REDONDO BEACH, CA — The 2020 election is heating up in Los Angeles County, and there are plenty of races with candidates eager to serve in elected office. Eyes are primarily focused on the presidential election, but voters will also decide the outcome of state representative and senate seats.
Closer to home, Patch has asked candidates for municipal races to discuss their campaigns, publishing candidate profiles as election day draws near.
In the South Bay, Vish Chatterji is running for one of the open seats for the Beach Cities Health District.
Where appropriate, add specifics about office sought: i.e., State Senate District 1, State Assembly District 2, Temecula City Council District 1, etc.
Beach Cities Health District
Party affiliation (not needed in non-partisan races, including county, city and school offices)
Father of 3 young children
Does anyone in your family work in politics or government?
BS Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University. MBA University of Michigan
Executive & Well-Being Coach – 4 years. Business Executive – 20 years.
Previous or Current Elected or Appointed Office
Board Member, Beach Cities Health District
The single most pressing issue facing our (state, district, community, etc.) is _______, and this is what I intend to do about it.
Data shows very high stress rates and unhappiness in our community – I have and will push for more “happiness” programs, such as mindfulness workshops, life purpose workshops, community connection programs and initiatives around youth mental health and substance abuse education, and ensure adequate funding for those programs.
What are the critical differences between you and the other candidates seeking this post?
I have seasoned business experience to ensure solid District operations, and a keen eye to ensure a sustainable financial future. I also have a complementary medicine background in Ayurveda (mind-body medicine) and yoga. i.e. the only business background combined with holistic well-being training out of all the candidates and the current Board.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current officeholder failed the community (or district or constituency)
I am an incumbent.
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform
We have an aging campus, that cannot continue to generate the additional $3.50 per $1.00 of tax revenue BCHD gets from us taxpayers. Early in my term, when a revised campus was proposed, I boldly asked:
a. What are the community concerns?
b. What if we did nothing?
c. What is the financial case – can we do more with less?
My questions delayed the concept as BCHD got those answers through numerous community meetings and financial analysis, helping to arrive at today’s rationalized and community-influenced concept.
My colleagues have 15-25 years on the Board. I believe all government needs fresh perspectives, which is why I ran in 2016, and why I ask the fresh questions. I will push for term limits to ensure fresh eyes into our future.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as evidence you can handle this job?
Created and run $100M+ businesses at large corporations.
Started my own successful small business as a well-being-coach.
Helped implement “Happiness” education series through Beach Cities Health District in our community.
Pushed and delivered on creating a financial business case to evaluate a potential campus redevelopment project.
If you win this position, what accomplishment would make your term in office as a success?
Setting term limits in order to ensure fresh community representatives have an opportunity to serve and to bring new ideas and perspectives to the health board. We want fresh eyes into our future. Many government bodies from municipal to state to Federal level have term limits.
Currently there are Board members who have served 15-25 years, and it was difficult for an outsider like myself to get elected, but my outsider perspective has been transformational for the Health District.
Why should voters trust you?
I have the seasoned business leader experience to assess what is beneficial or harmful to the Health District, in terms of strategic planning, operations and finance, and my intentions are to serve this community that I love dearly.
I did not take any campaign financing from anyone, in order to ensure that I am not serving any special interest, and I am able to make decisions in an impartial way. I am also the most transparent to the community about what BCHD does – I am not a typical politician – I say what I mean, and I do what I say.
I also have the endorsement of members within Redondo Beach City Council, Hermosa Beach City Council, Manhattan Beach City Council, Redondo Beach School Board, Hermosa Beach School Board and Manhattan Beach School Board, and several of those endorsements were unsolicited, implying that my work has spoken for itself.
What are your views on fiscal policy, government spending and the use of taxpayer dollars in the office you are seeking?
I personally believe in fiscal responsibility, both in my personal life, and in government. We must carefully evaluate any dollar spent, and the return on that dollar. I have pushed for priority-based budgeting to better allocate funds to programs and services, and for a better way to measure the outcome of those programs – i.e. the return on investment by program.
I believe that if we don’t use taxpayer dollars wisely, we should lose that privilege. We must be transparent in our decision-making and budgeting, involve the community in those decisions, and invest some of the money, and our time as leaders, in helping to educate the citizenry on why and how decisions are being made.
Is there any reason you would not serve your full term of office, other than those of health or family?
The best advice ever shared with me was …
Speak the truth, always, even if it hurts a bit.
What else would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I seek your vote to serve a 2nd term as Board Member for Beach Cities Health District. BCHD is a jewel of our community offering community services ranging from school health programs, at-home senior care, health workshops, classes, programs and facilities and mental health resources that collectively enhance our well-being.
As your representative I am honored to steward this community asset. I am a father of 3 young children in our local schools, cared for my parents through their end-of-life health issues, have an seasoned business background, have trained in Ayurveda mind-body medicine and am a meditation & yoga teacher and published author on the topic of Well-Being.
Please make it to the end of the Ballot this November, and VOTE LOCAL for local wellbeing!