Since there are so many people running for the special election in Brooklyn’s 40th City Council district, I figured I’d try to get each of them to talk about themselves by answering a brief questionaire.
The experiment has met with mixed success so far, judging by the number of candidates who have yet to respond. Happily, some did, and I’m still holding out hope for the rest.
First up, in no particular order, is…
Question 1. Why are you running to represent this part of Brooklyn?
This district is my home. I have lived here for over 20 years. I have worked here for 15 years. Through COPO, the community organization which I co-founded, I have been providing social services since 2002.
Question 2. What will be your funding and legislative priorities once in office?
Despite some improvements in our public education system, it is still woefully inadequate. I will work to improve both the quality of the in-class experience while expanding and enhancing the vitally needed after school programs. Legislatively, I would like to advance the opportunities for both our citizens and new Americans. We are still too far away from Dr. King’s dream that we should all be judged by the content of our character and not by the color of our skin.
Question 3. What is your most distinguishing qualification to be an elected official?
I have experience in both the public and private sectors. As a successful businessman, I owned a neighborhood store and ran a contracting company. After 911 I co-founded COPO and devoted full time to assisting my neighbors. This background uniquely qualifies me to represent the people of the 40th district.
Question 4. What is your campaign slogan and theme song?
My community experience interacting with the many different ethnicities here has generated my slogan:
“A democrat for all the people.”
I do not have a theme song.
Question 5. Tell us something non-political about yourself that people don’t know.
I am proud to be a part of my family’s 30 year tradition of providing services to our community.
— Azi Paybarah