Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Blog

Zead Ramadan comes from humble origins, but now the successful Arab American community leader and café owner from Upper Manhattan is making a run for the City Council to represent the 7th district. Ramadan and other candidates are seeking to replace the term-limited Robert Jackson who has served since 2002. If he wins, Ramadan will be the first Arab American to occupy a seat on New York’s City Council, and Ramadan is proud of that possibility. Despite having to stave off the inevitable attacks on his ethnicity and faith from Islamophobic and anti-Arab fringe groups, Ramadan actively wears his ethnicity on his sleeve, and the numerous news reports  written about Ramadan reflect that.

In his bid for the City Council seat, Ramadan will face opposition from eight other candidates, which includes some relatively formidable Democrats. The most viable opposition to his candidacy at this early stage seems to come from Mark Levine, who serves as Democratic District Leader in Northern Manhattan. Levine has a lot of experience in New York Democratic politics, but Ramadan’s chances to win are real and he’s shown thus far that he is able to raise money (only Levine has raised more) and run an issue-based and focused campaign.

Taking a look at the demographic breakdown of the 7th district, which includes parts of Morningside Heights, West Harlem & Hamilton Heights, Central Harlem, and Washington Heights & Inwood, it’s clear that Ramadan is making informed and effective decisions on staff and messaging. He’s hired veteran political strategist Bill Lynch who operates out of Harlem to run his campaign. In addition to serving as a deputy for former New York mayor David Dinkins, Lynch will be a valuable asset in helping to shore up support from the African American community, which is essential to win the district. On messaging, his record and involvement with the community in which he hopes to serve as a member of the City Council speaks for itself. The New York Daily News reports that Ramadan has made a career of public service, listing his many credentials:

He was once the chairman of Community Board 12, and still serves on the board.

For over 10 years, he’s served on the board of directors of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone. He’s the founding chairman of the board of directors for the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, and vice co-chair of the Washington Heights and Inwood Chamber of Commerce.

He is the president of the board of directors of the New York Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, and he’s the founding chairman of the board of directors of the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

And recently, he was elected to the board of directors of the West Harlem Development Corp. Read on 

We will continue to follow Ramadan’s campaign and bring you updates. For now, here are some news articles about his candidacy:

Candidate Zead Ramadan would be City Council's first Arab American
Columbia Spectator

Community leader Zead Ramadan throws hat in District 7 City Council race, raises quick bucks
New York Daily News

'We're going Obama-style:' Bill Lynch, for Council candidate Zead Ramadan
Capital New York









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