The South Asian Times

21 May 2019 17:09 PM

Mayor Ravi Bhalla endorses Suraj Patel for Congress

New York, NY: On Tuesday evening, standing before a crowd of 200 people, Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla endorsed Suraj Patel’s insurgent and historic campaign for Congress in New York’s 12th District. Elected in November 2017, Bhalla is the first turban-wearing Sikh elected as a mayor in the country.

“We need more representation in Washington and we need progressive leadership,” Bhalla said.

“Suraj represents the future, and will make sure that we have a seat at the table in Washington. I’m proud to support his campaign and to help him make history by becoming the first Indian-American elected to Congress from New York.”

Patel thanked Bhalla for his support, and noted the historic opportunity voters face in the June 26th primary. Of the 51 City Council seats, 150 State Assembly seats, 63 State Senate seats, dozens of federal, statewide, and citywide elected officials, there are currently no elected officials of South Asian descent in New York.

“It is a tremendous honor to be endorsed by Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken, the first elected mayor in the United States who is a Sikh and wears a turban,” Patel said. “We do not historically have South Asian elected officials in New York, but that’s not the fault of our voters, it’s because of lack of choices and an establishment that denigrates competition. Nearly no NY elected officials have even taken our calls - even ones I’ve campaigned for in the past, so I’m so grateful that Mayor Bhalla took my cold call, invited me to Hoboken and eventually crossed the Hudson to support our cause. I’m so grateful to him coming across the River to lend his support.”

Since announcing his campaign for Congress, Suraj has twice outraised incumbent Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. He is a first-generation American, born to an immigrant family who moved here to seek opportunity and a better future. He was born in Mississippi, grew up in Indiana, and has been a New Yorker since he moved here to attend NYU Law School twelve years ago. Suraj worked on both Obama campaigns and with President Obama’s White House as member of the advance staff, often accompanying the president on trips both domestic and abroad. He is an adjunct professor of business ethics at NYU Stern and volunteers his time as an active board member of Atlas:DIY, an organization run by immigrant youth and DACA recipients in NYC. After the Trump administration issued its travel ban, Suraj was one of the lawyers volunteering his services at JFK Airport to travelers affected by it.

Update: 07 June, 2018