Meet Preet Didbal, the First Sikh Woman to Be a Mayor in the US
The Indian-American civil servant Preet Didbal serves as the vice mayor in the Yuba city council. 
The Indian-American civil servant Preet Didbal serves as the vice mayor in the Yuba city council. (Photo Courtesy: Preet Didbal/Facebook)

Meet Preet Didbal, the First Sikh Woman to Be a Mayor in the US

Indian-American civil servant Preet Didbal is set to be sworn as the first woman Sikh mayor of the United States. Didbal was the first woman to be elected to the Yuba City Council in 2014. She currently serves as vice mayor.

Born and brought up in Yuba city in northern California, her parents moved to Yuba in 1968. Reportedly, the Yuba-Sutter region is the bastion of American-Sikhs in the US. The Indian-American spent her teenage years in orchards, ‘picking and canning peaches’, reported India West.

“They wanted what every immigrant parent wants: to give their children a better life. They worked hard so that we could have that, and always empowered us to be strong women,” said Didbal, who stood out as the first woman in the family to attend college.

Didbal received her Bachelors from California State University, Sacramento in 1998 and went on for her Masters in public administration in 2012 from University of San Francisco, reported IBtimes.

Didbal has spent 19 years as a civil servant, working for the California Correctional Health Care Services, Indiawest reported.

In an interview to NBC-affliated KCRA-TV, Didbal said on her part, her priorities will be “youth education, homelessness, completing the Fifth Street Bridge project and bridging the gap between the region’s growth and economic development”.

“You talk about the American dream and here we are,” Didbal told KCRA's Vicki Gonzalez on becoming mayor. She cites her dad as the one who was instrumental in her becoming a leader. The single mom whose daughter began college this year, said her father’s death in 2011 was the turning point for her.

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.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. 
Jaydeep Singh with the Sikh Coalition told kcra.com

Ravi Bhalla, another Sikh was elected earlier this month as mayor in Hoboken, New Jersey. However, she is touted to be the first woman Sikh mayor of the country.

(With inputs from KCRA-TV, India West and kcra.com)

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to fit@thequint.com or WhatsApp @ +919999008335).