WASHINGTON, D.C. — Shyamali Roy Hauth, a U.S. Air Force veteran, first generation immigrant, and community organizer, has joined the growing list of Indian Americans running for public office at the grassroots local level.
Hauth, 53, born in Ranchi, Jharkand, and raised in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon and Washington state, has thrown her hat into the ring as a candidate for the Fairfax Board of Supervisors from the Hunter Mill District — a Washington, D.C. suburb —that boasts of a sizable affluent and influential desi population, mostly medical and IT professionals and a burgeoning crop of entrepreneurs.
When asked why she was running, Hauth told India Abroad, “The answer is simple: it’s because I care. I care deeply about our community — the people and the place — in which we live.”
“In order to take care of both, it is imperative that we approach each decision with an eye to equity for our people and environmental sustainability for our planet,” she said, and predicted, “If we use those two lenses in our decision making we will have an inclusive and thriving community.”
Hauth said that her top “priorities in Fairfax County include addressing the lack of affordable housing, ensuring schools remain top notch and inclusive, combating transportation congestion through innovative carbon neutral solutions and taking care of the people in our community through resource allocation and collaborative care solutions.”
“As an Indian immigrant, a military veteran, and a community organizer I bring a unique perspective to the table,” she said, and added, “My strong work ethic, desire for a better future for my children, and a deep pride in my culture are integral to who I am as an immigrant.”
Hauth, also spoke of how “the Air Force reinforced my service before self ethos and integrity in all I do,” and reiterated that “as a community organizer I have a track record of collaborative leadership and a compassionate vision.”
During her 10 years in the USAF, she served in both the enlisted and officer ranks working as a construction inspector, a civil engineering assistant and an executive officer. Thus she said, “I bring a keen understanding of construction practices, budgets, security and education systems as well as strong leadership skills and a strategic outlook.”
Hauth and her husband Chris Hauth, who was also active duty Air Force, lived throughout the U.S. and overseas, “but we always felt connected to Fairfax County where our two youngest children attended public school.”
“When Chris retired after 26 years of service, we chose to return to Fairfax County and make it our permanent home,” she said and while acknowledging that they loved their previous neighborhood in Alexandria, Va., her Pacific Northwest roots drew her “to the trees and green space of Reston,” in the Hunter Mill District.
She is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community working alongside the Human Rights Campaign and Equality Virginia and last year her leadership and activism were recognized by the Hunter Mill District Democratic Committee who honored her with the Ed Herlihy Activist Award for 2018.
“I have led a life of service around the world, across this great nation, and right here in Fairfax County. I want Fairfax County, and specifically the Hunter Mill District, to be the leader of a progressive vision of community, and it would be my honor to serve as your next Supervisor, “Hauth said on her website.
Hauth has a MS in human resource management from Troy State University and a BA from St. Leo University. She and her husband of 25 years, have four adult children and five grandchildren.
After leaving the Air Force, she had a stint as an adjunct college professor and taught courses on speech, team building and leadership and has also owned and operated a small yoga therapy business.
Hauth’s parents, now retired, were both educators, with her father Dr. Mrinal Roy, an anthropology professor and her mother, Dr. Ratna Roy, a professor of English and dance.