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 Company.