Ash Kalra was elected to serve in the California State Assembly in 2016, representing the 27th Assembly District. He has called San Jose home for over 37 years. In that time, he has developed a passion for serving his neighbors and making sure that our government is solving problems – not creating them.
In 2008, Ash made history by becoming the first Indian-American to be elected to the San Jose City Council. In his time as a Councilmember, he has fought against cuts to public safety including standing up in favor of restoring the SJPD burglary unit and Violent Crimes Enforcement Team, worked to provide incentives for companies to locate and grow in San Jose and has been a champion for more transit options including the BART to Silicon Valley extension. Ash has been a voice for public safety, better schools, improved public transportation and a healthier environment.
While serving on the Council, Ash has been a law professor at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. He has also previously been a teacher at San Jose State University and has taught at inner city Washington, DC high schools.
Prior to serving on the City Council, Ash was an attorney for the Santa Clara County Public Defender's Office for 11 years. Most of his time was spent in drug treatment court where client's were given the opportunity to complete a rehabilitation program and turn their lives around. In addition, Ash served on numerous non-profit boards, including Somos Mayfair, the Asian Law Alliance, the South Asian Bar Association, Fresh Lifelines for Youth and the Santa Clara County Bar Association. Ash also helped to found the Hayes Neighborhood Association in the neighborhood in which he grew up and still lives today.
Ash Kalra earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Law Degree from Georgetown University.
Awards and Recognitions
2014 African American Community Service Agency Drum Major Award
2014 Chitresh Das Dance Company Arts Seva Award
2012 Inductee into the East Side Union High School District Hall of Fame
2012 BAYMEC Straight Ally Award
2012 San José/Silicon Valley NAACP Legislator Award
2012 National Coalition of 100 Black Women- Silicon Valley Chapter Man of the Year
2011 Human Agenda Human Rights Award
2010 South Asian Bar Association Trailblazer Award
2009 Santa Clara County Bar Association Diversity Committee Unsung Heroes Award
2009 South Asian Bar Association Northern California Government Attorney of the Year
2009 South Bay Labor Council Rookie Legislator of the Year
Committee and Board Memberships
San José City Council Transportation & Environment Committee, Chair
Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority, 2014 Chair of the Board
Bay Area Air Quality Management District, 2013 Chair of the Board
Santa Clara Valley Transit Authority Board (2009-Present)
CalTrain (Joint Powers) Board (2009-Present)
Housing Trust of Santa Clara County Board (2010-Present)
Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board (2010-2014)
Association of Bay Area Governments Board (2009-2014)
New Leaders Council- Silicon Valley Honorary Chair (2010-Present)
HomeFirst Advisory Board (2014-Present)
Planning Commission for City of San Jose (2006-2008)
Human Rights Commission for City of San Jose (2000-2006)
Domestic Violence Council for Santa Clara County (2000-2003)
Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club Board (2005-Present)
Sister Cities International Board– United States (2013- Present)
African Community Health Institute Board (2006-2008)
Somos Mayfair Board (2005-2008)
Santa Clara County Bar Association Board of Trustees (2002-2006)
Asian Law Alliance (2001-2003)
Fresh Lifelines for Youth (2000-2003)
South Asian Bar Association of Northern California (1999-2002; 2004-2006)