Singh hopes to bring harmony to council
on October 28, 2010
“You know how much I’ve spent?,” Harry Singh asked as he sat across a small table inside the café at Barnes and Noble at El Cerrito Plaza.
Singh, who is running for a seat on Richmond’s city council, was referring to his campaign.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the newspaper,” he said wearing a ruby red turban paired with a dark navy suit. “I’ve spent $1,600 on my campaign.”
He pauses and laughs quietly to himself.
The 57-year-old north India native is not intimidated by rivals’ corporate endorsements and fancy campaign materials.
“Other candidates have spent $80,000, $35,000, I don’t know,” he said. “I have a small sign. It does not mean anything to me.”
If elected, Singh hopes to help fellow council members work together more harmoniously.
“Our city council at this time is very divided, racially divided,” he said as he leaned in closer to the small table. “They don’t like each other. When there’s no team, there’s no dream. You have to find teamwork.”
Singh wants to provide more training to young people to better prepare them for employment as well as to lower the crime rate.
“The more jobs you create, the crime can be less because people will be busy,” he said.
Although he does not support gambling, Singh does endorse any project that will produce jobs for those living in Richmond — including the controversial Point Molate casino.
“When I was a young boy, my father told me, ‘Gambling is not a good idea,’” he said. “I do support jobs and I’m in favor of the casino but we do need to make some conditions.” Specifically, he suggested the casino initially be allowed to operate only on a trial basis.
Before settling in Richmond, Singh worked as a chemical engineer in Chicago in the early ’80s; for a plastics manufacturer in Dallas; and finally as a lab technician with Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Berkeley before retiring two years ago. He also runs a volunteer organization, described on his website, United We Always. It has aided in disaster relief efforts and food giveaways in India.
As election day approaches, the practicing Sikh says he is taking the campaign day-by-day.
“If I win I’ll do my best to help the community,” Singh said. “I am for the common good of people, that’s it.”
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