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St. Ann's School, St. Elizabeth High School, University of Delaware (BA), Georgetown University (MA)
In my first job out of school, I was part of the management team on a $1 billion United Nations project to clean up the environmental damage from the 1991 Gulf War. I served as a liaison between UN diplomats, senior Saudi government officials, and international scientists monitoring the work. From that experience, in 2011 I co-founded a company called Industry Arabic to meet the language needs of companies and governments throughout the Middle East. I recruited and trained fifteen distinguished employees spread across multiple countries, turning them into a smoothly operating team unit that provided services to over 300 companies and governments in the Middle East. Since 2017, I have worked for a family business called Eastern Highway Specialists, here in Wilmington, Delaware. My responsibilities include training, Covid-safety officer, workforce development, and overseeing the company's project to build new offices and move to a new location off of Gov. Printz Boulevard.
Some of my activities include:
(1) Founder of the Wilmington History Society, aimed at promoting stronger local Wilmington community spirit:
(2) Creator of project honoring Wilmington residents who lost their lives in World War Two: wilmingtondeww2.com
(3) Regular Volunteer in removing "invasive plants" from Brandywine Park, (4) Volunteer member of the City's Memorial Day Parade Planning committee (5) Board Member, Delaware Military Museum (6) Volunteer Speaker, Howard Young (7) Winner of 2020 Albert McMullin Award for Volunteering for Local History Projects
(1) An article I had the privilege of writing telling the story of 8 Wilmington residents who never came home from "The War":
(2) Article by Delaware Business Times on the Wilmington History Society: https://delawarebusinesstimes.com/news/wilmington-history-society-discusses-the-past-to-improve-future/
(3) News Journal article on my project to honor Wilmington's Greatest Generation: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/2019/05/27/wilmington-residents-sacrifice-during-world-war-ii-remembered-online/1250878001/
As the founder of the Wilmington History Society and an employee of a family business that has made a long-time commitment to the City, I am passionate about Wilmington and want it to succeed. Yet the City in recent decades has struggled. I'm running because I love helping people and I think I can make a meaningful impact in moving our city in the right direction.
At a deeper level, I’m motivated by my experiences interviewing surviving World War Two veterans from Wilmington as part of a project I started to document the story of the more than 400 City residents who never made it home. I’m constantly awed hearing the often graphic details of what they were expected to do to make the world a better place. Trying to help make Wilmington a better place in 2020 is the least I can do to live up to the Greatest Generation's standard of sacrifice.
First, I have a strong record of bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to generate consensus and achieve common objectives, from building teams while working in a previous career in the Middle East or in the construction industry on the East Side of Wilmington. That's the essence of effective municipal politics especially in a city as diverse as Wilmington.
Second, I have a broad set of experiences suited to help contribute to a revival of the Wilmington economy. I’ve spent my career in entrepreneurial business situations and working to navigate complex government bureaucracies. I understand from personal experience all of the frustrations of those trying to add more jobs and investments to our City. Anyone looking to add good, well-paying white AND blue-collar jobs or to invest in the City, or who wants a new or better job, will have a highly responsive champion that has a practical grasp of the various economy-related issues on the Council, if I'm elected.
A major problem that we face as a City are divisions across racial, class and ethnic lines. In fact, I believe this problem has worsened since I was growing up in Wilmington in the 1990s and early 2000s. A major part of my platform and reason for running is to try and bridge these divisions and work towards a healthier, more connected and inclusive community. I go into detail in my June and July newsletter about several ideas I have to try and make progress in these areas:
There are many ways where racial inequality can be reduced. One key area is through a more inclusive approach to economic developmen, something I'm passionate about and strongly committed to doing. In particular, I will use the platform of the 8th District City Council seat to promote any initiatives which will bring more economic activity to the areas of Wilmington that need it the most. I went into great detail on this in my June and July newsletters:
In a related way, I will use the platform of the 8th District representative to "cheer lead" and make sure people in the more affluent 8th District have more of a rooting interest in programs such as REACH Riverside, a project to rebuild the Riverside Housing Project into a purpose built community. More awareness and understanding of the issues facing the entire city, can make a real difference.
A more efficient and cohesive City Council can be best achieved via a new spirit of unit and team work. I’m a consensus builder and have long experience working with people from all four corners of this highly diverse city. I will be going in and looking to listen and establish a new chapter. This can also be achieved by investing more time to create deeper personal relationships with other council members.
I also encourage Wilmington residents who are not elected officials to watch the meetings online and/or come to attend meetings once Covid-19 finally passes. The more that people are engaged and actively involved, that can have a large effect as well.
Ultra-responsive constituent services and effective communication with residents is a central part of what I'm bringing to the table.
My number and email is available online. Any constituent who emails or calls me can expect at the very least a response within one business day. I may not be able to "solve" the problem right away. However, you can always expect a response telling you what I'm going to do to try and help you.
I also maintain a strong and active presence throughout the District. I am frequently out and about and participate in a variety of different activities and groups. As a personal habit, (in non-Covid times) I eat breakfast at different City diners almost every day. Residents can always approach me there and share their concerns with me "impromptu."
The bottom line is that I'm running to serve the residents of our District, and help make our neighborhoods better. I work for you.