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HomeHeadline newsSecond-generation Indian Americans see value in public service: Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla

Second-generation Indian Americans see value in public service: Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla

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Second-generation Indian Americans are increasingly recognizing the importance of engaging in public service, a development indicative of the community’s growing integration and influence within the broader American society, according to Ravi Bhalla, the only Sikh Mayor in the United States.

Bhalla, who serves as the Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, emphasized that this shift marks a new phase for the small yet vibrant ethnic community, blending pride in their Indian heritage with a strong commitment to their American identity.

“We are reaching a new phase where second-generation Indian Americans really see the value of being involved in the public sector, seeing the community in a broader way, not just the Indian community but our community as Americans, and really integrating in a way that keeps us proud of our heritage, keeps us remembering who we are as Indians, but also being proud to be Americans and really being a part of the American society,” Hoboken mayor Ravi Bhalla said.

Bhalla is the first Sikh Mayor in New Jersey. He was elected as the Mayor of Hoboken in 2018. This year he announced to run for the 8th Congressional District of New Jersey. “An important part of being involved in the public sector is running for elected office,” he said.

If elected, you would be the second Sikh to be elected to the US House of Representatives. Dilip Singh Saund was the first Indian American and Sikh to be elected to the Congress.

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“Congressman Saund broke barriers. He was not just the first Sikh member of Congress, but he was the first Asian American member of Congress, the first Indian American member of Congress. It’s been 61 years since Dilip Singh Saund has served in Congress. So to be the second Sikh American to serve in the US Congress would be a part of history,” he said.

“It would be historical, and it would really hopefully give other younger South Asians and Indian Americans and Sikh Americans some hope and inspiration and encouragement that if I can do it, then they can also be involved in the American life and also be proud of who they are and where they came from as well,” Bhalla said.

Responding to a question, Bhalla said he is running on the ticket of infrastructure, jobs and economy.

The Biden administration, he said, has done a great job, especially after the pandemic, with the American Rescue Plan, Infrastructure Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.

Those are three major appropriations of federal funding that have improved communities in real tangible ways and are history-making in terms of billions of dollars in investment in bridges, roads, infrastructure, in climate action, in pressing issues at this time.

“The Biden administration has done a lot to move the needle to make people’s lives better. And we want to see that continue in the years to come,” Bhalla said. (PTI)

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