Santa Clara resident Raj Chahal was pleasantly surprised to learn that his wife Daljit nominated him to be one of State Senator Bob Wieckowski’s nine 2017 Local Heroes. Wieckowski formally recognized Chahal at the Sept. 28 State of the 10th Senate District Address and Awards Ceremony held at U.C. Santa Cruz’s Silicon Valley Campus located in Santa Clara.
“It’s an honor to receive this award from Senator Wieckowski, especially knowing how huge the 10th district is and knowing how many heroes there are in this community,” Chahal said.
“Raj Chahal is very deserving of this recognition because of his tremendous contributions to Santa Clara. He not only serves on the City’s Planning Commission, which is an extremely important role, he participates on numerous boards and organizations helping to raise funds for scholarships and grants to charities and local nonprofits,” Wieckowski said. “Through his work on the Sister Cities Association, he has helped build relations between people of different nations and he was instrumental in starting the first Sikh Boy Scout Troop in the United States. He is a great example of how one person can have a powerful, positive influence on a community.”
“My family has been part of this community for the last 22 years,” said Chahal, who was born in India and moved to Santa Clara in July 1995. “We have been blessed to raise two of our boys here. Our family has done well both professionally and in civic life. So whatever volunteerism we are doing is basically returning favors back to community.”
In addition to being a co-founder of Boy Scouts of America’s Sikh Troop 600, President of the Santa Clara Sister Cities Association and Vice-Chair of the City of Santa Clara’s Planning Commission, Chahal is also known around town for serving on the boards of the Mission City Community Fund and the Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.
“At the awards ceremony, I was overwhelmed to be in company of people like Dr. Harry Edwards—he’s a sociologist and worked for civil rights and equality in the community,” Chahal said. “His talk was very inspiring. I was so impressed with him that after the event I spoke to him one-on-one. We talked about how each of us could do one or two small things every day to contribute to a good community.”