percent of Fremont’s population is Asian.
Chugh has been living in Fremont since 1986. He has campaigned for many candidates, from those running for local city office to state legislator and even Congress.
Chugh, 54, has finally decided to run himself for the District 6 city council seat in the upcoming November 3 general election.
There are five more candidates running from District 6, which is a portion of Mission Area and Irvington — Teresa Cox, trustee, Ohlone Community College; Jhansi Kalapala, IT manager/leader; Charles Liu, Fremont planning commissioner; Andrew Quang Nguyen, senior application programmer; and Roman Reed, a stem cell advocate.
Chugh has served as a Fremont planning and economic development commissioner and on the boards of the Fremont 4th of July Parade, the Fremont Education Foundation, and Drivers for Survivors.
Chugh told indica News that District 6 has around 20,000 voters and during the last election only 18 percent had turned out to vote.
What does he think is still lacking and needs attention in Fremont?
“We need to build stronger partnerships between Fremont City Council and FUSD [Fremont Unified School District]. We need to have a strong Covid and economic recovery, do it safely and ensure everyone shares in the recovery,” Chugh replied.
“We need to protect our small businesses and employers to protect our jobs. We also need to keep our community safe and ensure we have the resources to our public safety agencies to be able to respond to the safety issues we face,” he added.
Chugh agreed that over the last three decades a lot has changed in Fremont.
“We need to address infrastructure and methods to mitigate our transportation congestion. We need to also ensure school capacity is available to address the residents of these new housing developments,” he said.
He also noted “how the homeless have been uncared for and the need to address the issue that has been on the rise over the last few years.”
Asked what would be the first and foremost job he would like to take up on joining the office, Chugh said: “Covid and economic recovery, and ensure that everyone shares in the recovery, and allocate resources that ensure that we take care of our most vulnerable.”
He underlined that the public office alone cannot solve the wreck caused by the pandemic. He said he would look to seek public-private partnerships to jumpstart the economy. He said he would ensure regional cooperation and increase support from the county, state and the federal government to augment the recovery efforts.
Asked for his thoughts on the “defund the police” talk, Chugh said he was very clear on what needs to be done.
“Dismantling the police department is not required. I believe that we will need to reimagine and rethink about policing in Fremont. We need to continue to ensure that Fremont continues to stay a safe and secure community. We will also need to continue to focus on transparency and accountability.”
He noted how Fremont has already started community discussions about the changes they would like to see. He said he was keen on hearing out voices and ideas and looked forward to more discussions with the community around this topic.
Chugh has received endorsements from Alameda County Democratic Party; Tri-Cities Democratic Forum; South Alameda County Young Democrats; Fremont Firefighters, Muslim Dems, and Friends; FUN Progressives; Congressman Ro Khanna; Congressman Eric Swalwell; State Controller Betty Yee; State Senator Bob Wieckowski; and Assemblymember Bill Quirk.