My story is the American story. My story is that of millions of immigrants who came to this country and this city seeking a better future for themselves and their families. I landed in the United States in March of 2002, not speaking English, and in the shadows of 9/11. In my first hours, I found myself segregated and questioned by security, along with other Muslim travelers. It was difficult boarding a plane and seeing faces suspicious of me, feeling the fear that passengers had of folks like me.
There’s no doubt that those early years in America were difficult, but I found a job washing and bussing dishes, and learned to speak English thanks to my wife Vanessa, NPR, and a lot of Tupac albums.
Somerville is a special place, one that welcomed me with open arms, and to which I want to give back. I’ve had the opportunity to work with and meet some exceptional people from the non-profit and government worlds, here in our city.
As an advisor to Mayor Curtatone, I had the opportunity to not just talk about progressive values, but actually put them to work. From spearheading environmental initiatives like the successful zero sort recycling program, to the need-based comprehensive street repavement program, I was able to help serve my fellow residents based on need and regardless of their zip codes, ethnic or religious backgrounds or political beliefs. I deeply believe in good, honest government and providing my fellow residents with the tools to succeed and improve their quality of life.
I have taken that same belief in public service and good governance to the City of Revere, as the City’s Chief Administrative Officer, where I helped a young Mayor, initiate the reform of a government in dire need of professionalism, transparency and accountability.
I learned in my years of public service that no matter what the issue, principled, innovative and honest approaches are the successful ones. I pride myself on having an open mind, the ability to bring different parties to the table and rely on their perspectives, no matter how different they are, to formulate creative solutions to complex problems.
I’ve also spoken with many immigrants, newcomers and longterm neighbors who feel helpless and voiceless today. I know that as an immigrant and resident with an uncommon perspective on local politics and with a proven ability to bring positive change to our community, I am best prepared to effectively represent my fellow ward residents.
If I’m elected on November 7 th , I will always listen to everyone and make sure that all have a voice in our city government. I humbly ask you for your vote on November 7th and I look forward to seeing on the campaign trail.