- Nov. 08, 2017, become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken
NRI Ravi Bhalla, becomes the first turbaned Sikh mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey
Hoboken, New Jersey, Nov. 08, 2017
Hoboken City Councilman Ravi Bhalla has become the first Sikh mayor of Hoboken. He was elected in the six-person mayoral race.
Ravi Bhalla told his supporters and media: "Thank you for having faith in me, for having faith in our community, faith in our state, and faith in our country; this is what America is all about. We've been through a bruising campaign... but now is the time we come together and see who we can work with to bring this city forward."
Growing up in New Jersey, Ravi Bhalla as the Sikh American politician told media he regularly faced bullying and harassment at public school because of his religion and the turban he wears as a sign of devotion to his faith.
Ravi Bhalla was endorsed by current Mayor Dawn Zimmer.......WHY?
- Bhalla as Council man with Mayor Zimmer worked so hard to establish tangible reforms to the way government is run in Hoboken.
- The City’s bond rating was improved from junk bond status in 2009 to AA+ in 2013, the second highest rating, and had a responsible cash surplus for the first time in years.
- To secure the necessary funding and addition of 9 acres of open space, ensured our parks were built with detention systems to help alleviate flooding, voted to add progressive transportation options including corner cars and bike share
- Played a large role in saving the hospital from closing in 2013, preserving more than 1,200 jobs and relieving taxpayers of a $52 million bond guarantee.
- Ravi currently sits as a co-chair of the City’s Rebuild by Design project, in which the City was awarded $230 million to comprehensively protect Hoboken from storm surge events like Superstorm Sandy.
Ravi was only 26, a fresh lawyer, earned national recognition in the New York Times for his legal advocacy after suffering a violation of his own constitutional and civil rights during a jail visit to a client. The incident motivated Ravi to lead a successful campaign to reform the federal government’s visitation policies at correctional facilities nationwide.
Don't let TERRORISM:
The race for City Hall took a turn last week when doctored campaign fliers began circulating attacking Bhalla with the message "Don't let TERRORISM take over our town!" Ravi Bhalla is no stranger to religious discrimination
Ravinder S. Bhalla as an attorney-at-law a lawyer, practices in the areas of employment law, commercial litigation, local government law and criminal defense in the federal and state courts of New Jersey and New York.
- Got B.A. in Political Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley
- Attended the London School of Economics (L.S.E.) in the United Kingdom and received a Master of Science degree in Public Administration and Public Policy.
- Earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Ravi served as Council President of the City of Hoboken from 2011-2012, Council Vice-President from 2010-2011 & 2013-2014 and Chairman of the Hoboken Democratic Party from 2010-2011Ravinder S. Bhalla married his wife Bindya,Navneet K. Patwalia Bhalla, and they have two children, Arza K. Bhalla and Shabegh S. Bhalla.
..........................................................…… Press Release by Aruna /Dave/ Gary Singh Grewal
New York, Nov 8, 2017 : Two Indian American candidates have overcome bigoted propaganda to win local elections in New Jersey - one of them as the Mayor of Hoboken.
Indian American elected New Jersey town Mayor despite anti-Sikh propaganda
Ravi Bhalla was elected in Tuesday's elections as the first Sikh Mayor of the town that is a suburb of New York City.
A lawyer, who was a member of the city council, Bhalla was the target of an anti-Sikh campaign pamphlet that said "Don't let TERRORISM take over our town!" next to a picture of the turbaned candidate.
Falguni Patel was elected to the Edison Township School Board. She and a Chinese American candidate, Jerry Shi, were targeted in mailings that said that they should both be deported and that "Chinese and Indians are taking over our town".
Bhalla and Patel were born in the United States.
The candidates received wide support and their election rivals condemned bigoted pamphlets.
The pamphlets against Bhalla were sent in the name of a rival candidate, who denied any involvement in it and called for a criminal investigation.
The postcards targeting Patel and Shi were sent anonymously.
"We won't let hate win," Bhalla tweeted after the pamphlets were circulated.
Many New Jersey Indian Americans are active in politics and have emerged as an influential voting bloc sought after by candidates.
The winner in the governor's race, Democrat Phil Murphy, was a favourite of Indian Americans who held a rally for him on Monday in Edison. He will succeed Chris Christie, a Republican close to President Donald Trump who could not run for re-election as governors are limited to two terms in the state.
Several Indian American candidates ran for local offices like school board, local council and borough councils, which are the springboard for higher positions, and many of them won.
The state has only one Indian American in the State Assembly, Raj Mukherji, who was elected in 2014 from Jersey City….IANS