Sam Joshi, 32, sworn in as youngest and first Indian-American mayor of Edison, NJ

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Joshi has announced two main goals for himself and his administration – the need for unity and a government that works for its people

Our Bureau
Edison, NJ

On New Year’s Day, Samip “Sam” Joshi, 32, became the youngest and first Indian-American to be sworn in Mayor of Edison Township in New Jersey. The swearing-in ceremony was held at the J.P. Stevens High School, Joshi’s alma mater. “The demographics of Edison reflect greater America and because of this, we are uniquely positioned to be a catalyst of unity in our society – but it is up to us to bring that change,” he said during the event.

“We need to focus on how we can bring each other’s communities together, what we can learn from one another, and what we appreciate about each other. We can’t allow ourselves to get bogged down by parochial interests, or to see progress in one area as an affront to something else that also needs to be addressed. We have to see the bigger picture and move forward collectively.”

Joshi, 32, is the township’s youngest mayor and the first South Asian to hold the position.

Joshi, a Democrat, defeated Republican candidate Keith Hahn and Christo Makropoulos, an independent, to win the hotly contested race in November. He replaced Mayor Thomas Lankey who did not seek reelection. Joshi’s Democratic Township Council running mates Margot Harris, Nishith Patel and John Poyner also emerged victorious and were sworn into office.

Joshi’s parents immigrated from India 34 years ago and settled in Edison, where they opened a convenience store and worked to buy a home and raise a family where their children would have countless opportunities. “Now just a few decades later we’re here in this room, on this day, making history,” he said.

Joshi has announced two main goals for himself and his administration – the need for unity and a government that works for its people. “And because of this, we have a multitude of different viewpoints and different priorities that we must navigate. The demographics of Edison reflect greater America and because of this, we are uniquely positioned to be a catalyst of unity in our society – but it is up to us to bring that change,” he said.

The mayor’s campaign focused on supporting Edison’s open space referendum, changing the local government to a township council ward system, opposing warehouses being built in residential neighborhoods, launching municipal broadband for faster internet service and updating the township’s master plan.

“Edison, as your mayor I will never give up, and I will never stop working for you and for our community because nothing is more important to me than our collective success,” he said. “Every decision my administration will make will prioritize the improvement of our quality of life. We need to have an Edison that we are proud of for now and in the future.”

Joshi said he plans to deliver his first State of the Township address on Feb. 22, during which he will announce timelines for goals and make appointments to key positions.

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