Ravi Singh Bhalla Wins City Council Seat

Ravi Singh Bhalla was elected to the City Council in Hoboken, New Jersey this past week! A city that is less than 1% Asian and predominately white, Hobokens elected Bhalla with 5,810 votes. Bhalla had the highest number of votes amongst the 6 candidates competing for the 3 council seats.

In an e-mail out to supporters, Ravis brother, Amardeep Singh, described the bigotry they received during this campaign. He writes:

elections are not always for the faint of heart we were cursed at constantly, literature was ripped out of our hands and stomped on, I was told by someone “I love killing Arabs”, and I was asked whether I “had a green card.”

Despite these attacks, the residents of Hoboken voted for Bhalla because he was a committed candidate who focused on the issues. Bhalla says, Its very humbling it shows that people were focused on what a candidate brought to the table.

At time when race politics tends to dominate political strategy for minority candidates, Bhallas story shows that those least like you will vote for you if the issues are put first. Ultimately, we are looking for honest, bright, and committed people who understand our communities to be our leaders.

Bhallas win encourages Sikhs to harness political power as a form of civic engagement. Only as more of us become decision-makers, can we begin to change policy to address our communitys needs and those of other minority groups.


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