Rajesh Jayaprakash is People First Surrey’s mayoral candidate; Paul Rusan, Prof. Kuldip Pelia, Thampy Rajan running for Council

Rajesh Jayaprakash

PEOPLE First Surrey on Thursday announced that Rajesh Jayaprakash will be their mayoral candidate.

Rajesh (Raj) Jayaprakash is a technologist who uses his expertise to advance the use of technology for the betterment of all, said the party in a press release.  His papers on advancing consumer privacy and informed consent in the digital era have been presented and discussed in many global telecommunication forums. With a Master’s degree in computer applications and having worked in the US and Canada for a decade and half,  he finally settled in Surrey.

On the social front, he was instrumental in starting small community language sections in Surrey libraries.  Having run a library from the trunk of his car, driving around to deliver and pick up books for a few years, he convinced city libraries to start a section for community language books. Getting this done took four years of persuasion with various libraries in Vancouver, Burnaby and finally, Surrey. Rajesh was the director of a community association and started programs for integrating newcomers to Canada. Rajesh is also the founder of the People First Surrey slate.

Paul Rusan

People First Surrey also announced that Paul Rusan will be a Council candidate for the party. Rusan is a financial analyst and ex-director of finance for non-profit KPIRG – Kwantlen Public Interest Research Group. He is currently employed by the Vancouver School Board.

He is a hardworking Surrey resident who loves his community and cares  deeply about Surrey. He was the leader of various student associations where he consolidated his leadership and problem-solving skills. With years of community service under his belt, he believes it is time for a completely new direction for the city government and greater co-operation between south-of-Fraser cities. He says: “This election is about the future of our city.  We need a new vision for the city and we find that in People First Surrey.”

People First Surrey previously announced Council candidates Prof. Kuldip Pelia and Thampy Rajan.

Prof. Kuldip Pelia

A long time Surrey resident, Pelia is an accounting tutor turned social activist. He has been teaching accounting and finance in Toronto and Vancouver colleges for the past 10 years. He also teaches Hindi and Punjabi in his spare time. He got to know the struggles of the common man as he built up his career in Canada as he worked in security and retail positions in his earlier years. The last four years, he researched on LRT vs SkyTrain and was bringing out the facts. A staunch opponent of LRT and supporter of SkyTrain, he wrote to politicians of all levels about issues with LRT and the need for SkyTrain. Having realized being part of politics is the only way to do something about it, he joined People First Surrey.

Thampy Rajan

Rajan is a lifelong educator, avid community volunteer, parish elder, publisher and so on. He is currently a small business owner living in Fleetwood with his wife. His experience as an educator across four countries over the decades gives him a clear perspective on how to support future generations. He was the publisher of a business news magazine ‘Biz News’ in 2003-2004 in Surrey. He also served in many community associations as director and helped hundreds of new families settle their lives in Canada. He wants to take his community service to next level by serving in the city council.

Starting September 1, the party’s candidates will be available live via video on their Facebook page (/PeopleFirstSurrey) for discussion with public every day from 8 to 8:30 p.m. The party will finalize its platform by the end of September.