Iowa State Representative
Representative Swati Dandekar is the first Indian
born American citizen to win a state legislature seat in the
United States. She represents the Iowa House District 36,
which encompasses the city of Marion,
Linn-Mar Precincts, Maine Township
and a small portion of Cedar Rapids. Ms. Dandekar,
a democrat, has been a community volunteer for a long time, and
because of her contributions to the area as a community volunteer
for many years, her candidacy has been endorsed by many community
organizations in Iowa.
Ms. Dandekar has been a member of the Vision Iowa
Board since its inception in 2000. She was the chair of the Hall
of Pride Criteria Committee, and also a member of the Vision
Iowa’s Negotiating Team. She was involved in Polk County/Capital
City Vision Project, McGregor/Marquette Area Legacy, and
Waterloo/Cedar Valley River Renaissance. As a member of the
Negotiating Team of CAT, Ms. Dandekar participated in projects
such as Ames/Connect Iowa, Adair County Recreation Center, and in
Cherokee/Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital Recreation Center.
Representative Dandekar is a member of Board of
Directors of the Iowa Association of School Board since 2000, and
also a member of the Board of Directors of the Liars Holographic
Radio Theatre since 2001. Since 1996, Ms. Dandekar has been a
member of the Linn-Mar Community School District Board of
Education, and actively participated in many of its programs and
activities. She was the co-chair of the District’s 50th
Anniversary Committee, initiated the district-wide staff
recognition program as well as the student recognition program.
She was a Board liaison member for the Strategic Planning
Committee, the Equity Advisory Committee, the Health and Human
Growth and Development Committee, the School-to-Career Committee,
and the High School Voice Committee (Diversity Committee). She
was also a Board representative to the Linn-Mar School
Foundation. Ms. Dandekar received ABLE I and ABLE II
certifications from the
Iowa Associations of School Boards.
In addition, Ms. Dandekar was the president of
Sustainers and chair of the diversity committee of the Junior
League of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was also involved in the
Linn-Mar Booster Club, the Phoenix Club Leadership Team, and the
Boy Scouts America Hawkeye Area Council.
Ms. Dandekar was a recipient of the J.C.
Penney Education Golden Rule Award (2000), on the Linn-Mar
Foundation Wall of Fame (1982), and a 100-Hour Per Year School
Volunteer for several years.
Representative Dandekar is a strong advocate of
improving educational opportunities in Iowa and believes that
public education spending is an essential investment in the
state’s future. She believes the state should take an active role
in stimulating the local economy and creating quality jobs. She
also believes in providing property tax relief in order to
encourage new businesses to the local area.
Ms. Dandekar received her high school diploma from
J.N. Tata Parsi School, Nagpur, and her B.S. degree in Chemistry
and Biology from Nagpur University, India. She also has a
postgraduate diploma in Dietetics from Bombay University.
Representative Swat Dandekar and her husband, Arvind,
migrated to the United States in 1973. Mr.. Arvind Dandekar is
the CEO/President of Fastek International, located in Hiawatha,
Iowa. Their elder son, Ajai, is a medical student in the MD,
Ph.D. program at the University of Iowa, and their younger son,
Govind, is a strategic planning analyst for the Walt Disney