Running for mayor on my record, relationships, not rhetoric – Farad Ali

Farad Ali
Farad Ali courtesy of Farad Ali

The vacuum that Durham Mayor Bill Bell’s departure is creating necessitates its people choosing a proven leader to help take the Bull City by the horns.

To go where we want to go, and where Durham needs to go, requires neither rhetoric nor platitudes. Instead, it demands collaborative action. In the mayor’s seat, it necessitates the election of a passionate servant with a clear vision of our city’s problems and potential, plus the kind of relationship-building and problem-solving skills that produce consistently-workable solutions.

I firmly believe my nearly 30 years of professional work, service and commitment in and to Durham clearly demonstrate I am the best candidate to be your next mayor.

My work and public service career show that I’ve not only passed the leadership test, but I’ve also worked to deliver results that have moved the needle for Durham in areas such as poverty, affordable housing, and jobs. As I see it, the ultimate prize for a progressive Durham is social and economic justice – meaning opportunities for everyone for work, for quality neighborhood spaces, for prosperity – and, at last, the elimination of the disparities and inequalities that have plagued Durham for too long.

I have seen – and you have seen – that affordable housing, jobs and equal opportunities are the ingredients and the catalyst for shoring up Durham’s weaknesses and for creating the kind of hometown that those of us involved in “One Durham” have always envisioned and believed in. It’s a Durham that builds on the best of our past, the momentum of recent progress and the promises, now within our grasp, made to generations of people like me who sought to find my best self in this beautiful city.

An Ali mayorship will give the City Council and the city’s people a recognized leader rooted in Durham who can put these deliverables on our doorstep:

▪ An unwavering commitment to social justice, equality and equity

▪ Job training programs in construction, healthcare and technology

▪ A human and a community development plan for economic progress

▪ A comprehensive affordable housing strategy that addresses homelessness, transitional housing, public housing, workforce housing and home ownership

You can find information on my website: faradali4mayor.com

Durham’s diversity, disparities, complexities and nuances are best navigated, then transformed, by those who have proven they understand the differences between solutions and empty, foundation-less promises. For her to excel, her people must excel. For her to prosper, her people must have – and then grasp and take advantage of – opportunities and then pledge diligently to fulfill their human responsibility to themselves and to each other.

The remedies Durham lacks, and the potential Durham can leverage, are within our grasp. As your mayor, I’ll reach with you for the best Durham we can be.

Farad Ali is president and CEO of The Institute of Minority Economic Development and a former Durham City Councilman. Candidates in Durham and Orange counties may send one guest column of up to 600 words and one additional letter of up to 300 words through Oct. 15 to letters@heraldsun.com.