He seeks to replace another Muslim, Robert Jackson, whom we’ve covered here. via Community leader Zead Ramadan throws hat in District 7 City Council race, raises quick bucks – NY Daily News.
Zead Ramadan has called upper Manhattan his home for more than 40 years and he’s worn numerous hats in an effort to make improvements in his community.
And now he’s ready to take the next step to serve upper Manhattan: a seat on City Council.
On Tuesday, he formally announced his plans to run for the City Council seat being vacated by Councilman Robert Jackson, who plans to run for Manhattan Borough President.
Ramadan has already raised nearly $41,000, according to city Campaign Finance Board records (Ramadan said the total had grown to $47,000 by Thursday).
Ramadan says he would be the Council’s first-ever Arab-American member (a City Council spokeswoman was unable to confirm his assertion), but notes that he’s running to represent upper Manhattan.
“I grew up in this community, and I know northern Manhattan as good as almost anybody,” Ramadan told the Daily News on Wednesday. “I’ve been part of this community since October 1971.”
Ramadan, a Palestinian born in Kuwait, immigrated to Washington Heights with his family, including seven siblings, as a kid and quickly assimilated. He became a college baseball player, a skill he credits to growing up in a largely Dominican-American community.
But Ramadan, 46, was drawn to community service, and it was his local upbringing that sparked the attraction.
“The reason why I’m running is because I love giving back to my community,” he said.
Ramadan has made a career of doing just that.
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.
Ramadan said his priorities would include advocating for business, improving education and fighting for affordable housing.
His only concern about running: Would people vote for a candidate with his name?
Then, he said he was reminded of another popular politician with a non-traditional name: Barack Hussein Obama.
Another Muslim name. Go to BNI to read what the Daily News intentionally didn’t tell you about Ramadan – the candidate.