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Neena Singh becomes first Sikh and Indian-American woman to be sworn in as mayor

New York, Jan 9 (IANS) Neena Singh has become the first Sikh and Indian-American woman to be sworn in as Mayor of Montgomery Township in the US state of New Jersey.

She was administered the oath of office by Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman at the Montgomery Township Reorganisation Meeting on January 4.

Singh, who has lived in Montgomery for 24 years, was unanimously selected to serve as Mayor by her fellow Township Committee members.

“It’s an enormous privilege to be sworn in by trailblazer Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman as the first elected Sikh woman Mayor in New Jersey and the first Indian-American woman Mayor,” said Mayor Neena Singh.

“What energises and motivates me is the spirit of service. I strongly believe we all have a responsibility to give back, and I am blessed to do so in a town that reflects America’s diversity,” said Singh, whose priorities for 2024 are public safety and health.

Having previously served as Deputy Mayor and Township Committeewoman, Singh was nominated to the position by outgoing Mayor Devra Keenan and committee-woman Patricia Taylor Todd.

As an executive officer at STAND Central NJ, a grassroots non-profit, she worked not only on engaging and educating voters but also on empowering them to participate in the democratic process.

“Neena Singh embodies commitment to public service. She has made her life’s work fighting for social justice, economic opportunity, and human rights for all. I’m confident she’ll bring her experience and passion for the township to her term as Mayor,” Watson Coleman said in a statement.

In her new role, Singh will preside at meetings of the Township Committee and will have the power to appoint subcommittees with the Committee’s consent. In addition, she will also have the power to make proclamations concerning holidays and events of interest in the township, and to exercise the ceremonial power of the township.

Indian-American New Jersey State Senator Vin Gopal sent a congratulatory video, calling Singh a “role model” for South Asian girls across the state, My Central Jersey news outlet reported.

“For every young South Asian girl growing up not just in Montgomery but across New Jersey, they’re going to have a true role model to look up to,” Gopal said.

Vincent P Barragan, who was named as the Deputy Mayor, said he was “proud and humbled to be able to serve with such a diverse team of individuals.”

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