Sanjeev Yonzon to run for Renton City Council

Editor’s note: This is a press release from the candidate’s campaign.

Sanjeev Yonzon is a Civil Service Commissioner of Renton Regional Fire Authority, a business owner, social helper, and a resident of the City of Renton. He was born and raised in Nepal, a Himalayan country of south Asia. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Tribhuvan University of Nepal. He currently volunteers at the Renton Regional Fire Authority as a Civil Service Commissioner to regulate the employment and working conditions of RFA employees, oversee hiring and promotions, and promote the values of public service. Sanjeev has been fortunate to be able to help others in the Nepali community of Renton and Bellevue. Sanjeev also has an extensive background in public service in Nepal. He lives with his wife Babita Shrestha and 7-year-old son Shubesh.

From a very early age, Sanjeev started to work to support his family. He started as a school teacher then became vice-principal. With the local council, he helped inform wise decisions to better the community. As the civil war in Nepal escalated due to the Maoist organization’s terrorist acts, able-bodied adults faced a terrible choice: join the Maoists or refuse and be killed. Sanjeev believes everyone deserves to live free of violence and be able to pursue a better life full of opportunity.

To escape the terrorist threat, Sanjeev decided to travel overseas and work for the US Military in Iraq as a civil contractor. Due to the Iraq War, the government of Nepal banned its citizens entering the country, so a local agency arranged travel first to neighboring Jordan. In July 2004, Sanjeev joined about 200 Nepalese awaiting final travel documents and arrangements. They were divided into 4 groups of 50, and then into several vans. Tragically, enroute to a US military camp in Iraq, one of the first vans was intercepted by Iraqi Insurgents. All 12 Nepalese were kidnapped, then brutally killed. Sanjeev asserts no one can imagine how he felt at that movement, fearing imminent death. Finally, after a year, the travel agency renegotiated safe passage to Iraq. Sanjeev worked in Al Asad B1 US Military Camp as a supervisor at the laundry department where he also acted as translator. He feels so proud of his supporting role as a civil contractor. It was an honor and his life’s blessing to serve the US Military in Iraq. Though he could not enlist, he knows the risk each soldier endures to make sure we are safe here in the United States. He harbors immense respect for all US military service members.

Sanjeev will continue serving Renton residents as a volunteer trying to make a difference, and if elected he will prioritize the issues which impact each resident’s daily life. Renton is a diverse city. As demographic diversity sharply increases every year, we must have a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of changing community. We have people from all around the world who speak English as a second language. He wants to represent all of them and be an example of how a less fluent English-speaking person can definitely help better the community. Regarding the public safety, he will help create a friendly relationship between law enforcement and our residents and focus on achieving long-term public safety goals to reduce crime. After the devastating effects of the pandemic, Renton needs a strong leadership that will ensure strong economic recovery while prioritizing residents’ safety, and also expand affordable housing, attract large companies, encouraging tourism, and strengthen small businesses, balance the city’s budget, increase high-capacity systems with Sound Transit, and improve traffic, among many other issues.