The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston hosted a Power Dialogue with Mayor Ravinder S Bhalla, the Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey. This IACCGH initiative brought a select group of business and community leaders to interact with those that influence and are responsible for policies which impact businesses.
Mayor Bhalla shared the inspiring journey of his family reminding everyone that American values allow each one of us to be ourselves without compromising in our belief system. A practicing Sikh, he was elected Hoboken’s 39th Mayor in 2017 and has focused on the quality of life issues for his constituents without compromising fiscal responsibility. Acknowledging that climate change is a real issue and has coastal flooding implications for Hoboken, Mayor Bhalla has styled himself as the “Infrastructure Mayor”. He stated that we need to think big but start with small steps and work at a grassroots level first and hone our skills and eventually build on our experience to rolodex and run for elected offices. Responding to a question why he was elected, he said “at the end of the day the constituents are interested in authentic leaders who are bold, compassionate, straight with the voters and willing to make some hard decisions to ensure they deliver on constituent’s expectations”.
Talking about elections being a family sport, he acknowledged the importance of his wife’s support on the campaign trail. A self-described introvert, this soft-spoken Mayor has made his voice heard at the table and has delivered results to earn himself the seat at the head of the table while continuing to face racial bias.
He thanked the entire Chamber Leadership and community leader Bobby Singh for hosting the Power Dialogue luncheon and congratulated the Chamber on its 20th Anniversary celebrations coming up in June 2019.
The Chamber was fortunate enough to club this luncheon with the visiting Congressman from Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthi, who spoke eloquently about the Houston community. In his message, he said “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to address the IACCGH to discuss its outstanding work to expand the opportunities available to its members and to strength the US- India partnership. If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re on the menu, and few organizations are as effective in providing theirs members a seat at the table as the IACCGH”.
Also Fort Bend County Judge K P George was in attendance and he spoke about the diversity and economic impact of Fort Bend County.