ROBERT PRICE: Sikhs have no ‘box’ to check except, now, on their November ballots | Columnists – Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield, California 2022-06-18 20:00:00 –

Manpreet Kaur is proud to be the “other” of Bakersfield. But, like many second- and third-generation American Sikhs, she wants to get rid of the ethnic classification (which isn’t really classified at all).

Last week she took a small but insignificant step in that direction.

A 29-year-old from Bakersfield has announced plans to run for the 7th district of the Bakersfield City Council, which was occupied by Chris Parlier, who has not asked for reelection since December 2014. When elected to represent South Bakersfield, Cowl was the first Punjab Sikh to serve on the council, with a relatively small number of such in the state where half of the 500,000 Sikhs in the United States live. One of the leaders of the local government.

If more people like cowls step up, the U.S. census, which entrusts Punjab Sikhs to “Asians” or “others,” will eventually increase their political and cultural presence. You may be forced to pay more attention.

Cowl’s candidacy is a milestone that will not be lost to Bakersfield’s Sikh girls and women who know her community service goals.

“I have received so many messages from the young women I have already worked with. Some of them are currently in college, some are working, and some are still in high school. Some people do, “said Cowl, who helped launch Bakersfield. Chapter of the Jakara movement. This was closely involved in the creation of a redrawn District 7 city that would integrate local Sikhs into a more focused voting block. “I’m very happy to read their posts and watch the videos they’re sending. They — we were waiting for this moment.”

A 2011 Ridgeview High School graduate earned a double master’s degree from La Follette Public School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May, but did not expect an immediate opportunity to serve at his home election office. did. However, on Wednesday night, Parrier, who had been fighting Lyme disease, announced that she would unexpectedly leave. It is no exaggeration to say that he has been loved by his Sikhs.

“Chris is our hero, of course, he is,” said Raj Blur, a prominent local businessman and leader of the Sikh community. “No one forgets what Chris did for our community. He appears. He accepted us and we accepted him.”

When the city’s subdivision obligation gave Sikhs the opportunity to bend their political muscles in line with their growing presence in Bakersfield, Parlia raised their flag and focused Sikh influence on District 7. I supported the map that I made.

A cowl that has not declared opposition at this early stage will definitely benefit.

She brings more than proper DNA and an understanding of the cultural nuances of the Sikh community. She believes that Cowl’s work at UW-Madison is preparing to improve District 7 and the city as a whole, based on Parlia’s work.

“Everyone in my (academic) cohort of Wisconsin knows about Bakersfield because I always talked about it and used it as an example in many of our projects,” she said. “Students in Minnesota, Midwest, and East Coast know about Central Valley because I talked about it.”

And they know the cowl’s interest in promoting quality of life amenities such as parks and other public spaces. They know how she feels about canopies and protected bike lanes that promote fitness and safety.

Bra is happy to see the return of local talents like the cowl.

“Imagine a pool of youth talent who feels they can’t show their passion locally,” she said. “But when they see someone in the community take that bold and brave step and stay here doing something out of the norm, it only stops the chain reaction. The locks open and their talents are local. That’s all we want to be able to keep the community prosperous. “

Cowl is not the only local Sikh woman seeking a selective job this fall. Dr. Jasmeet Baines from Delano is running for a seat in the 35th Parliamentary District, where Democrat Rudy Salas will be vacant to challenge Hanford Republican Rep. David Valadao. Baines faces Kern County supervisor Leticia Perez. Leticia Perez won 53.4% ​​in the June 7th primary election, accounting for 46.6% of Baines. Both candidates move forward.

Like Cowl, Baines didn’t have a model in the Sikh community when it came to running for a selective office.

“I never imagined it myself because I had never seen a person like me in the political world,” Baines said. “My overall hope is to pave the way for our youth and inspire more and more people to come out and want to do this. This will make Manpreet jump up. This is astounding. I’m very proud of her doing this. “

It’s much better if it does something for the broader identity of the Sikhs. “Proud to be the’other’of Bakersfield” does not match the poetic credibility of the Okie national anthem often referred to in certain country music legends. U.S. Sikhs, whose first wave of immigrants from northern India broke out in 1903-08, had to choose between “Asians only” and “other races only” in the form of a census. Hmm. Sikhs have Filipinos as common as Japanese as Kazakhstanis, but in theory they all have to check one of those boxes.

This makes the just-announced entry of the cowl into the Bakersfield City Council race very noteworthy. There may not yet be a “seek” box to check the census form, but in November there will be a check box next to the seek woman’s name on the city ballot.

Robert Price is a journalist for KGET-TV. His column will appear here on Sunday. The expressed views are his own.To reach him in Or via Twitter: @stubblebuzz.

ROBERT PRICE: Sikhs have no ‘box’ to check except, now, on their November ballots | Columnists Source link ROBERT PRICE: Sikhs have no ‘box’ to check except, now, on their November ballots | Columnists

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