Bhutanese American Jay Subedi has announced that he will be running for the First District Councillor and have received endorsement Onondaga County Democratic Committee. If elected, Subedi will be the first former refugee to be elected in the Syracuse city council.
Subedi arrived US for settlement 11 years ago after spending 17 years in a refugee camp in Nepal.
In his US career so far, he’s advised two Syracuse mayors, started his own business and been recognized on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
“I never imagined being on the political side,” Subedi told local media. “But I want to serve the community…I’ve always been a community guy.”
Subedi will be contesting against incumbent Joe Carni, council only republican. Subedi will have the party’s spot on the ballot for that district, which covers the North Side, Sedgwick and part of Eastwood.
Bhutanese community in particular have put down roots in the city – buying houses and starting business, which will have longer term impact on the politics and policies of the city council.
There are over 3000 Bhutanese Americans living in the city. Subedi’s family was first to settle in Syracuse, and founded the Bhutanese Community group, of which he is president. He was part of former mayor Stephanie Miner’s citizens cabinet and a member of Mayor Ben Walsh’s transition team. Last year, U.S. Rep. John Katko recognized him on the floor of the House of Representatives.