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