BY JON CRONIN
Mohinder Singh, Community Board 9’s newest board member, is eager to speak for the Sikh community.
“I’m very active in my community,” he said. Singh said that he helped to found the Sikh temple on 114th Street in Ozone Park and has been the President of the Sikh Cultural Society on 118th Street in Richmond Hill for six years. He said he is “the most senior leader of the Sikh community.”
In March, Singh took part in the organization of Richmond Hill’s popular Spring Equinox Phagwah Parade and spoke to the crowd parade’s conclusion in Phil Rizzuto Park.
He also noted that he has been elected three times as a committee member to the Queens County Democratic Committee.
Ever since September 11, 2001, Singh has taken part of a Sikh delegation that goes to the White House and sits with the president to help him understand the misconception of the Sikh faith, the fourth largest religion in the world, being confused with the Muslim religion.
In 2014, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited, Singh was part of a Sikh delegation that met with him at Madison Square Garden.
As a CB 9 member, Singh said he wants to represent his community on the board and make them more aware of their community’s needs.
Singh is also passionate about the parking, traffic issues and transportation issues that plague our borough.
“We need more bus stops and more service,” he said. He is also interested in real estate development projects and how they affect the community.
His concerns include the delegation of park permits and he explained that as a leader in the Sikh community, they often look to hold events in the park and are occasionally denied, though he conceded, “I know the city has limits.”
One of his passion projects is to get the A train station on Lefferts Boulevard rehabbed. He believes it needs to be cleaned and should have either an escalator or an elevator built, along with seats for waiting passengers. He noted that A train stations in Brooklyn and Manhattan have better facilities.
Part of his frustration stems from the belief that because this community is filled with immigrants, “that’s why these stations are not up to date. That’s why we are lagging behind.”
He would also like to advocate for smaller class sizes in local schools. “Richmond Hill High School is too crowded. It doesn’t look like a high school, it looks like a jail,” he said.
“Most people do not speak fluent English, that’s why they are ignored,” he added.
Singh, an insurance broker with a business in Richmond Hill and a resident of South Ozone Park since 1996, emigrated to the U.S. from India in 1985. He’s married with two daughters and a son, who emigrated here in 1995. Both his daughters then attended New York University and his son attended Richmond Hill High School.
He boasted that all three of his children graduated from New York University and became dentists.
Reach Reporter Jon Cronin at (718) 357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org or @JonathanSCronin