Son of parents from Punjab says growing up in Lodi was a challenge, particularly after 9/11
Mikey Hothi, son of parents from India, has become the first Sikh mayor in the history of Lodi City in northern California with his unanimous selection to the city’s top position.
Hothi was nominated by newly-elected councilwoman Lisa Craig, who won election to former Mayor Mark Chandler’s seat in November, and was unanimously selected vice mayor during the Council’s Dec 23 meeting, Lodi News-Sentinel reported.
“Honored to be sworn in as the 117th Mayor of the City of Lodi,” Hothi tweeted.
Born to parents from India’s Punjab region, Hothi was first elected to the city council in 2020. A Lodi native who graduated from Tokay High School in 2008, he represents the council’s fifth district and served as vice mayor this past year under Chandler, who announced last summer he would not seek re-election.
Growing up in Lodi was a challenge, particularly after 9/11, when many Muslims and Sikhs experienced unfair harassment due to an perceived association to the terrorist organization responsible for the World Trade Center attacks, Hothi told the newspaper.
But Hothi explained that his family not only survived, but thrived in Lodi. Many became business owners and entrepreneurs who still manage successful companies today.
His family was also instrumental in founding the Sikh temple on Armstrong Road, he said.
Read: US: Mikey Hothi becomes first-ever Sikh mayor in California city (December 26, 2022)
“Our experience is similar to that of the Hispanic community that came before us, the Greek community, the Germans,” he was quoted as saying.
“Everyone came to Lodi because they realized it was a safe family town. (It has) great education, great people, great culture, great values, and just hard-working people in this town. I’m just proud to represent this community as its next mayor.”