Shivanthi Sathanandan is a young Asian American leader of Indian and Sri Lankan descent who recently made history as the first Woman of Color and first South Asian woman to be elected as Second Vice Chair of Minnesota's Democratic Farmer-Labor Party (DFL). Shivanthi joins SAFA as Co-Chair of the Political Engagement & Advocacy Committee.
She grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, the daughter of immigrants who came to this country seeking the promise of the American Dream for their family. Her mother was a nurse and proud MNA member, who instilled strong union values in Shivanthi. Her father worked in accounting, and came from a family that lived the belief that political engagement should be a central part of every community member’s life. Shivanthi is a graduate of St. Paul Central High School and the University of Minnesota. She is currently the Managing Director of Outreach for a non-profit organization.
Shivanthi has been involved with the DFL since 2006. Since that time she has served as Vice Chair of the 4th Congressional District, State Director, CD4 Director, a Delegate to the National Convention, a member of the State Outreach and Inclusion Committee, co-chair of the Personnel Committee, co-chair of the State Nominations Committee, co-chair of the State Credentials Committee, a board member of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus, a board member of the Minnesota Asian Democratic Association (also a constituency caucus of the DFL), a member of the Simon-Rest Committee, and as a member of several other advisory committees.
Shivanthi believes that activism begins in neighborhood communities and that successful electoral politics depends on direct person-to-person communications. She has spent countless hours mobilizing volunteers, knocking doors, working the phones, and talking to voters for DFL campaigns at various level of government, including city, county, state and federal races.