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Guest of the Stable: Amar Singh Bhalla

As a new member of our Library’s Board of Trustees, I write to respectfully introduce myself to the community and request support for this important public institution.

By way of introduction, I have lived in our amazing town for eight years now with my wife Dilly.  We have a one and a half year old boy and another boy on the way next month! By training I am an attorney, but I have spent the past 9 years working as the co-founder of a small non-profit, building it from one employee (myself) with a budget of less than $75,000, to a national organization of 11 employees with a budget just over one million dollars, and offices in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington, DC.

The non-profit I helped found, the Sikh Coalition, is the nation’s largest Sikh civil rights organization. We work to protect the rights granted by our constitution to all people living in America. In all honesty, it is a tough job.  In the course of my duties at the Sikh Coalition I have had high stakes meetings with more than one United States Attorney General, the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, and the Department of Transportation Secretary. I have also testified as an expert before numerous governmental bodies on civil rights issues, including last month before the United States House Judiciary Committee. I also worked for a short period as an adjunct professor at Columbia University before work at the Sikh Coalition demanded my full attention.

As you can imagine, building a non-profit necessarily entails recruiting staff, developing office policies, engaging a Board of Trustees, and communicating development to the community and stakeholders.  It is these life experiences — as a manager, fundraiser, and advocate — that I hope to bring the Library’s Board of Trustees.
I would like to thank Mayor Dawn Zimmer for her trust in me. I am also excited by the team Mayor Zimmer has appointed to the Library’s Board of Trustees over the past year. They include Ilise Benun (a marketing professional); Forde Prigot (who has significant experience in finance); and Mairead Patterson (who is presently pursuing a Masters degree in Library and Information Science).  Along with our past Board members, these new appointees present a strong mix of competencies for our Board.” 
I look forward to helping make our Library even stronger. Please feel to reach out to me if you have ideas and thoughts on strengthening our library.  I can be reached at amarhoboken@gmail.com.

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