Ash Kalra was elected to represent the 27th Assembly District in November 2016 and is the first Indian American elected to the State Legislature. The district encompasses eastern portions of the city of San Jose. A resident of that city for most of his life, Ash previously represented the 2nd District on the San Jose City Council.
During his time serving as a councilmember, he provided a voice on a number of issue areas, including improved schools and transportation options, and a cleaner environment as well as providing the tools for effective public safety.
Notably, he has fought to maintain funding in the face of cuts to public safety, specifically to restore the San Jose Police Department’s burglary unit and the Violent Crimes Enforcement Team.
He has also worked to bring economic incentives to the area and given a strong voice to extend BART into Silicon Valley.
Before serving on the city council, Ash spent 11 years as an attorney in the Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office.
Previously, he taught at San Jose State University and at high schools in Washington DC. During his tenure on the city council, he was a law professor at Lincoln Law School of San Jose.
Among the many non-profit boards that he has served include the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Asian Law Alliance, Somos Mayfair, and the South Asian Bar Association.
Ash lives in Hayes, the same San Jose neighborhood where he grew up. He is one of the founders of the Hayes Neighborhood Association.
He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has a degree in communications and has a law degree from Georgetown University.