Mayor Ravi Bhalla Meets Mayor Turner, Local Leaders, Sikh Community

At a reception at the home of Dr. Harvinder and Aku Bedi (and their kids), Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner praised Hoboken, NJ Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s election and was joined by activist Bobby Singh and wife Jasmeeta and other prominent Sikh families and sponsors like Gurmit Bhatia and his wife


HOUSTON: Ravi Singh Bhalla, the Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, shared his uplifting life journey with a diverse audience of local business leaders, elected officials, and the Greater Houston Sikh community during a visit to the Bayou City this past weekend, April 20 and 21.

Mayor Bhalla, a devout member of the Hoboken Sikh community, was elected that city’s 39th Mayor in November 2017 by focusing on improving Hoboken’s quality of life in fiscally responsible manner. The soft-spoken Bhalla, a self-described introvert, spoke of overcoming racial and religious bias to earn his seat at the head of the table and has delivered results to his constituents, “At the end of the day the constituents are interested in authentic leaders who are bold, compassionate, will be straight with the voters and are willing to make some hard decisions for the benefit of entities they are elected to serve.”

Bhalla earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master of Science in Public Administration and Public Policy at the London School of Economics, and a Juris Doctorate from Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He is married to Bindya a human rights lawyer and the couple has two children, 11-year-old Arza Kaur and Shabegh, 6.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, New Jersey visited Houston this past weekend and met with the Indo American Chamber of Commerce at Kiran’s restuarant

The mayor’s luncheon visit at the renowned Kiran’s restaurant in the Kirby District was organized by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston led by President Swapan Dhairyawan and Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia. Among the events Bhalla attended included a power dialogue luncheon with Illinois’ 8th District Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi who was also in town this weekend and the chief executive of Fort Bend County, recently elected Judge K.P. George.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner personally welcomed his counterpart during an evening reception in River Oaks home of Drr. Harvinder and Aku Bedi; co-hosted by many prominent members of the Sikh community with a diverse group of invited guests and members of community organizations including Interfaith Ministries and the Anti-Defamation League.

“I am honored to welcome City of Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla to the most diverse city in the nation,” Mayor Turner said. “[He] and I grew up on the shoulders of our parents who worked hard, played by the rules, and allowed us to dream big. They ensured we had the best and live the American promise.”

Bhalla said it was an honor to receive Mayor Turner’s warm welcome and expressed his thanks to the entire Indian & Sikh Community, “I am humbled and grateful for your support” of the trip.

The following day spent the morning at the Sikh Center Gurdwara on Prairie St where he met with young kids and received an award

On Sunday morning, Mayor Bhalla joined congregants at the Sikh Center of Houston on Prairie Street, the oldest Gurdwara in the region. During services, Bhalla reminded them that Sikh values are American values and that service and faith were not in conflict with each other noting that America “allow(s) each one of us to be ourselves without compromising in our belief system and being resilient in service to others.”

He also sat for a informal session with the congregation’s youth during Sunday school where he answered a wide range of questions about being the CEO of the City of Hoboken to his personal experience bullying as he was growing up. He also urged them to participate and demand to be heard, “We need to think big but start small and work at the grassroots level first to hone our skills and then build on our experience and rolodex to run for elected offices,” Bhalla concluded.