Preet Didbal, an Indian-American daughter of a labourer who herself ‘did the peaches, the prunes’, has been named as the first Sikh woman mayor of California’s Yuba City.
The appointment also makes her the first Sikh woman mayor in the United States.
Her appointment comes just weeks after fellow Sikh-American, Ravinder Singh Bhalla, won a direct election for the mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Appointed by the Yuba’s city council, Preet will be sworn in Dec. 5, according to the KCRA report.
She was elected to Yuba City Council in 2014 and is currently vice mayor. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and has her master’s, the report said.
Asked how she felt being made mayor, she told KCRA: “You talk about the American Dream. And here we are. My parents worked the fields, were labor workers — did the peaches, the prunes. I worked alongside with them — I have three sisters — and we all did. We worked in canneries, graveyard shifts. My parents worked very, very hard to give us the life that we have today. They traveled from India in 1968 and my dad made a statement. He said, ‘We travel to America to give our unborn a good life.’”
When she first ventured into public office, she spoke to her late father. He told her: “We’ve raised you as if you were our son. Go out and do what you want to do.”
Preet, who is a divorcee, has a 18 year old daughter.
It is estimated there are about 500,000 Sikhs in California, who have been in this state for more than a century, the report said. The Sutter-Yuba region is home to one of the largest Sikh communities in the country. Each year, upwards of 100,000 people fill Yuba City for the annual Sikh Parade — formally known as Nagar Kirtan.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com] 16833
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