In 1970, Harpreet S. Sandhu emigrated from Punjab, India to Berkeley California, where he attended public school and graduated from Berkeley High in 1977. He then enrolled at Contra Costa College and continued on to San Francisco State University.
An avid tennis player, he played varsity tennis in high school and at San Francisco State University when SFSU was ranked 15th nationally.
After college, Harpreet worked as a tennis pro for the Sleepy Hollow Tennis Club in Orinda and then as the manager for Golden Gate Fields Tennis Club in Albany.
In 1984, he married Inderpreet K. Virk. They have three children. Their oldest daughter, Tanisha, graduated from University of California at Davis with a BS in Biological Science in June 2008 and plans to enter Dental School. Hoorin, their middle child, is currently attending the University of California at Davis and is majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Spanish. Their son, Bharjoban, is attending Contra Costa College.
Harpreet began his present employment at the United States Postal Service in 1991 in the city of Tiburon, where he has received many awards and accolades from the community for his work.
Harpreet is active in the Sikh community and has served consecutively as Secretary, Treasurer, and President of the Sikh Center of the San Francisco Bay Area which has over 2000 members.
Harpreet has been engaged in extensive community and public service since the early 1980’s, serving on area committees and commissions, such as:
- Academic Committee of the West Contra Costa County Unified School District
- Chairman for the past 10 years on the parents Multi-lingual Advisory Committee of the WCCCUSD since 1997. Of the 31,530 students in grades K-12, 32.4% are English Learners who are represented by this Committee.
- City of Richmond’s Human Relations and Human Rights Commission from 2002 to 2007
Harpreet’s current service includes:
- Executive Committee of the Democratic Party of California.
- Developmental Disability Board for Area 5, which covers the counties of San Mateo, San Francisco, Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa. He was appointed by the Governor of California, Gray Davis in 2002.
- National Association of Bilingual Education. NABE has affiliate organizations in 23 states, representing a combined membership of more than 20,000 bilingual and English-as-a-second-language teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, university professors and students, researchers, advocates, policymakers, and parents.
- Chairman of NABE’s Asian & Pacific Islanders Special Interest Group
- California Association of Bilingual Education
- Contra Costa County Democratic Central Committee member, since 2004
- California State Democratic Party Delegate to the state convention seven times since 1998
- Chairman of the West Contra Costa County United Democratic Campaign
Harpreet Sandhu is probably best remembered as a strong advocate for creating safer working conditions for West County taxi drivers. After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, taxi drivers in West County — 90 percent of whom are Sikh — increasingly became victims of attacks. One driver was killed in 2003, and one was shot in the face in what appeared to be hate crimes. Sandhu, then president of the Gurdwara Sikh Temple in El Sobrante, worked with U.S. Rep George Miller, D-Martinez, County Supervisor John Gioia and Richmond Vice Mayor Maria Viramontes to raise money to equip taxis with safety glass and surveillance cameras.
“Many of the drivers are new immigrants, and there is a language barrier. There was a feeling that nothing was going to happen unless someone spoke up for them,” Sandhu said. “We were able to raise $30,000, which was not sufficient to cover all the taxis, but it was a start.”
City of Richmond Council Member
Harpreet Sandhu’s focus as a City Council Member is creating economic stability within the city, jobs, and employment opportunities for Richmond residents, and improving security and safety for Richmond residents with regards to crime.
When he was appointed on January 23, 2007 to the Richmond City Council, Sandhu said the most critical issue facing the City Council is Richmond’s chronic violence. He said violence has many causes and that a solution will come from numerous sources, including better education, more cooperation among law enforcement agencies, and increased services to Richmond residents who live below the poverty level.
“Education is a critical component to ending violence, and we have to work together to help children overcome hardships like not having breakfast before going to school in the morning. How are we going to attract industry and jobs to Richmond if we can’t solve the problem of violence?”
He serves on the following Sub-Committees of the City Council:
- Public Safety Committee, Vice Chair
- North Richmond Mitigation Fee Planning Committee
Harpreet is also the City Council Liaison for the Human Relations and Human Rights Commission, the Library Commission, and the Police Commission. He prides himself on diligently attending every meeting.
This year Harpreet was elected as a Delegate to the Democratic National Convention for Senator Barak Obama and represented Richmond Democrats at the National Convention in Denver in August.
One response to “About Harpreet”
Harpreet, you were my tennis coach in high school.
Do you remember me? I still play a couple of times a year and when my game isn’t going well
I say “step, bounce, hit” which is what you taught me.