Here is an email from the political arm of the Ravi Bhalla Administration. It is a recap of Ravi's first two weeks in office and is republished here. It went out to a number of Hoboken residents on the Mayor's email list but not everyone. Regardless of your support level for this Mayor there are some articles here worth reading. The content is also telling of a current local politician who is definitely trying to increase his statewide political profile in his first month of office.
In fact Ravi is a lot like Jefferson, no not Thomas but more like the Jeffersons, like the TV show theme song, "Movin' on up". Ambition and increasing one's political profile are clearly an objective here, whether it is primarily or secondarily, it does not matter.
From Mayor Ravi Bhalla:
Hello Hoboken Citizen,
Hi, and Happy New Year! My name is Theo Siggelakis, Mayor Ravi Bhalla's Finance Director. As 2018 gets underway, I wanted to introduce myself to you and announce a newsletter we hope you will find informative throughout Ravi’s administration as Mayor of the great city of Hoboken, NJ.
Once a month, I will be sending out a news summary of Ravi’s work in the office, media statements and appearances, commentary, and other interesting items to keep you up to date on how your support for Ravi also supports tangible action in Hoboken and beyond during his service as Mayor. This is meant to be a convenient, short news roundup - just one small way to thank you for your incredible support for Ravi.
As always, feel free to reach out to me or my colleague, Sara Tofighbakhsh, with any questions or feedback. Here’s to four years of strong leadership in Hoboken with Mayor Ravi Bhalla!
Inauguration Day! Ravi was sworn in as Mayor of Hoboken on January 1st, 2018. You can read the Mayor’s Inauguration remarks here. Some of the coverage and commentary on this historic achievement:
Ravi Bhalla makes history as first Sikh mayor in New Jersey – NJTV News, by Briana Vannozzi [VIDEO]
“It’s not just a new year, it’s the start of new leadership and a historic moment in the city of Hoboken.” NOTE: Contains news video segment of the inauguration ceremony, including comments by NJ Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez, Attorney General Nominee Gurbir Grewal, and Mayor Ravi Bhalla.
Bhalla becomes first Sikh mayor in Hoboken and N.J. – The Jersey Journal, by Terrence T. McDonald [PHOTO GALLERY]
"In a time of darkness, in a time of distress, in a time when there are headlines about the divisions and the divisiveness and the hatred and the bigotry and the ignorance, Hoboken looked around and said, you know what, we're going to find a qualified and competent, compassionate man of integrity," Booker said. "We're going to find someone who leads with love."
Hoboken’s first Sikh mayor sworn in – NY PIX 11, by Aliza Chasan [VIDEO]
“I am proud, humbled and honored to be your mayor,” Bhalla said. “I look forward to getting to work on behalf of our residents.” NOTE: Scroll down for a video interview with Ravi about his plans to improve Hoboken as Mayor.
Victories to savor for Sikhs & us all – NY Daily News, Opinion by Simran Jeet Singh
“When my parents first moved here, they could not have imagined that one day a major city in New Jersey would elect a Sikh with a turban and beard. And knowing now that my daughter will grow up with civic heroes who share her background and look like her father gives me hope that she will view her Sikh identity as an asset rather than as a liability.”
Fighting to Save Hoboken’s Waterfront for Hoboken's Residents:
Park or Shipyard? Hoboken Waterfront Dispute Simmers – Associated Press, by David Porter
Less than two weeks into his first term, the new mayor of Hoboken is locked in a tug of war with the nation's third-largest transit system over a parcel of land on the city's picturesque waterfront.
David and Goliath fight brewing over ferry deal with NJ Transit – NJ Advance Media, by Steve Strunsky
"The Hoboken waterfront is the crown jewel of the State of New Jersey," said Mayor Ravi Bhalla. "People from all over the world come to our city to enjoy the waterfront and the breathtaking views that it offers." Referring to Gov. Christie Christie's departure from office on Jan. 20, Bhalla criticized the plan by the transit agency he controls as being "rushed at the 11th hour of an outgoing administration."
In Christie’s Last Days, Hoboken Waterfront Tussle Drags On – The New York Times, by Patrick McGeehan
Alluding to the possibility of a final-days decision by New Jersey Transit to buy the Union Dry Dock site, [Mayor Bhalla] said, “Any further attempts to subvert this process will be met with fierce resistance from me, and I pledge to use every resource at my disposal to protect Hoboken’s interests.”
NJ Transit's MLK Day Meeting Is Disgraceful: Hoboken Mayor – Hoboken Patch, by Eric Kiefer
When Hoboken Mayor Ravinder Bhalla learned that NJ Transit rescheduled a much-anticipated board meeting from Friday to Monday – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – he had one word for the decision: "disgraceful."
Hoboken: Officially a Fair and Welcoming City:
In 1st executive order, Bhalla declares Hoboken ‘a fair and welcoming city’ – Hudson County View, by John Heinis [VIDEO]
In his first executive order, new Mayor Ravi Bhalla declared Hoboken “a fair and welcoming city” as many city officials and advocates applauded the action earlier this afternoon. “The Hoboken we know and love was built by immigrants and today is sustained by immigrants. Many of the immigrants who found a home in Hoboken sailed past Lady Liberty and her poem welcoming ‘your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’” Bhalla said at the presser held inside the mayor’s office.
Hoboken sends 'welcoming' sign to immigrants in first act of new mayor – The Jersey Journal, by Terrence T. McDonald
Bhalla signed the order today surrounded by local officials, including Hoboken Police Chief Ken Ferrante, who will issue a police directive to implement the policies set forth in the order. Amol Sinha, executive director of the New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told The Jersey Journal it is "extremely significant" that Bhalla's executive order is his first action as mayor. "It allows Hoboken to live up to its potential of being a truly welcoming city," Sinha said.
Supporting the LGBTQ Community:
Fulop, Bhalla stress that LGBTQ community should be proud of who they are – Hudson County View, by Marc Bussanich
“I went to public schools in New Jersey, and as a Sikh American, I looked different growing up and wasn’t like other school children in my class and I was a victim of school bullying just as many LGBTQ students have been,” said Bhalla. “It’s not an easy experience to be different, to be isolated, to feel like there’s no one there. But what I learned is that when you look different or love different, the reaction if you’re under attack is not to hide who you are, but to be proud of who you are, and that’s what gave me strength.”
Improving Public Safety - End SantaCon in Hoboken:
Rich in 'blood money,' SantaCon faces review for possible ban – The Jersey Journal, by Terrence T. McDonald
"This is not what Hoboken's about," Bhalla told NJ Advance Media in an interview Monday. "This is not consistent with our reputation as a growing, family-friendly city." Bhalla added that it was unfair to Hoboken taxpayers and police officers to be burdened and physically assaulted by a largely out-of-town crowd encouraged to drink heavily.