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Tuesday, October 29, 2019 12:00 AM

Dr. Sophia Chadda: Bernards Township Council Candidate Profile

Get to know Dr. Sophia Chadda. She is one of 3 candidates running for the 1 council seat in a contest Bernards Township election on Nov. 5.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 12:00 AM

Sophia Chadda Meets With Bernards Township Merchants to Help Revitalize Their Businesses

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, NJ, October 5, 2019 -- Dr. Sophia Chadda, Candidate for Bernards Township Committee and owner of her periodontal practice in Basking Ridge, visited business owners in the township’s seven primary business districts to learn how she can help grow their businesses and make them more attractive to township residents. Over the course of her campaign and as a 20-plus year Bernards Township resident and business owner, Dr. Chadda has also spoken with neighbors and community members about their desires to support local merchants and shop locally.

Over the past two months, Dr. Chadda spoke with merchants in Dewy Meadow Village, The Hills-Highlands Shopping Center, Marketplace Shopping Center, Riverwalk Shopping Center, Lyons Mall, businesses in Liberty Corner/Church Street and, of course, businesses in the downtown center of Basking Ridge. “I’ve never had a committee member, yet alone a candidate for township committee, ever ask me of my concerns, and am thrilled you [Dr. Chadda] came here and are taking an interest.” said a store owner in the Marketplace Shopping Center who wished to remain anonymous. “The township can help us provide better service to our customers by improving parking, traffic flow, and by ensuring development is well thought out with community members -- store owners and residents alike -- involved in the planning and approval process. The town hasn’t been very transparent in this respect over the past several years,” continued the business owner.

Read more by clicking the article title. 


Saturday, September 14, 2019 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Democrat calls for ban on vaping products

Dr. Sophia Chadda, the Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee, has called for action on the “vaping crisis,’’ saying the use of e-cigarette products is a “health threat facing our citizens and targeting our youth."

“We are in the midst of a health crisis,’’ she said. “Both the Center for Disease Control and the American Lung Association are urging people to stop the use of e-cigarette products immediately. American Medical Association President Dr. Patrice Harris is recommending that anyone who has recently used a vaping product and is showing any respiratory issues should seek medical care.’’

Wednesday, August 28, 2019 12:00 AM

Bernards Township candidates differ on plastic waste issue

As a leader, I am proud to have initiated the discussion about the need to reduce plastic waste in our community. The time to act is now — each of us must strive to be stewards for our environment.

I support the many NJ municipalities that have enacted laws to reduce or eliminate the use of single-use plastic bags, cutlery, and drinking straws. A growing list of communities have banned plastic bags altogether.

The time is now to take action to protect our community and planet. I think Bernards Township – known throughout the state as a great place to live and raise a family – can also be respected as a great steward of our environment. Let’s take a pledge to reduce our demand for plastic and handle the disposal of plastics more responsibly.

I’m often impressed by our neighbors at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, Cava at Bridgewater Commons, and Whole Foods, all of whom have implemented compostable plastics and responsible recycling practices. Verizon Wireless, headquartered right here in Bernards Township, also made a pledge just this year to go carbon-neutral by 2035. Bernards Township should be part of that positive change.
Future generations are counting on us.

                                                                 - Sophia Chadda 

Thursday, August 8, 2019 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Democrat: 'Stop the epidemic of gun violence'

Sophia Chadda, the Democratic candidate for Township Committee, has urged residents to demand legislators take steps to end the "epidemic'' of gun violence in America.

"Sadly, our nation is besieged by homegrown white nationalist terrorism,'' she wrote in a statement to this newspaper. "These individuals are fueled by online extremism and armed by greedy special interests and a complacent Congress. We shouldn’t have to fear leaving our homes to shop, to worship, or to learn.

"This must stop. Just as we take strong measures to protect ourselves from foreign terrorist threats, we should also take equally strong measures to protect our homeland from homegrown terrorism.''

Chadda said that while campaigning recently, she spoke to a resident who said she would only vote for President Donald Trump “because we are a white Christian nation.”
"First, regardless of one’s political affiliation, gun violence should be abhorred by all and we should demand our legislators do something to stop the epidemic,'' Chadda said.

"Second, America is not a nation of any specific religion; America is comprised of a tapestry of all religious faiths as well as those who choose not to practice any religion at all. We are better for living in harmony with our Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and atheist brothers and sisters and being exposed to the wonderful diversity of cultures. Freedom of religion means freely practicing your religious beliefs, not demanding others to forfeit theirs in favor of yours.

"Third, our country is not a white country, just as it is not a black, brown, green, blue, or purple country,'' she added. "It is a country of a single race: the human race. My heart is with the people of Gilroy, El Paso, Dayton, and all those affected by senseless gun violence. My conscience drives me to do something about it so that nobody’s loved ones are taken from them by mass shootings in the future.

"Expressions of thoughts and prayers are wonderful and very much appreciated, but we now also need to act through legislation and safety education in our community, our state, and at the national level,'' she concluded. "Please join me in helping drive this change.''

Monday, June 17, 2019 11:50 PM

Dr. Sophia Chadda Speaks at Ridge High School Girls' STEMxx Forum

Bernards Township Committee Candidate Shares Expertise and Encourages Young Women

Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Committee Primary Candidate: Sophia Chadda

I have lived in Bernards Township for 20 years, raised my three children here and have been practicing as a board certified periodontist in town for the last 15 years. I graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University and went to dental school at State University of New York Buffalo and then completed my Periodontal residency at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey which is now Rutgers University. While in dental school, I researched the connection between dental disease and Cardiovascular Disease.

I am also a former assistant professor of periodontics at Rutgers Dental School and have held leadership positions in my professional organizations and societies. I am the past president of the Tri-County Dental Society of NJ and the past treasurer of the New Jersey Society of Periodontists. I have been awarded Top Dentist by New Jersey Monthly magazine in 2014 and 2015. I am a local small business owner. I am on the board of trustees of a nonprofit organization called the International Foundation for Progress which provides free education and healthcare for 175 children in Pakistan with a goal of supporting children in impoverished countries worldwide.

Continue reading at The Basking Ridge Patch.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 12:00 AM

Democrats Launch Sophia Chadda's Candidacy for Township Committee

Photo Credit: Betsy Bacot

Sophia Chadda, this year's Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee, outlined her position before a group of supporters at her official campaign launch earlier this month, saying she believes the committee needs "different voices including diverse ones."

Speaking at the picnic pavilion at Pleasant Valley Park, Chadda said she would like to see local government that is "more inclusive, transparent and communicates better with the residents of this town about the issues."


Monday, May 13, 2019 12:00 AM

Chadda Kicks Off 2019 Campaign

Photo Credit: Betsy Bacot

“I am running for Township Committee because I would like to see a local government that is proactive when it comes to making decisions about affordable housing, taxes, improved sustainability, and supporting local businesses, while communicating more openly with the residents about these issues,” Chadda said. “As a local small business owner, a periodontist and a mom with children in three different stages in life, I can offer a fresh perspective and a different skill set than what the town may be used to. My science background drives an evidence-based and collaborative approach to facing challenges head on.”

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 12:00 AM

Chadda to kick off campaign in Basking Ridge

“I want to be a driving force for creating a positive vision for our town and making it a reality,” said Chadda. “Bernards Township needs strong, highly qualified leadership as we embark on three new housing development projects and consider the future of the Millington Quarry. 

"Rather than react to challenges that arise, I would like to incorporate a more proactive and collaborative approach to creating a vision for land use in our town,'' she said. "I would also like to improve our township’s sustainability practices by encouraging the use of reusable bags and limiting single-use plastics. We are in a position to be leaders in taking care of our town, rather than waiting for the state mandates like the ones we have seen in New York. I am eager to jump in and look forward to working with all residents on the future vision of our town.”

Monday, March 18, 2019 12:00 AM

Democrats back Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee

The Bernards Township Democratic Committee (BTDC) has endorsed Dr. Sophia Chadda for a three-year term on the Township Committee. 

“As a local business owner, practicing dentist, and parent of students in elementary school, high school and college, I have a broad perspective,” Chadda said. “With my STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) background, I employ a fact- and evidence-based approach to solving problems and making decisions.
"I want to foster greater communication between elected officials and residents of our town and facilitate the participation of more of my fellow residents in our civic affairs,'' she added. "I would be honored to serve my township neighbors and work to improve our future together.”

Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12:00 AM

Somerset County Democrats gear up for next election

Following its historic election victories the last two years, the Somerset County Democratic Committee (SCDC) has named a new executive director and opened a new headquarters in downtown Somerville.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:00 AM

Affordable housing projects in Bernards Township advancing

Among the township’s three looming affordable housing projects, one received development approval last month, one is poised to go before the Planning Board next week, and the third is on track for a development application before the end of the year.

The three projects would have a combined 502 housing units, of which 96 would be income-restricted. The township rezoned the subject sites last year to meet its state-mandated “Round III” affordable housing obligation through 2025.

Saturday, January 12, 2019 12:00 AM

'Angst' film to be screened in Basking Ridge

The Bernards Township Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse, the township Health Department, the Governors Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, township Parent Teacher Organizations and Blueprint Mental Health will host a screening of the documentary film “Angst” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Ridge High School Performing Arts Center (PAC), 268 South Finley Ave., Basking Ridge.

“Angst” is a 55-minute film experience that explores anxiety, its causes, effects and what people can do about it. The filmmaker’s goal is to have a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018 12:00 AM

LETTER: Harris ‘humbled and grateful’ for support in Bernards Township

EDITOR: I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Bernards Township Democratic Committee, the Somerset County Democratic Committee, the Somerset County Foundation of Democratic Women, the campaign team, and all the volunteers and donors who worked tirelessly to support Bobby Mascia and me during our campaign for Bernards Township Committee. It was an extremely close race and I am humbled and grateful for their efforts; it truly does take a village.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:00 AM

Democrat Harris pulls ahead in Bernards Township as election count continues

Democrat Joan Harris has pulled ahead of Republican John Surano in a closely contested battle for Township Committee.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 12:00 AM

Democrat Harris Gains Seat On Bernards Committee Following Mail-In Vote Count

Democrat Joan Bannan Harris will take a seat on previously all-Republican Township Committee in 2019, after a count of votes by mail under the state's new mail-in system overturned a lead by two Republican candidates tallied up after polls closed last Tuesday.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 12:00 AM


In Bernards Township, we believe it’s time to upset the apple cart.

The township has seen one-party rule for way too long. While Bernards is a well managed town, one-party rule by the Republicans has resulted in complacency, as officials continue to discuss important matters behind closed doors with limited public input. Recent actions by the Township Committee to roll out major development proposals without advance participation from the public demonstrate that officials haven’t changed much from the last election when they faced a serious threat but managed to maintain power by a slim margin.

Democrats Joan Harris and Robert Mascia would bring new energy and insights to the committee and provide much-needed checks and balances.

Harris has a legal background with extensive experience in negotiations, plus volunteer service in town. Mascia is a young father and independent businessman who founded his own consulting firm.

Both appear to be open-minded and genuinely willing to listen to residents’ concerns. We support their candidacies.

Thursday, October 25, 2018 12:00 AM

Candidates for Bernards Township Committee face off at forum

A hotly contested race produced an unusually cordial candidates' night as the four Township Committee hopefuls got together on stage at Ridge High School on Wednesday night, Oct. 24.

Despite some differences of opinion, Republicans John Surano and Joseph Esposito and Democrats Joan B. Harris and Robert Mascia proceeded without personal attacks or testy exchanges as they fielded 11 written questions before an audience of about 60 people.


Sunday, October 14, 2018 12:00 AM

Democrats seek transparency in Bernards Township

After nearly capturing its first Township Committee seat in two decades last year, the local Democratic Party is hoping to break through when voters go to the polls next month. An in depth articles on the issues for Bernard Township.

Sunday, September 16, 2018 12:00 AM

Harris & Mascia Statement on Recent Bernards Township Committee Actions

It seems that the Bernards Township Committee continues to point and blame rather than listen and respond to the residents with respect to meeting the township's Affordable Housing obligations. Joan Harris and Bobby Mascia speak out about the recent approvals by the Bernards Township Committee for affordable housing that will bring hundreds of vigorously opposed units of market rate housing.

Friday, September 14, 2018 12:00 AM

Protests fail to stop 280 home project in Bernards Township

Bernards Township officials have rezoned a 71-acre tract at the end of Mountain View Boulevard to allow the construction of a 280-home project that will include 62 affordable homes. The site has been zoned for corporate office development for many years.

Anger over a “sneaky” process to allow “urbanization in a rural area” was voiced by a crowd before the Township Committee voted 3-2 on Tuesday, Sept. 11, to fulfill an affordable housing mandate by rezoning commercial land off Martinsville Road to allow 280 homes.

Sunday, May 13, 2018 12:00 AM

Democratic Bernards Twp. Committee Candidates Launch Campaign at Basking Ridge Gazebo

Harris and Mascia, both officially endorsed by the local Democratic Committee, were accompanied by other Democratic candidates and Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter as they spoke about their goals and backgrounds at the gazebo, where local Township Committee candidates officially launch their campaigns. Harris ran a close race for Township Committee last year, and Mascia is a first-time candidate for Township Committee.

Friday, April 27, 2018 12:00 AM

Democrats to Launch Campaign at Free Gazebo Event

Joan Bannan Harris and Robert (Bobby) Mascia, Democratic candidates for Bernards Township Committee, will launch their campaign at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 5 at the Allen Street Gazebo, at the corner of Allen Street and North Finley Avenue in downtown Basking Ridge. Residents are invited to meet the candidates, engage in discussion and enjoy some refreshments.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 10:22 AM

Democrats Endorse Harris and Mascia for Bernards Township Committee

Joan B. Harris and Robert J. Mascia seek to bring a Democratic perspective to the one-sided Republican governance that has long been a hallmark of the Bernards Township Committee

Sunday, August 6, 2017 12:00 AM

Bernards Woman to Receive Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Service Award

Joan Bannan Harris was honored by the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women on Thursday, September 7th at their Annual Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer Service Award Dinner. The Eleanor Roosevelt Award honors Somerset County women who volunteer their time to promote and enhance the Democratic principals in our local communities.

Ms. Harris, Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee, serves on the Bernards Township Board of Health and the Municipal Alliance Against Drugs and Alcohol. She advocates joining the Stigma Free Communities initiative to reduce the stigma surrounding seeking help for mental health issues. Ms. Harris has also been a volunteer speaker for programs concerning adolescent addiction at community and local school events.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 12:00 AM

Mental health program advocated in Bernards Township

Joan Harris, Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee, advocates for mental health program at township committee meeting.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Committee candidate Booth is 'an excellent choice

Letter to the Editor in support of Sally Booth for Bernards Township Committee.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 12:00 AM

Support Booth for Bernards Township Committee

Letter to the Editor in support of Sally Booth for Bernards Township Committee.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Democratic Committee rallies for Charter Day

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 12:00 AM

Harris 'deeply concerned about children' in Bernards Township

Letter to the Editor in support Joan Harris, Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee,

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 12:00 AM

Harris is backed for Bernards Township Committee

Letter to the Editor in support of Joan Harris, Democratic candidate for Bernards Township Committee.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:00 AM

Democratic Candidates Hold Kickoff Rally in Basking Ridge

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Democrats Launch Campaign at Downtown Gazebo

Friday, April 21, 2017 12:00 AM

National progressive PAC sees N.J. as proving ground for 'anti-Trump power building'

Interesting article in Politico New Jersey about making change from the ground up! Shout out to Bernards Township from Lacey Rzeszowski! Though it is important to us to note that we have strong Democratic roots in Bernards Township, and we are proud of the people who were showing up years ago and speaking out to bring more Democratic voices to Bernards Township. We are reorganized and revitalized! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017 12:00 AM

Bernards Township Democrats Plan Campaign Kick-Off

Sally Booth and Joan Harris will kick off their run for Township Committee on Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 9:30AM at the Allen Street Gazebo (Allen Street & Finley Avenue).  

The community is invited to enjoy hot coffee and fresh doughnuts with Mrs. Booth and Ms. Harris. It will be a great opportunity to meet the candidates and other special guests including Democratic candidates for county offices and members of the Bernards Township Democratic Committee.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017 6:32 AM

GOP Backs Official Who Called Obama a beast for Re-election

"Carpenter and his running mate will now face Democratic challengers Sally Booth, a history and English teacher, and Joan Harris, an experienced civil trial attorney and former assistant prosecutor. Both think their diverse town could use a new perspective. We agree." - The Star Ledger Editorial Board, April 1, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 2:25 PM

Bernards Democrats Endorse Candidates for Township Committee

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 12:00 AM

The BTDC is Back in Town and Endorses Booth & Harris

Paid for by the Bernards Township Democratic Committee, P.O. Box 78, Liberty Corner, NJ 07938.
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