[Michigan, October 20, 2021]: No doubt that election periods are the perfect time to compel candidates, both incumbents and challengers, to be closer to the electorate. They will be more responsive and more than ready to listen and engage. During these times every candidate is very busy campaigning and appealing for support.
All of them will do their utmost best to be the one ahead of all. This adds energy to the elections and gives incentives for better participation on election day. However, the challenge before us as citizens is our readiness to render an informed and educated vote. A vote that is not emotionally driven. A vote that is focused on policy and not some ascriptive value such as the demographic background of the candidate. Our vote should be a vote based on the qualifications, the promises and the values of the candidate.
There is no doubt that a number of cities will have hotly contested races. The city of Dearborn’s mayoral race is among the most watched. Dearborn is the American city with the highest percentage of citizens of Arab descent. It has never had an American Arab mayor. This is one time the mayoral election has a strong and viable candidate. Elections in Dearborn Heights, Hamtramck, Westland and Taylor also reflect the diversity of the Greater Detroit area.
Arab and Muslim Americans are an integral part of the city of Dearborn. Like other Americans, they are a major driving force for its economic development and advancement. They have contributed to the economic and cultural vitality of the city. It is a magnet for those who want to experience Arab culture and sample Arab food.
Twenty- one years of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 we see that the Arab and Muslim Americans not only survived the backlash, they are indeed thriving. They have a stronger presence in America’s political life than before. The beauty of American democracy is granting each American the equal opportunity to be part of the political process. The candidates this year have impressive credentials. All want the betterment of the city for all of its residents. There is no question that these candidates will be assets to government at all levels.
Election day remains a special day even though all voters despite the fact that registered voters can vote early via mail or in person at the city clerk’s office. What is important is actually voting and not sitting out elections. Voting is a precious right and a civic duty. By voting the right candidates, people can render the change and reforms they strive for. Voting, especially at the local level makes a lot of difference. Many elections have been determined by fewer than 20 votes. It’s our civic responsibility to vote. Our relationship with government and politics should not be limited to complaints and reactions.
One key and prime race in Dearborn, beside the mayoral & city council’s is that for the city’s Charter Commission. This election is held once every decade. Residents need to give this election their due attention. The charter is the city’s constitution that mandates the balance of power and authority for the entire city’s political operation. It regulates the rules of the politics of the city and sets the values of the city.
We learn so much about ourselves from the kind of elections and what kind of people we vote for. Do we value civil and respectful debate and vote for those who are civil? Do we respect each citizen’s right to be vote and have their vote count? There is no excuse for any person not to vote. This our common future.
Politics is not about entertainment and personalities. It’s about values, stances, experience, character and genuine passion to serve the public good. Like in any race, there will be winners and there will be losers. I believe anyone who has the honor of running for office is a winner. Running requires overcoming many challenges and making many sacrifices. Smart politicians who lost know that there will always be another election and not to dwell on a loss.
I appeal to every citizen to vote in this year’s general election. Voting is electing to be part of the solution.
Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director
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AHRC Spirit of Humanity Annual Awards Gala :
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) will be holding its virtual annual “Spirit of Humanity” Awards Gala on Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.
AHRC appeals to all others who did not join the Gala’s sponsorship list yet to do so. The change of date provides a renewed opportunity for that. The past two years were exceptionally challenging for AHRC. Despite all the myriad challenges, AHRC continues its diligent work helping members of our diverse communities at all levels. We can’t continue our work without the generous support of our partners, friends and volunteers.
Help AHRC Protect Human Rights:
AHRC is committed to continue its leading role defending, promoting and advancing the cause of human rights at home and abroad. These are challenging times. It is our common humanity that we are determined to protect. To donate, please visit: www.ahrcusa.org for safe & secured donation. To become a sponsor and join us in defending and promoting human rights, please email: Imad@ahrcusa.org
The American Human Rights Council (AHRC) is dedicated to defending and protecting human rights as outlined in the U.S. Constitution and the United Nations 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The AHRC was formed to protect these rights and advocate for anyone whose rights are being violated or denied. To that end, the AHRC will build a tenacious, objective, and carefully guided advocacy program that will serve to defend individual human rights, whenever and wherever they are being infringed upon
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