Ravi Bhalla Runs

Ravi Bhalla.jpg Hoboken City Councilmember-at-Large Ravi Bhalla has thrown his hat…(uh, turban??) in the legislative ring – this past week he announced his candidacy for NJ State Assembly in the 33rd Legislative District. The Democratic primary election is June 7th.

“I am running for Assembly because the voters in Hoboken and the entire district deserve a real alternative to the politics as usual in Hudson County. Important decisions are made behind closed doors by power brokers outside of Hoboken instead of where they should be: at the ballot box. I believe voters should be provided a real choice instead of hand-picked political patrons. And, I am proud to say Mayor Dawn Zimmer agrees completely. That’s why she fully supports my candidacy,” said Bhalla in an email from his office. [nj]

For too long, our leaders in Trenton have been chosen by party bosses in backroom deals with no input from the voters they claim to represent. Decisions affecting your future are made behind closed doors and no one has the guts to challenge them. As a Councilman in Hoboken and Chairman of the local Democratic Party in Hoboken, I have seen firsthand the corrupting influence machine politics has on the democratic process. I am running because it is time to give residents a real choice, an alternative to candidates that are pre-selected to represent you by the Hudson County party machine. [bhallaforassembly]

I heard about Ravi’s race rather recently, from members in the community. I’m more familiar with West Coast politics, and had to do some rooting around. I had no idea there was a Sikh sitting on city council in Hoboken, a city with a substantial South Asian population. Who is Ravi Bhalla?

Ravi is a small businessman, managing a four-lawyer law firm with offices in downtown Hoboken and Newark. His firm specializes in employment law, civil rights, commercial litigation, and local government law. He was included in the 2009 edition NJ Superlawyers and NJ Monthly magazine as one of those designated as a ‘Rising Star’ in the New Jersey legal community….Ravi has long been an advocate for the legitimate rights of tenants and landlords, serving for close to two years as Hoboken’s Rent Board Attorney and Special Litigation Counsel for Rent Board matters, and continuing to serve as Union City’s Tenant Advocate. [ourhoboken]

I’d be interested to hear from our readers on the ground in New Jersey to hear what they have to say about Ravi Bhalla. Was his run a surprise? Does he have a shot? Are you volunteering to get him elected? Please let us know.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

3 thoughts on “Ravi Bhalla Runs

  1. I first started following Councilman Bhalla’s campaign when he was running for his council seat. I was thoroughly impressed with the way he managed the campaign and the election results spoke for themselves. I got to know the Councilman through meetings (SAALT panel in NJ) and other events as there are only a few “brown” elected officials in NJ. I can honestly say that not only is he an inspiration but someone that can truly bring reform to NJ Politics.

    Salim Patel Commissioner – Passaic (NJ) Board of Education

  2. I live in Hoboken.Hoboken itself does not have much of an Indian population so the fact that he got elected in spite of his turban is a credit to him and the people of Hoboken. Jersey City next door (also part of Hudson County) is the second largest city in NJ and has a huge Indian population. It even has a “Little India” area. So he might get some substantial support from there. Hudson county politics stinks. I hope he can fix it.