YUBA CITY, Calif. November 30 (Raj Gogna) —Yesterday Yuba City named its first Sikh woman as mayor. Preet Didbal, who is Indian- American, was appointed by city council and will be sworn in Dec. 5.There are other Sikh mayors across the country — Ravi Bhalla was elected earlier this month as mayor in Hoboken, New Jersey.However, Yuba City said Didbal is the first Sikh woman to be elected as mayor in the country.The Sikh religion was founded 500 years ago in India’s Punjab region and has been in California for more than a century. The Sikh Coalition estimates around 500,000 people who follow the Sikh faith live in the United States.“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,” Jaydeep Singh with the Sikh Coalition said. “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 country. Each year, upwards of 100,000 people fill Yuba City for the annual Sikh Parade
— formally known as Nagar Kirtan.
Didbal 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.