One of my brothers joined the U.S. Navy and remained in the Navy during medical school. Even today, he continues to treat active and retired members of our military at a V.A. Hospital. My younger brother is a county attorney in Nebraska. My sister lives the farthest from home; she has made Los Angeles her home, and we try to visit her every year.
Like most American families, the kitchen was the heart of our home. In fact, our love for family, food and fellowship spilled out into the yard where my parents grew our garden. I remember planting and picking, but mostly I remember sharing the crop in the fall and taking the extra tomatoes and peppers to all our neighbors.
I didn’t really like school at first. How many children would say that Kindergarten was hard? For me, coloring within the lines wasn’t easy, and I never got any better at art. Fortunately, things got better at school after that, and while I played basketball and baseball and pickup football after school, I didn’t excel at those either. Even though I didn’t grow up to be the team doctor for the St. Louis Cardinals, I still enjoy playing sports, especially with my own children in our backyard in Blaine
My children are having a very different childhood than I did. I remember liking to be in the public library, reading, because of the air conditioning there. You know, we only got two channels on our television set back then. Now everything is online. No more cards to check out books; it’s so different.
I learned to drive on a stick shift, a Geo Metro. Our family was a Chevy family. At one point, we had two Chevy Corsicas, one blue and one white. I got to drive the white one.
Over the course of my adult life, I’ve experienced profound personal joy in my marriage after meeting my wonderful wife Rim through common friends in New York and the births of our children: Khadijah (14), Muhammad (12), Yusuf (10) and Ibrahim (infant). Being able to raise them in Blaine will ground our children’s lives in a strong sense of community just as my small-town Illinois upbringing did for me. This community is a far cry from the streets of New York City where I lived during law school, and that’s a good thing.
We bought our first home in Blaine. My wife and I are raising our children here in hopes that when they are grown, it will be their choice to build their lives here as well. Can there be any more important reason to serve in the state legislature than to make sure the Blaine our children inherit as grown ups is even better than the Blaine we know now?
I know there will be tough fights in the Minnesota legislature. I know that I will have to stand strong and speak for all of Blaine’s residents to make sure we get our fair share for our schools and our streets, for health care, and for business growth. And, I know on those tough days, my family will be there with me; there is nothing so uplifting as the unconditional love of a child and their ability to cheer us up and cheer us on!”
Good paying jobs are the lifeblood of a community. A hard day’s work is good for people in many different ways. We need to make sure Blaine and the rest of Minnesota is a good place to do business. Companies value having an educated, healthy workforce and good infrastructure.
The number one cause of bankruptcy in America is medical expenses. Healthcare needs to be affordable for Minnesotans. While there are great programs like MinnesotaCare, more needs to be done. A healthy workforce is a productive, tax-paying workforce. Healthy children are better able to focus on achieving academically.
We’re all in this together. As a former Civil Rights attorney, I am committed to challenging all forms of discrimination. Every Minnesotan should enjoy their life free of discrimination and harassment.
Good paying jobs occur where there is an educated work force. While some people want to cut education funding, most Minnesotans realize that the world is becoming more competitive and that education is a key to achieving the American dream.
It is unfair that people pay property taxes for 30-40 years and then when they retire, they are overburdened with taxes on the home they live in. Fairness dictates a cut in property taxes for our seniors. In addition, we should be strengthening Medicare instead of making cuts.
Instead of career politicians who put their party ahead of their constituents, we need elected officials who understand that there is work that has to get done. Roads have to be fixed, schools have to be funded, and there is governing to do and that means working with Democrats and Republicans.