Desi Talk

4 CITY VIEWS January 14, 2022 – that’s all you need to know History Made In New Jersey With Indian-American Republican’s Election To Town Council B usinessman Juned Qazi made history when he was elected to the Marlboro Township Council, N.J., last November. And he made it again when he was voted in as President of the Council Jan. 6, 2022. He now oversees the proceedings of a Republican majority town council after nearly two decades of Democratic gov- ernment. “The key point is this – I am the first Indian-American elected on a Republican ticket. The Republican Party has given tickets to many Indians, but this was the first victory in New Jersey,” Qazi con- tended. Founder and president of a construc- tion company since 2004, Qazi is one of three Republicans who displaced incum- bent Democrats and now will be in the Council for a four-year term ending 2025. Originally fromMadhya Pradesh, Qazi went to St. Francis High School, Bhopal, he told Desi Talk. Always keen to be in politics, Qazi served as president of Indian National Overseas Congress (I) in 2014, and even dabbled in Indian politics back in the homeland, throwing his hat in for a seat during elections. In the U.S., where he became a citizen two years ago, Qazi has been engaged with the diaspora community for decades, during which, he says he has helped bring people together. Today, he estimates 12 percent of population in Marlboro Town- ship is of Asian origin. “I am thankful to the people who have faith in our leadership and voted for us,” Qazi told Desi Talk. The other two Re- publicans who won along with Qazi are Antoinette DiNuzzo and Michael Milman. But it was not an easy race to defeat the long time Democratic incumbents Jeff Cantor, Scott Metzger and Carol Mazzola last November. “It was very hard to break the hold of the incumbents because they had been in power for 17 years,” Qazi said. “I walked door-to-door, even during Covid, to bring people to our side. People wanted to see change and they voted for that. We plan to make the changes,” Qazi said. He also credited the Chairman of the Marlboro Republican Party John Gibardi, for leading a “great campaign.” The ceremony included invocations by Muhammad Asif of Baytul Iman Academy, Rabbi Moshe Gerwirtz of Monmouth To- rah Links, and Rev. Eugene Roberts of St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church, the news report said. After the swearing in ceremony, the five council members, three Republicans and two Democrats, chose Qazi to lead them as President for 2022, in a unanimous vote. Democratic Mayor Jon Hornik is quoted saying in, “We welcome the three new council members. I wish you nothing but the best of luck. This is the hardest time ever to become a public official … there is a lot going on that is beyond our control.” Qazi told Desi Talk, “We form a great team and we will work for the Township regardless of party affiliation.” reported the swear- ing in took place during the Marlboro’s government’s 2022 reorganization meet- ing Jan. 6, in the municipal building. By a StaffWriter Photos:PrashantDesai courtesyCouncilman Qazi Newly sworn in Marlboro Township Council member in New Jersey Juned Qazi, seen here with his family Jan. 6, 2022. during the swearing in ceremony in the municipal building Juned Qazi, center, was sworn in Jan. 6, 2022, for Marlboro, N.J. Township Council by Monmouth County Commissioner Ross Litchra, as his daughter Meher held the Quran. Joyce Mehta Elected President Of South Brunswick Board Of Education O n Thursday Jan. 6, 2022 the South Brunswick Board of Education elected Indian-American Joyce Mehta as President of the board. She is the first female & first Indian-American President of the Board of Education. Mehta was elected last Novem- ber, and has won two BOE elections successfully. Mehta has won two BOE elections successfully, the Chair of the Policy Committee, the New Jersey School Boards Association Board of Directors Delegate for Middlesex County, on the NJSBA Equity Committee & the BOE Liaison for the South Brunswick Commission on Women Liaison, according to a press release. An attorney by training, Mehta is a client partner at Nuvento, aA company that leverages digital technology to grow companies. A qualified solicitor from London, England, accord- ing to her bio on the website of, Mehta has more than 20 years of experience working in the Educa- tion and Government Vertical and has extensive experi- ence in the education fields, particularly in Education Policy, Curriculum, Mental Health and serving on several district and state education committees in New Jersey. Mehta has worked for some of the biggest law firms practicing in London, has prosecution and defence legal experience, and has worked with some of the largest IT recruitment companies in NewYork City, the Novento biography says. As a volunteer with social service organizations, Mehta is crediting with developing initiatives to promote healthy educational practices and equity in education. Mehta, who was first elected to the BOE in 2017, ran for re-election and won. She is a member in the Cur- riculum/Academic Policy Committee, Equity Committee, Strategic Planning Committee, Homework Committee and the South Brunswick High School Mental Health Committee, according to the website biography on Nu- vento. According to a news report, Mehta was nominated by Board member MikeMitchell, who de- scribed her as having “successfully won two elections, is an effective communicator, a strong leader, and active community partner.” Other Indian-Americans on the South Brunswick Board of Educatiton include Raja Krishna and newcomer Deepa Kathik, who will fill the seat held by former Board member Stephen Parker, reported. “I have a proven track record of success for the 9,000 children in our community,” Mehta is quoted saying in news outlet when she decided to run for re- election last year. “I have learned a lot during my first term and hope to learn more to help our schools grow and be more successful,” she said. “We have done excellent work in identifying the problems in our community and address- ing them, I hope to continue this work if re elected and I hope to make huge changes in this upcoming school year,” Mehta is quoted saying during her campaign in the report. School safety and stress were her biggest concerns, Mehta is quoted saying in the news report saying, “We want to make sure that our children have to opportunity to grow and learn in an environment that is both safe and free from overwhelming stress.” By a StaffWriter Joyce Mehta Joyce Mehta campaigning with supporters. Photos:Facebook @Mehta4BOE