Ravi S. Bhalla was elected Hoboken’s 39th Mayor on November 7, 2017. Born and raised in New Jersey, Mayor Bhalla is an 18 year resident of Hoboken and 8 year member of the Hoboken City Council.
In his first few months in office, Mayor Bhalla has focused on improving the quality of life for Hoboken residents while prioritizing fiscal responsibility. He introduced a City budget with no municipal tax increase, maintained the City’s AA+ credit rating, continues to oversee the rehabilitation of Washington Street, formed a Homelessness task force, is pursuing affordable housing strategies, completed the design phase of Northwest Resiliency Park, secured more than $1 million in state transportation funding, and signed executive orders to expand parental leave benefits, invest in the arts, and protect the civil rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ community.
Mayor Bhalla first set his roots in Hoboken at the age of 26, a bachelor fresh out of law school starting his first job at a small law firm in Newark, New Jersey. Mayor Bhalla earned national recognition in the New York Times for his legal advocacy after suffering a violation of his own constitutional and civil rights during a jail visit to a client. The incident motivated Mayor Bhalla to lead a successful campaign to reform the federal government’s visitation policies at correctional facilities nationwide.
It was during this time that Hoboken’s local government was in dire straits. Mayor Bhalla observed and witnessed mismanaged government at the local level, including a government budget that was underfunded and overspent by $12 million, a state takeover of Hoboken, and a 70% spike in municipal taxes in a single year. These dire conditions motivated him to get off the sidelines and seek to reform city government by running for City Council in 2009. During this election, Mayor Bhalla was the highest vote-getter as a first time candidate, and remained on the City Council for 2 terms, from 2008 to 2017. During this time, Mayor Bhalla served as Council President from 2010-2011 and 2013-2014, and Council Vice-President from 2012-2013.
Mayor Bhalla received his undergraduate education from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in Political Psychology. Upon graduation, he attended the London School of Economics (L.S.E.) in the United Kingdom and received a Master of Science degree in Public Administration and Public Policy, and also earned a Juris Doctor Degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Mayor Bhalla and his wife Bindya reside on Garden Street with their two children, Arza Kaur, age 11 and Shabegh Singh, age 6.