Ravi Bhalla Will Be New Mayor of Hoboken
The electoral victories on Tuesday included the election of Ravi Bhalla, the first Sikh mayor of New Jersey. Mr. Bhalla will become the mayor of Hoboken in January.
This is a historic event. While there have been other Sikh mayors of American cities, Mr. Bhalla is the first Turbaned Sikh to be elected in America. Due to ignorance and racial prejudice, many Sikhs are harassed and, in particular, the turban is mistakenly connected to Muslims and people admit a turban makes them feel “nervous.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 8, 2017
This could be related to a recent poll in which 60% of Americans said they know nothing about Sikh Americans.
Sikhism is the fifth largest religion in the world. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion that emphasizes public service and egalitarianism. There are around half a million Sikhs living in the United States.
I can't tell you how much it means that my daughter will have civic heroes who look like her father. I'm crying right now.https://t.co/WHrIeGgesg
— Simran Jeet Singh (@SikhProf) November 8, 2017
Friday, before the election, there was a scandal in which flyers were distributed stating “don’t let terrorism take over our town.” That did not stop Mr. Bhalla from winning the six-way race with 34% of the vote. The election had relatively high turnout, at 38.6%, much higher than the last time there was both a mayoral and gubernatorial race in the town.
Mr. Bhalla, a lawyer, has been on the Hoboken City Council for the last two terms and has lived in the city for 17 years.