U.S. Senator to Support Sikh Councilman at Fundraiser

By Anju Kaur | March 10, 2011

“New Jersey’s Sikh community has always embodied the ideals of truth, equality, and justice,” Menendez told SikhNN by email. “Like myself, Councilman Bhalla is an example of the possibilities this country has to offer. He embodies the idea that, with hard work, we can all achieve the American Dream.

“I look forward to working together toward on the prosperity of the Sikh community in the Garden State.”

This will be the first time that a national elected official is supporting a Sikh elected official.

“In years past, the Sikh community has raised funds for politicians at all levels of government,” Ravinder Singh said in a news release. “This Saturday, for the first time we will see the reverse: an elected official lending support to a Sikh elected official.”

The event will focus on raising campaign funds for Ravinder Singh but also on building a relationship between the Sikh community and Menendez, Ravinder Singh said by phone.

“This is important when we want to advocate for Sikh issues on the federal level, such as strengthening hate crime laws and getting Sikhs into the Army,” he said. “The senator is very interested in hearing what our concerns are.

“He was instrumental in lobbying the defense department to grant the Army exemption to Sikh recruits by spearheading a letter campaign in the Senate to impart upon the department that no American should have to choose between their religion and their country,” he said.

“He showed leadership when we approached him.”