Dimple Ajmera to become city’s first Asian-American Charlotte City Council member

Dimple Ajmera was named to Charlotte City Council on Monday night and will become the city’s first Asian-American on the council.  Ajmera, 30, was appointed to finish the term of Democrat John Autry in District 5, which covers much of east Charlotte. Autry stepped down from the seat in January to become a member of the North Carolina House.

The Charlotte City Council appointed Dimple Ajmera to the District 5 seat vacated by John Autry. The Charlotte Housing Authority  Ajmera works at TIAA in University City as a project manager. Without knowing English, she immigrated with her family to the United States from India when she was 16. She graduated from Southern High in Durham and then the University of Southern California. She has served on the Charlotte Housing Authority board.

Five other people applied for the position: Ariel Chambers-Woodruff, Johnell Holman, Marjorie Molina, Matthew Newton and Queen Thompson. Ajmera was a unanimous choice.

But before the vote, Democratic council member Al Austin nominated Matt Newton, an activist who has worked to reform the Citizens Review Board. Democrat Claire Fallon said Newton was her choice, but that she was going to support Ajmera because she would “go with the majority.”

Newton came to the meeting with a vocal group of supporters. Austin told him that Monday’s vote was “not the end but the beginning.”

Ajmera will be sworn in later this week. Her term ends in December.

In deciding whom they should appoint, council members said they preferred someone who would not run for the seat this year.

“I told them I will fill the term for 11 months,” Ajmera said. “I’ll support whoever decides to run for the district.”

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