History has been created in the US as Preet Didbal has been elected as the first Sikh woman mayor from an American city. She was appointed by the California city council and will be sworn in on December 5, KCRA-TV, an NBC-affiliated television station, reported.
Didbal has been elected as the mayor of Yuba city in California. There are other Sikh mayors in the US, including Ravi Bhalla, who was elected earlier this month as mayor in Hoboken, New Jersey.
She was elected to Yuba City Council in 2014 and is currently vice mayor. Didbal is a graduate of Yuba City High School and Sacramento State and earned an MPA with a concentration in health administration from University of San Francisco. She works as a process improvement adviser for the State Compensation Insurance Fund.
Congressman John Garamendi named Didbal one of his district’s Women of the Year in 2015 for her efforts to improve Sutter County’s youth programs and women’s health offerings.
Excited over the election of first Sikh woman mayor, Jaydeep Singh of Sikh Coalition said, “Seeing someone that looks like you, that comes from the same faith as you, to be elected in a public office in this country is inspiring and exciting. And it's definitely moving.”
He added, “When Ravi Bhalla was elected in New Jersey, that was the first time I saw someone who looked like me, who was in a public office in the United States of America.”
The Sutter-Yuba region is home to one of the largest Sikh communities in the US. On November 8, Bhalla became the first Sikh mayor of New Jersey's Hoboken city after a stiff competition that turned ugly when he was labelled a terrorist in slanderous flyers.
There are about five lakh people who follow the Sikh religion in the United States.