Ishan Shah Fundraiser

ishan1When I first talked to Fremont City Council Candidate Ishan Shah last year, he said he’d raise money for his campaign by collecting spare change. I think he’s given up on that idea.

Ishan, who turns 18 next month, held a fundraiser last night at an Indian restaurant in Newark, where the goal was to raise $15,000 for the upcoming campaign. It was kind of a cross between a bar mitzvah and a political rally. There were a lot of young people in suits and dresses, and two big screens playing all Ishan all the time — at least for the 20 minutes I was there.

Ishan sat at a table with several friends and with Garrett and Maria Yee. Larry Sweeney and Lily Mei from the school board were also there. More on them in the post below.

ishan2I know one commenter on the blog will conclude that I’m backing Ishan because I stopped by the fundraiser. But that’s not the case. I’m rarely personally invited to these things, and I’m almost never guaranteed that the free food will be mostly vegetarian. I’d consider dropping by an Aryan Nation rally if they were serving all-you-can-eat pakoras.

Ishan comes from a wealthy family, and I don’t think last night’s spectacle happens if that wasn’t the case.   But there are a lot of rich kids in Fremont.

Ishan’s smart, but more importantly, he possesses a fascinating combination of ego and nerve, and it’s amazing how far those two attributes have taken him.

The best evidence I’ve seen of that was Friday. Somehow KTVU decided to interview Ishan about the Tesla/NUMMI deal. Not only did Ishan get camera time when no sitting member of the council was interviewed, but he managed to get a plug in for for his campaign website. It was astonishing. Watch it here.

I shot a quick video of one of the speakers. It’s below the strange code.

Forget my video. It stunk.

For the bar mitzvah aspect of the evening check out these two videos.

Ishan’s speech is below:

Matt Artz


  1. Running for FREMONT city council and has a fundraiser in NEWARK????

  2. Hey Artz – why is it you think so poorly of your readers ? Or – maybe it’s just a lame attempt at a pre-emptive argument (?)

    You know – when you said – “I know one commenter on the blog will conclude that I’m backing Ishan because I stopped by the fundraiser”

    Come on – I’ve seen some really silly stuff on this BLOG but only someone with a single-digit IQ (or perhaps a little guilt ?) would infer any personal preference by a reporter from that same reporters’ coverage of any candidates’ public activities. Heck – that’s part of the job isn’t it ?

    Now – I could readily imagine someone might have a legit beef if said coverage by the reporter was more frequent for a given candidate than others – – or, if the “coverage” didn’t focus on issues or traits important to constituency but merely became a frequent billboard for the candidate – – but, just dropping in to gather important observations of a candidates public activities and coming away with information useful to constituency in their consideration of future votes cast – – – – – heck, Matt, that’s just a reporter doing a good job.

  3. Bbox, I could not have expressed it better, go back and look at all the articles about a very young candidate for City Council. There is more articles about this individual, then all other City Council Candidates.
    Kudo’s to this young candidate for having the smarts to do this.

  4. I suspect Artz is more enamored with the story of Ishan than his place in the Fremont council election. He is an extremely talented person who begs to be covered.

    I understand those who take issue with the perception of preferential coverage, but you’re comparing someone who in my estimation has a 1/20 chance of being Governor in their lifetime, with an angry housewife and a middle-aged stamp licker for the Sierra Club.

  5. Marty, I am curious as to how you mathematically determined Ishan’s odds of being governor (of California?) stand at 1/20? Wow, with those odds where do I place my bet?

  6. I’m just guessing that with his god given talents for politics at such a young age, if he were to live his life 20 times, and every time he was to fully leverage those talents into a political career, he would be Governor in one of those lifetimes.

    I’ve always had admiration for his guts and initiative, but the speech from the fundraising event, and how it demonstrated his ability to turn on the passion pushed my opinion over the top. This man has a future. As Artz wrote, it’s quite astonishing.

  7. If Ishan winds up with a photo op with the Prez…..I guess he deserves my vote.

    Of course Photoshop is a wonderful thing.

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