- The technology executive at Oracle became the first Asian-American elected to the City Council in 2018 and was later unanimously elected as vice mayor in 2020.
Instead of seeking a second term as council member of San Ramon, California, Sabina Zafar last month launched her candidacy for mayor in this November’s election. She became the first Asian-American elected to the City Council in 2018 and was later unanimously elected as vice mayor in 2020.
In her campaign announcement, released to the San Ramon Patch and other local media including DanvilleSanRamon.com, the Pakistani American said she is “open and inclusive governance is the cornerstone” of her public service. She said, “since joining the city council, more residents are engaged in the decisions we make, strengthening the fabric of our community.” As a mayor, she said she wants “to build on this community engagement, do city business in new ways and continue to provide the level of service you expect.” Noting that “San Ramon is changing rapidly, becoming a diverse city and a magnet for technology and innovation,” she said she celebrates “the diversity,” and embraces “the exciting new changes happening.”
According to the 2020 Census, 47.6 percent of residents in San Ramon are Asian. Numbers from 2017 City Data, show that 35.4 percent of San Ramon residents are foreign-born (6.0 percent born in Asia), which is 23.9 percent greater than the foreign-born rate of 27.0 percent across the entire state of California.
San Ramon ranks as the third safest city in California – and second safest in the Bay Area – by the national online security and home safety resource organization SafeWise.
Zafar told DanvilleSanRamon.com that she was seeking the mayor’s seat, rather than seeking re-election to her current council position, “to make an impact as a council member and to encourage other members of the community to get involved in serving our community.” She said she is “hoping that by moving forward and running for mayor, it creates an opportunity for community members who have been waiting for an opportunity to serve.”
Meanwhile, the DanvilleSanRamon.com reported that “with Zafar’s decision to challenge incumbent Mayor Dave Hudson, the race to succeed her expiring seat on the City Council will be fully wide open in the general election.” It will be “the first election for the city’s northeast District 4 since the conversion to district-based council ballots,” the report added.
Zafar is a technology executive at Oracle who has served on a number of local boards and committees. Before joining the council, she served on the City of San Ramon Transportation Advisory Committee, the Board for San Ramon American Association of University Women, and the Board of Bishop Ranch Intelligence Innovation Accelerator as a mentor for early-stage startups. She also serves on the Asian Pacific Island American Public Affairs Association and the San Ramon Dougherty Valley Rotary Club.
She was appointed to the City of San Ramon Valley Transportation Advisory Committee 2016/2017. She has served on the Board of Directors for San Ramon American Association of University Women and serves on the board of Bishop Ranch Intelligence Innovation Accelerator (BRIIA) as a mentor for early-stage startups. She is a past board member of the San Ramon Dougherty Valley Rotary Club and a current Board member of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Tri-Valley Chapter. She also serves on the board of the League of California Cities, Eastbay Division.
She is affiliated with Women in Technology organizations promoting the growth of women in the field of technology. At General Electric (GE), she leads several initiatives for the Women’s network that encourage middle school and high school girls to pursue STEM careers. She also hosts Women in Technology events to build a community for Tri-Valley women who work in STEM.
Zafar has raised both her children in San Ramon and they attended SRVUSD from K -12. As a parent, she has volunteered actively with the school PTA and Girl Scouts of Northern California. She is widely recognized for her efforts to bring the community together and extensively volunteers with community projects.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Information Systems from the University of South Alabama. She is an Enterprise Architecture Leader at General Electric Digital in San Ramon, leading change and transformation through software in the Public Utilities industry.