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#RedefineAtoZ: Ravi Bhalla, inspired by public service, leads as New Jersey's first Sikh mayor

As the mayor of Hoboken, Ravi Bhalla says his biggest challenge is fitting everything he wants to do into the day.

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NAME: Ravinder S. Bhalla

AGE: 44

HOMETOWN: Passaic, NJ

TWITTER: @RaviBhalla

How do you introduce yourself?

Ravi Bhalla.

What inspires you?

Public service.

What challenges you?

Fitting everything into one day.

Image: Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla hands out free ice cream cones at Ben & Jerry's to raise money for the local homeless shelter.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla hands out free ice cream cones at Ben & Jerry's to raise money for the local homeless shelter.Courtesy of the Mayor of Hoboken's office

Tell us about the biggest risk you ever took.

I started my own law firm in 2005 with no clients, just a telephone, a letterhead, and a dream. It could have been a disaster, but it’s a risk I’m glad I took.

What are you reading/watching/listening to these days?

Related

I’m reading “Killing the Poormaster.” It’s based on a real-life murder that happened in Hoboken City Hall in the 1930s. It’s fascinating.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing now, what career would you want to pursue?

I would play for the Yankees, but if they cut me I’d want to be a human rights lawyer.

What’s your motto?

Trust thyself.

I celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month because…

People who forget their past have no future.

NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z aims to celebrate the emerging voices and breakout stars of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. These individuals aren’t just reading the dictionary of what it means to be Asian American and Pacific Islander in America; they’re writing new definitions every day.

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