Amin Hashmi Runs for Troy City Council

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

amin_dscn0089One of the many community members running for local, state and federal positions in this cycle of elections is Mr. Amin Hashmi, who is running for Troy City Council.

Hashmi has lived around the world, east and west, and further has travelled the world in his capacity as a merchant marine engineer. 

“I have drunk all seven oceans,” Hashmi says with some satisfaction, further explaining that while living ship-board he had drunk desalinated water from literally around the world.

Hashmi is unaffiliated as a candidate, offering to bridge the divide between Republicans and Democrats that has paralyzed all levels of American government in the polarized climate of the past few years–from the federal level all the way down to the Troy City Council, which has been immobilized by a vicious debate over raising taxes.

Hashmi explains that he does not want to raise taxes until the last minute, but if it is necessary to avoid cutting necessary fire and security services then raising taxes would be a valid if unappetizing alternative.

Hashmi is one of two unaffiliated candidates, running against three Democrats and three Republicans.  The eight candidates are running for three spots on the city council; no incumbents are in the election.

The candidate is realistic about his chances but explains the difficulty of making estimates in an election where there are no polls.  Certainly Mr. Hashmi is familiar with the demographics of Troy.  He explains that Troy has about 85,000 residents, from whom about 12,000 votes will likely be cast in the November 8th election.  Realistically he hopes that with 4,000 to 6,000 votes a candidate would be able to secure one of the available seats.

This is not Hashmi’s first brush with public service.  He explained in an interview with TMO that over the past ten years he has worked to cross ethnic hurdles in Troy by facilitating events designed to celebrate the ethnic heritages represented there, from Greek to Indian, to Pakistani and others.

Troy, he explains, is a relatively very powerful city.  The city is among Michigan’s top three cities, and nationally is one of the top 20 or 30 cities, according to him.

Having been educated literally around the world, Hashmi ascribes deep importance to education and has fought very hard on behalf recently of a millage to fund the Troy city library.

Visit aminhasmi.com for more information about his campaign.

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Dr. Wasim Khan Runs for NJ Senate

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

Wasm_KhanDr. Wasim Khan is an accomplished doctor who has decided to seek political office in New Jersey.

He is running for the senate seat of New Jersey’s 26th district, a seat which he previously sought and lost to Joseph Pennacchio, in 2007.  Penacchio, a Republican, won with 26,000 votes, as compared to Dr. Khan’s 13,000. 

This year, Khan ran unopposed in the Democratic primary but faces a serious challenge in the main election.  Since 1981, the district has always been carried by Republicans in the general election–however the lines of the district were recently drawn and its current boundaries are untested, although it seems likely its general character will remain.

Another factor that may influence the election in the district is that, of New Jersey’s 40 senate districts, this one has one of the heaviest concentrations of Asians. Perhaps this will not be enough to sway the election in Mr. Khan’s favor, however.

But Dr. Khan remains optimistic about the current election, citing as evidence the fact that Penacchio faces a challenger from his own party who is running as an independent. Also, Khan explains that New Jersey currently has an extremely unpopular Republican governor whose actions to limit public workers’ union rights have led to electoral anger which could harm other Republicans.

Dr. Khan explains that his background is very distinguished.  A physician, born and raised in India, Khan was educated at India’s “most prestigious universities,” and also did post-graduate work at Harvard.  He explains that he has been published in major peer-reviewed articles here, in Europe, and in India. 

“One of my studies, on cancer prevention, is still ongoing at Harvard,” he explains.

Khan worked on the failed Howard Dean presidential campaign of 2004, and his loyalty to Dean still shows through in his anger at the character assassination against Dean by the media–which he characterizes as completely unfair.

Khan explains his value to New Jersey residents with convincing arguments, explaining that there are many large communities of ethnic groups in New Jersey without any legislative representation, citing Muslims, Chinese, Sikhs, and others.  He expresses his willingness to stand up for anyone who is oppressed, whatever his or her background.

Mr. Khan asks for your support as he approaches the November election. 

“I have a fairly good chance to win if Muslims rally around me.  Of course only residents can vote in the election, but anyone  in the US can help out, contribute, volunteer, send a few dollars.”  He says not to be shy–”send a few dollars, it’s okay.  Don’t say to yourself, oh, $10 won’t make a difference–no, it will make a big difference, I can put that money to good use.”

Khan explains that in this current election cycle he believes there are no Muslim candidates running for state senates or assemblies anywhere in the US.  He campaigned for support at the ISNA convention in Chicago earlier this month, and he says he was the only Muslim candidate campaigning there–it is on this fact that he bases his statement that there are no other Muslim candidates running in the current election cycle at the state legislative level.

Khan ran unsuccessfully for Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Council in 2005.

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