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Bernards Township Residents

 Featured in The Bernardsville News

Chadda is 'smart, good-hearted and wants to do great things for Bernards Township'

EDITOR: I am writing to offer my strong, albeit highly biased, support of Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee.

I am a relative newcomer to town, having moved here in December 2016, a month after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Heartbroken by the divisive rhetoric and reprehensible behavior of both the President and some of his most ardent supporters, I got involved at the local level and joined the Bernards Township Democratic Committee.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting and then getting to know Sophia, first as a committee member, then as a member of the campaign team, and finally as a friend. My friend Sophia espouses the kinds of values and characteristics I want to see in local leadership.

She emphasizes the need for business revitalization; her commitment to working with local businesses will help us enhance our sleepy business districts. Personally, I would love to see more going on downtown, and 

Sophia’s ideas about more local activities, such as live music and a restaurant week, make me feel optimistic about the prospect of not having to leave Bernards Township to enjoy such things.

Sophia has shown a passion for raising awareness about environmental sustainability, something that is near to my heart. As a veteran of many local cleanups and student activism projects, I commend Sophia on this.

Sophia has raised awareness about gun violence in her campaign. I am a public high school teacher and can tell you that this is something at the forefront of our children’s minds even when recent headlines are thankfully devoid of school shootings.

Finally, Sophia has emphasized the importance of addressing mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, within our youth population. As a teacher and as a mother, I cannot tell you enough how very important this is.

Why is my vote with Sophia Chadda? Because she’s smart, good-hearted, and wants to do great things for Bernards Township. Please join me in voting for Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee so we can see her wonderful ideas become a reality. 

ELIZABETH GRANER 

 

Chadda 'a relationship builder' in Bernards Township

EDITOR: As a talent management professional working in the field of leadership development for many years, I support Dr. Sophia Chadda as the outstanding choice for Township Committee in Bernards.

Sophia works tenaciously at anything she undertakes, as evidenced by the strong connections she has made this year with local residents and business owners. She has connected with local civic, business, charitable and municipal groups and organizations while always listening - incorporating their views into a solid platform that speaks to what the residents need and want.

Sophia connects the dots - understanding that thoughtful and deliberate information gathering leads to appropriate and fact-based decision making. She makes the connection between the decisions that a responsible Township Committeeperson may make and the impact that those decisions have down-stream.

She is not a siloed thinker. Rather, Sophia is an extremely competent, thoughtful and values-based leader. She is by far the most qualified candidate in Bernards.

Sophia has built the right connections - with the residents in our town where she will serve. She is a relationship builder at all levels, with an ease in approaching hard issues with national, state, and local officials, as she has proven successfully, due to her ability to focus and tackle what comes at her with ease and grace.

She builds connections across party lines because she is driven by solid, ethical and transparent work - not by backdoor deals, rhetoric, party line politics or ineffective policies. She rises well above the rest as a representative who we can be proud of in Bernards and who will work for the residents - first and foremost.

Being connected to ineffective career politicians who seek only to erode our values and ignore our needs is not admirable. Residents are looking for substance, not surface; depth and knowledge, not superficiality. The ability to make strong connections to those impacted by the work one does, and to whom you owe your elected position - now those are connections that Dr. Chadda will make.

Vote for Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee on Nov. 5. She is the best choice for us all. 

LAURA BEGG

 

Chadda would be ‘a great asset’ to Bernards Township

EDITOR: I am writing this letter to express my support for Dr. Sophia Chadda for the Bernards Township Committee.

I went to the question and answer event held at Ridge High on Thursday night and I want to recap what Chadda said, because I believe she would be a great asset as a committee member for our community.

The first question asked was, "What do you think is Bernards Township’s greatest strength and what do you think needs to improve?" Chadda said Bernards Township has many creative people who are willing to make change happen. She also mentioned the importance of getting our taxes under control.

Since Chadda operates a small business in town, she understands why the many business owners she has spoken to wish for other paths for generating revenue for their businesses. She mentioned having closed street events, restaurant week and cultural events.

She added that our local taxes depend too much on homeowners and increased tax revenue from business would lessen this burden for homeowners. Chadda would like to create an Economic Development Commission to explore ways new business development could lower taxes.

When asked about affordable housing,  Chadda mentioned that the Township Committee needed to be more proactive in affordable housing development. She mentioned that Bernardsville uses non-profit builders and small parcels of land to meet its affordable housing obligation.
 

When asked about the Millington Quarry redevelopment, Chadda said she had spoken to many people who do not feel the property has been properly remediated and any potential buyer should have the ability to use an independent contractor to see if the contaminants have been remediated. She mentioned the possibility of an over age 55 adult community development.

As a mother of three children and a healthcare professional, Chadda is concerned about the community we are creating for our children. She mentioned the need to address “the anxiety” of high school students and that we should explore creating a downtown area for teenagers to use a community center.

Also, she has concerns about our environment and believes the community could do more to discourage the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam containers.

When ask about having increased transparency and more open government,  Chadda mentioned allowing people to use different ways of communication to committee members. In addition to public meetings, the committee members could hold office hours and/or have public coffee hours.

When asked about her greatest professional obstacle, Chadda mentioned the years involved in getting professionally qualified as a periodontist and opening her practice while raising three children. She said it takes “time and grit” and “you can’t give up.”

With this determination, perseverance and initiative, Chadda has my vote to be on the Township Committee. She is a forward looking, pro-active professional who wants our community to be an exciting and successful place for business and for those who want to raise a family here.

Please vote for Dr. Sophia Chadda on Nov. 5.

HEATHER HUDSON 

 

Chadda is ‘best choice’ for Bernards Township

EDITOR: Although I've known Sophia Chadda for a short time, I'm very impressed with her intelligence, passion, concern and tenacity to be an outstanding addition to the Bernards Township Committee.

Dr. Chadda took the initiative to visit more than 100 businesses in the town's seven retail districts to hear their concerns and find out how she can bring their voices to the Township Committee and help make changes to improve their business. Several store owners said they never heard from any  committee member, yet alone a candidate.

And I'm quite impressed that Dr. Chadda recognizes that when businesses do better, they pay more taxes, relieving the burden on already overburdened homeowners.

And revitalizing the businesses within Bernards Township is good for the environment, too, as residents won't have to travel as far to get the goods and services they need.

Dr. Chadda, a long-time resident and business owner with three children, recognizes national issues also impact our community and has put forth proposals to help with opioid abuse, taxes, teen pressures/depression, the environment, traffic, development, transparency in local government and a fact-based approach to spending our tax dollars wisely.

But don't take my word for it. Once you research the candidates, I'm confident you will find Sophia Chadda is uniquely qualified to bring much needed change to Bernards Township government and is the best choice for Bernards Township Committee and our community.

STEVEN GLICKMAN

Chadda offers ‘frank and intellectual approach’ in Bernards Township

EDITOR: I invite you to join me in voting for Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee

Sophia’s frank and intellectual approach to our town's problems is quite refreshing. She is committed to our community as a business woman andcommitted to working through tough issues we face.

Sophia will work for the good of all in Basking Ridge, not a select few, and will be a great asset to the Township Committee.

JENNIFER SPEAL

Chadda 'the very best choice for Bernards'

EDITOR: I was sad to see The Bernardsville News abandon its previous support of diversity and transparency in Bernards Township with its recent endorsement in the local election.

We still have a huge imbalance on our Township Committee and there is still a very large segment of the population that is not fully represented by the disproportionately Republican committee.

Sophia Chadda is so much more than highly qualified. In addition to her years of professional experience, her service on the Bernards Township Board of Health, her fiscally responsible platform and her many forward-thinking ideas, she is also a much needed voice for the rest of us.

And her close connections with so many highly placed government officials, like Congressman Tom Malinowski, will give Bernards a chance to be heard and really listened to when it counts.

Sophia Chadda is the very best choice for the future of Bernards Township. She has my endorsement and my vote.

KAREN HAASE-GRAY

'Chadda makes decisions based on facts' in Bernards Township

EDITOR: This is going to seem like a completely biased endorsement for Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee. And it is!

While I am the chair of the Bernards Township Democratic Committee, I have also been Sophia's friend since 2003. Our children went to The Albrook School together through pre-school and lower elementary.

And before people start yelling, "See! Chadda doesn't love public school,"

just take a step back and realize that our children went there because we really loved the school's environment, the Montessori method, the ability for our kids to learn at their pace, and the love that was shown to the children. For us, it was the best option in our town. And let's remember that, it is a school in Bernards Township.

And one more thing, whether your child goes to a public, private or is homeschooled, Sophia Chadda will work for all of you.

Sophia is a humble, kind and a very intelligent woman. And intelligence does matter. Would you not want someone that takes a look at all the facts surrounding a situation and then make a decision based on those facts? This will come into play with not only the quarry but with future affordable housing requests, too. We need to stop emotional response decision making.

Recently, Sophia went to a full day medical seminar concerning marijuana use and the impact it does and does not have on a person, especially in her line of work. She looked at the facts presented to her. Let me type that line again…she looked at the facts presented to her.

And that is where I am going with this. Facts matter. Intelligence matters. Making decisions on facts and evidence matters.

Sophia Chadda is full of energy. Seriously. There were times during the summer where her ideas were outpacing her own campaign. When she came up with the idea of visiting the businesses in town to see what they really felt about being in Bernards Township, it became a two-month investigative reporting adventure. When people have someone that will listen to them, they talk.

She found out everything from complaints about landlords, air conditioning problems, added fees, horrible maintenance of certain parking lots, poorly designed parking lots and the anger specific areas had about what is going on in their own business district. It was eye opening. Why hasn't anyone done this before?

And before someone starts complaining, "She was just soliciting for votes,"take a step back and learn that many of the business owners she spoke with were not even residents in our town. She wanted to learn and get information directly from the business owners.

She has written five press releases on various issues and will hopefully have time for one more. So far, Sophia has written about taxes and business revitalization, environmental sustainability, safety, vaping and an article that was done by this very paper of a submitted letter titled "Stop the Epidemic," which dealt with gun violence and racism.  Yes, she is writing about national issues because they are impacting our local town.

If you want to know more about Sophia, please visit her Facebook campaign page, "Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee." It is a public page so you do not need a Facebook account to view it.

I encourage you all to vote for Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee.  

NANCY D’ANDREA

Chadda 'has the values we need' in Bernards Township

EDITOR: At election time last year, I questioned whether the electorate would accept a “new normal” that lowered the bar of acceptable behavior of our elected officials and threatened the survival of our democratic institutions, or would the electorate reverse course, re-assert democratic norms and try to find common ground for all Americans.

Fortunately for the country, much of the electorate realized that this “new normal” - disseminating misinformation and outright lying, willful ignorance of facts and science, nepotism, cronyism, corruption, racism, misogyny, xenophobia, bigotry and hate – is anathema to American values.

On the whole, the electorate supported candidates who hold true to the values to which America aspires: adherence to the rule of law; loyalty to the greater good and the rule of law before person or party; recognition of the existence of objective truth; freedom of the press; the highest respect for truth, facts and science; responsible stewardship of the environment; the strictest standards for ethics and integrity; transparency and open communications; justice, tolerance, compassion, respect, empathy for all people; and recognition that diversity makes us a stronger and richer nation.

The electorate was therefore able to re-establish constitutional checks and balances in our government by electing a new majority in the House of Representatives. This has predictably led to long overdue constitutional oversight of the current administration.

Now the country is embroiled in an impeachment battle that is pushing the bar of acceptable behavior of many of our government officials and their supporters ever lower by the day. Nothing less than the survival of American democracy and the planet hangs in the balance.

This is not a battle of conservatives versus liberals, Democrats versus Republicans. It is a battle over the values held by our elected officials and their supporters. In the coming off-year election, candidates on the ballot are running for local office. That doesn’t make this election any less important. In these perilous political times, it is more important than ever for the local electorate to vote for candidates that reject this new normal of unacceptable behavior by elected officials and their supporters.

It is for all these reasons that I strongly
urge my fellow Bernards Township residents to vote for Dr. Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee. Your article of Aug. 8, “Bernards Township Democrat: ’Stop the epidemic gun violence,’ ” quotes Dr. Chadda’s masterful expression of the types of values we need in our elected officials.


Bernards Township residents cannot foresee all the challenges they and the country will face, but we can vote for the values that will guide our local elected officials.

Based on these important criteria, Dr. Chadda is by far the best candidate for Township Committee.

BILL DELORENZO

Vote Chadda for ‘open, transparent and inclusive local government’

EDITOR: I whole-heartedly support and urge you to vote for Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee.

Sophia is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University and SUNYBuffalo Dental School. She and her husband have lived in town for 20 years where they raised three children.

Sophia is also a local business owner, having built a successful periodontal practice in town. Sophia is committed to serve her community. She has served on the Board of Health, participated in Leadership Somerset, a county-wide program that supports local community leaders, and appeared as a featured speaker at Ridge High School’s STEMxx Club, sharing her experience with female students interested in STEM careers. 

Having spent some time with Sophia over the last several months, it isobvious she deeply cares about her community.  Her efforts in meeting with and listening to residents and business owners inspired her proposal to create an economic development commission. This commission would seek to ease the tax burdens on residents and develop a strategic plan to revitalize and attract businesses with the added bonus of bringing our community together.

Sophia Chadda has all the qualities a local leader needs - intelligence, patience, compassion and persistence.  She will make reasoned decisions based on facts rather than fear or need to follow the status quo. She will seek input from and really listen to the many voices of our diverse community.

If you want continued change towards more open, transparent and inclusive local government, vote for Sophia Chadda.

JOAN BANNAN HARRIS

 

Chadda will make Bernards Township ‘a better place to live’

EDITOR: I invite all Bernards Township residents to join me in supporting Dr. Sophia Chadda for Township Committee.

Sophia is a particularly impressive candidate. Her warmth and intelligence are what you notice first, but you quickly realize this is a woman with business savvy, determination, and a deep understanding of the issues that concern all of us who live and work here.

It’s also immediately apparent that she is unafraid of doing the sometimes heavy lifting required to effect positive change.

For example, Sophia has made sustainability an integral part of hercampaign, for months now speaking out about the need to eliminate single-use plastics from our waste stream. These plastics - which include shopping bags, straws and cutlery - all too often end up languishing in landfills, choking our waterways, or littering our beautiful Bernards streets.

Other towns in New Jersey have been proactive about banning these products, while ours has largely ignored the problem. Sophia, however, has set a great example by raising awareness of the issue and committing to work with residents to tackle it.

Sophia also is on a mission to boost local commerce, and has wasted no time visiting township businesses to find out what their concerns are and how she can help them thrive. Being a local business owner herself, Sophia understands that flourishing commercial districts improve our quality of life and provide much-needed revenue for the services we all depend on.

It’s unusual that I encounter a candidate for Bernards Township Committee who I feel has the ambition, people skills, brains and integrity to actually make this town a better place to live. I can unequivocally state that Sophia Chadda is that rare package. Please cast your vote for her on Election Day.

LAURIE SALOMAN

Chadda a 'capable, dedicated' candidate in Bernards Township

EDITOR: I endorse Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee and encourage voters to vote for her in the Nov. 5 election.

I have known Sophia for more than a decade now, and I am grateful that she is of one of my closest friends. Her leadership and motivation for change is second to none. I truly believe that Sophia is a capable, dedicated and deserving candidate and I am positive she will strive to make Bernards Township a better place.

I really hope that everyone stands with Sophia Chadda by voting for her on Nov. 5.

AMBREEN RAZAK

Vote Chadda for diversity, transparency in Bernards Township

EDITOR: I am writing this letter in support of my very good friend, Sophia Chadda, who is running for Bernards Township Committee in the upcoming election.

As a resident of Basking Ridge who cares for the welfare of our wonderful township, I can honestly say, Sophia would be a perfect addition to the Township Committee. Like most of us in this town, Sophia shares the same values – quality education, a business-friendly government and a pollution-free environment.

Sophia is intelligent, thoughtful and, above all, a very caring person. Her dedication to her work for a non-profit organization, which provides free health care and education for 175 children, is truly remarkable.

Transparency has been a major issue in our Township Committee, as it relates to worthless litigation expenses, as well housing development planning. A no frills, straight shooter, Sophia would bring transparency to the local government.

Sophia is also highly educated. Her science-based background will be very valuable as we address intricate demands of the future, and continue to preserve the tradition of our wonderful town.

I have known Sophia for about 20 years, and I can surely attest to her sincerity, tireless work ethic and commitment to any task she takes up. I most admire Sophia for her honest and pragmatic insight into issues facing our community.

She is willing to examine tough issues and listen closely to people’s thoughts and opinions. I believe true leaders bring people together. Sophia would bring diversity to our township board, which is lacking for a community as diverse as ours.

AYESHA AHMAD

”As a small business owner andmother deeply rooted in BernardsTownship for over two decades,Sophia will bring a forward lookingvision to the Bernards TownshipCommittee that is truly responsiveto the needs of our community. I'm proud to be on her team!”

- Tom Malinowski, Congressman

”Sophia Chadda has all the qualities a local leader needs—intelligence, patience, compassion and persistence.Sophia will make reasoned decisions based on facts rather than fear or need to follow the status quo. She will seek input from and really listen to the many voices in our diverse community. If you want continued change towards more open, transparent and inclusive local government, vote for Sophia Chadda.”

- Joan Bannan Harris, Bernards Township Committee

 

As a candidate, Sophia Chadda has shown true vision for Bernards Township, taking much needed stands where other candidates hide behind platitudes and inaction. As a doctor, she has served on the Bernards Township Board of Health, and she brings her evidence-based approach to bear on the issues facing Bernards Township today and in the future. Last year, Bernards Township began to elect a new generation of representation that draws on the strength of a diverse population. This year, it is critical that Dr. Chadda join that representative body. I wholeheartedly endorse Sophia Chadda for Bernards Township Committee.

- Steve Peter, Somerset County Clerk

 

Dr. Sophia Chadda is a welcomed addition to the Democratic Party and Bernards Township. Dr. Chadda’s profession, as a periodontist, affords her the opportunity to utilize her skills in being there for people and taking care of their needs and concerns. She is accessible and responsive, skills that are so desperately needed in government. As a 20-year resident, local business owner, and mother of three, she is invested in the community and I have no doubt she will be an effective leader."

- Shanel Robinson, Somerset County Freeholder


Sophia Chadda not only advocates for inclusivity but lives it everyday. Due to her commitment to serving all people in the community while upholding a strong sense of fiscal responsibility, Sophia has my unwavering support.

- Sara Sooy, Somerset County Freeholder

 



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