Ardavan Fairfax County School Board

Introducing Ardavan Mobasheri, Candidate for Fairfax County School Board

Ardavan Fairfax County School BoardWe are pleased to introduce Ardavan Mobasheri, candidate for Fairfax County School Board – Dranesville District. 

Ardavan is an Iranian-American engineer, career educator, husband and father of two from Great Falls, Virginia. He is a member of the Virginia ACLU and is the Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Acima Private Wealth. And he is running as the only Independent candidate for the open seat on the Fairfax County School Board for Dranesville District.

Fairfax County has a population of over one million people and is made up of nine districts. One member from each district is elected, and Ardavan is one of three candidates running to represent the Dranesville District of Fairfax County. If you are receiving this email, it is because you are in his district and will have the opportunity to vote for Ardavan in the general election on November 5, 2019

Learn more about Ardavan by checking out his campaign website

If you are interested in volunteering for his campaign or working at the polls the day of the election, please sign up here

Electing Iranian-American candidates is a key part of building political power for our community. We hope to see you at the polls on election day!

An unprecendented win for the Iranian-American Community

Parisa celebrating her historic win during her election watch party with Governor Terry McAuliffe and NIAC staff members and supporters.

On Tuesday night, NIAC Action endorsee Parisa Dehghani-Tafti won her election in a highly contested race for Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, unseating the long-time incumbent prosecutor. Parisa’s candidacy gained national attention after receiving endorsements and unprecedented amounts of support from notable figures like billionaire philanthropist George Soros and musician John Legend!

A victory like this is rare, as prosecutors are rarely unseated and traditionally remain in their seats for their lifetime. But Parisa’s track record of success signaled the possibility of change, and NIAC Action was proud to support her candidacy from its earliest days all the way through her election win.

NIAC Action also congratulates its endorsee Yasmine Taeb, who ran an impressive campaign for Virginia State Senate against an establishment candidate that remained unchallenged for 40 years. Although being outspent 10-1 by one of Virginia’s top corporate fundraisers, her grassroots efforts brought her within a few hundred votes of achieving a historic upset victory. Like Parisa, Yasmine’s campaign also received national attention, forcing her opponent to campaign in-person for the first time in decades.

These political gains represent real power across the Iranian-American community. They also mark critical steps towards building a strong political pipeline for other Iranian Americans interested in securing a seat at the table of all levels of government.

NIAC Action supports and encourages Iranian-Americans to participate in the U.S. democratic process and run for office. As we approach 2020, we will seek a fresh wave of progressive Iranian-American civic leaders looking to represent this community.

We’re Proud to Endorse Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Virginia’s Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington and the City of Falls Church

NIAC Action is thrilled to officially endorse Parisa Dehghani-Tafti for Virginia’s Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington and the City of Falls Church!

Parisa, a Democrat, announced her candidacy for the Commonwealth’s Attorney seat in December, after 20 years of experience as an attorney and public defender. Currently, she’s an adjunct law professor at Georgetown University Law Center and George Washington University School of Law. She also serves as a senior attorney and legal director of the Mid Atlantic Innocence Project, where she successfully won the first DNA exoneration case in Washington, DC. A dedicated criminal justice activist, Parisa has also been part of several other wrongful conviction cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Parisa’s criminal justice ambitions are largely shaped by her experiences working as a defense attorney for clients facing unjust criminal justice practices. She’s uniquely aware of the race and class bias in the criminal justice system, which often unfairly disenfranchises minorities and immigrant communities.

Her campaign is also endorsed and backed by former Governor Terry McAuliffe, Indivisible – Arlington, Arlington Action Group, Our Revolution – Arlington, New Virginia Majority, IBEW Local Union 26, Blue NoVA and Delegate Marcus Simon.

Parisa attended the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature, and the New York University School of Law. She has lived in Arlington for 11 years with her husband, who is a civil rights lawyer and law professor. They have two children who attend Arlington Public Schools. Parisa serves as Press Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee and she is a member of the Arlington branch of the NAACP and will be serving on its Criminal Justice Committee.

If you live in Arlington County or the City of Falls Church, you can vote for Parisa on June 11th!

If you’d like to support Parisa’s campaign by making a contribution, you can do so here. If you’d like to get involved with Parisa’s campaign by attending a debate between Parisa and her opponent, canvassing or hosting a meet and greet, visit this link.

Find out more about Parisa on her website and follow her on facebook!

Congratulations to David Emami, City Councilor of Happy Valley

We are excited to announce that NIAC Action endorsee David Emami has been officially appointed as City Councilor of Happy Valley in Oregon! We were proud to endorse Oregon’s first ever Iranian-American City Councilor in this competitive race. See what David had to say on his appointment:

“I am humbled, appreciative and thankful for this opportunity to serve as Oregon’s first ever Iranian-American City Councilor. I hope to inspire others out there to achieve their dreams and It is my absolute goal to represent ALL people of Happy Valley. I want to especially thank NIAC for their support and endorsement. Without organizations like NIAC that work to promote a greater understanding between the American and Iranian Community, appointments such as mine may not have been possible. Thank you all for your support!”

We look forward to seeing all that David Emami accomplishes as City Councilor!

We’re Proud to Endorse Sepi Shyne for West Hollywood City Council

We’re excited to announce our official endorsement of Sepi Shyne for West Hollywood City Council.

Sepi Shyne is a front-running Democratic candidate for the City Council seat. She’s an Iranian American, an attorney, and runs two small businesses, including a law firm. If elected, Sepi Shyne would become the first woman of color to serve on the West Hollywood City Council.

Sepi has written, “As a lesbian, Iranian immigrant and woman of color, I was never supposed to run for office … But at a time when our most basic rights are under attack and hateful legislators chip away at the foundation of our democracy, I am running.” We think she’s the most qualified candidate for this seat and are excited to give her our support.

Our endorsement for Sepi joins other notable endorsements for Sepi’s campaign, including endorsements from Congresswoman Katie Hill and John Erickson, City of West Hollywood Planning Commissioner, as well as from over a dozen other elected officials. She’s also been endorsed by the Democratic Party of San Fernando, The National Women’s Political Caucus, Stonewall Democratic Club, Equality California, and The Unite HERE Local 11! Labor Union.

Sepi is running a grassroots campaign, and is heavily focused on canvassing, phone banking, GOTV efforts, and community events.

Sepi can’t do this without our help. She’s up against three incumbents for her election on March 5th, and she needs our support to make this happen.

Electing Iranian-American candidates is a key part of building political power for our community. We hope we can count on you.

We’re Proud to Endorse David Emami as City Councilor of Happy Valley

We’re excited to announce our official endorsement of David Emami for City Councilor of Happy Valley!

At NIAC Action, we strive to identify and build up rising civic leaders who have the vision and leadership needed in our surrounding communities. David Emami is such a leader.

David exemplifies the kind of community leadership needed to give Happy Valley a champion of its values. Born and raised in Oregon to Iranian immigrants, David stands proud as an Iranian-American. His multifaceted identify affords him an empathy and understanding of the diverse communities he hopes to represent as part of the council. And as a father, David is committed to protecting and helping make thrive the future of Happy Valley, the place his children call home.

David is one of six finalists for this seat on Happy Valley’s City Council. David’s appointment would represent a historic breakthrough for the State of Oregon, as he would be the first Iranian-American City Councilor in the state’s history. It would further underscore Happy Valley’s commitment and dedication to making the city’s leadership more representative of the beautiful community it seeks to represent.

We enthusiastically support David’s public service ambitions and are confident he will diligently work alongside other City Councilors to make Happy Valley a stronger community.

We’re Proud to Endorse Shireen Ghorbani as Mayor of Salt Lake County

NIAC Action is thrilled to announce our endorsement of Shireen Ghorbani for Mayor of Salt Lake County!

Last year, NIAC Action proudly endorsed Shireen Ghorbani for Congress in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District. After a well-fought congressional campaign, Shireen has embarked on another challenge of making local government more representative and accountable to voters – running for Mayor of Salt Lake County! Determined to serve her community, Shireen is once again showing us what true public service is supposed to look like. And having already spent a year building a strong grassroots campaign, engaging voters and tackling critical issues head-on, there is no other candidate more suited for Mayor than Shireen!

But as with any campaign, Shireen’s success will be determined by the support and resources she can build. And with the special election on January 26th, we only have a couple of days to help her come out on top!

A win for Shireen would represent another historic breakthrough! So we are asking, will you make a contribution to support Shireen before her critical January 26th deadline?

>> Donate to Shireen’s campaign

For those that live in the county, you can also help secure a win for Shireen by submitting your name to become a Central Committee Member. Depending on your precinct, you can submit your name for consideration to the Precinct Chair responsible for appointing new committee members. If you are selected, you will be able to vote for Shireen alongside 1,000 other Central Committee Members.

We’re Proud to Endorse Parshan Khosravi for CADEM Assembly District 73 Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Parshan Khosravi’s campaign to represent the 73rd Assembly District as a District Delegate for the California Democratic Party. If elected, Khosravi will strive to advocate for the Iranian-American community within the California Democratic Party.

A Zoroastrian, Khosravi came to the United States as a religious refugee in 2009. This experience has pushed him to empower his community. Since then, he has been a political advocate on a number of issues, from refugee advocacy, food insecurity, affordable education, and mental health advocacy, to fighting against Trump’s Muslim ban. He channeled his advocacy work through organizations like HIAS and NIAC and by taking on leadership roles in student government. As an undergrad at the University of California, Irvine, Khosravi was actively involved in the Associated Students of UCI, becoming the student body president from 2015-16. After moving along to his Master’s program at UCLA, Khosravi spent two years in the Executive committee of the UC Student Association and worked as the External Vice President for the UCLA Graduate Student Association. He not only used that role to raise student voices, but also the Westwood Iranian community, successfully advocating for what is now the North Westwood Neighborhood Council.

When recalling why Khosravi decided to get involved with the Democratic Party, he cited his desire to fight for the Iranian-American community: “While pursuing my graduate degree at UCLA, I shifted a lot of my advocacy towards protecting our Iranian refugees, many of whom were affected by the Trump ban. I remember looking at the footage of all of my fellow Iranians stuck at the airports across the country and realizing that there is no place for such hate and bigotry in our country, and decided I need to do something about it. That was the moment I started getting involved with the Democratic Party.” Since then, Khosravi was elected as the Chair of the Labor Caucus for the California Young Democrats and is now running with the Unity in the Community Slate to continue fighting for “equity-driven policies that serve to empower our communities”.

If elected, Khosravi will not only focus on policies affecting the Iranian-American community, like fighting the Muslim ban and promoting peace, but also fight for issues like infrastructure, climate change, after-school programs, senior services, and more.

If you are in CA Assembly District 73, please vote for Parshan Khosravi for CADEM Delegate on January 26. Details on where and when to vote can be found here.

You must be a registered Democrat to vote. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Parshan, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

We’re Proud to Endorse Reza Seena Soltanzad as CADEM Assembly District 24 Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Reza Seena Soltanzad as CADEM District Delegate for California Assembly District 24. Soltanzad is a young but thoughtful progressive candidate committed to Medicare-For-All, vigorous action on climate change, public housing, and grassroots politics instead of corporate interests.

Soltanzad majored in Political Science and communications at Santa Clara University and is a recent graduate. During college he gained experience as a refugee resettlement intern with the International Rescue Committee in San Jose and as an intern for the National Iranian American Council in Washington D.C. Progressive candidates such as Bernie Sanders inspired Soltanzad to enter grassroots politics. He believes the Democratic party must adopt a progressive platform to truly represent the working and middle classes. “I would like to see the Democratic Party adopt and endorse Medicare-For-All as a part of the domestic healthcare reform platform, endorse the Green New Deal as the strategy to combat climate change, and call for tuition-free public colleges and universities,” said Soltanzad. That’s why he decided to run with the ‘Grassroots Progressive’ slate.

Soltanzad is also deeply committed to issues that directly impact the Iranian-American community. He supports the JCPOA and opposes military conflict with Iran. He also stands firmly against the Muslim Ban which he views as unconstitutional and unethical.

If you are in CA Assembly District 24, please vote for Reza Seena Soltanzad for CADEM Delegate on January 26. Details on where and when to vote can be found here.

You must be a registered Democrat to vote. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Soltanzad, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

We’re Proud to Endorse Nima Rahimi for 17th Assembly District Delegate

NIAC Action is proud to endorse Nima Rahimi’s re-election campaign to represent the 17th Assembly District as a District Delegate for the California Democratic Party. Rahimi triumphed in his 2017 election by a paper-thin margin of only two votes, and could once again greatly use the support of Iranian Americans in San Francisco and others eager to support leaders of the community.

Rahimi has a strong track record in defending the Iranian-American community and pushing back on Trump’s Muslim ban. When the first iteration of Trump’s ban was announced in January 2017 shortly after his electoral win, Rahimi helped organize protests at San Francisco International Airport. He also helped create an organizing tool to connect families left in limbo by Trump’s ban with lawyers on the ground. A board member of the Iranian American Bar Association and Pars Equality Center Generation Plus, Rahimi also joined a coalition of Iranian-American organizations including NIAC in meeting with then Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in 2018, which emphasized the importance of repealing the ban.

As Rahimi told the San Francisco Examiner when the Supreme Court upheld the ban last year, “It’s demoralizing and it hurts on a deep level…That decision is not what America is supposed to be about. Every American comes from immigrants. I wouldn’t be here if there was a travel ban when my parents immigrated.”

Rahimi is the son of Iranian immigrants who met while studying in the U.S. and he grew up speaking Persian at home. His family has dealt with numerous waves of discrimination, including after the 1979 Iran hostage crisis and September 11th attacks, and Rahimi’s own interest in politics was sparked after Iran was included in George W. Bush’s axis of evil speech.

Rahimi completed his B.A. in Political Science and German from UC Berkeley and also holds a Masters in Global Politics from the London School of Economics and a law degree from UC Davis. He serves as the co-chair of the Policy Committee for San Francisco’s Immigrant Rights Commission.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Immigrant Rights Commission, he emphasized that “We are proud to be part of a City and State and Nation that respect the rule of law and cherish core values of dignity, freedom and inclusion. In this vein, we continue to stand against any attack on sanctuary cities, we support DACA, a Clean Dream Act, and an end to deportations. We urge our local, state and national leaders to continue to speak up for what is right and just. No Muslim Ban Ever.”

He is no stranger to San Francisco’s politics where he worked as a lawyer and served as an elected delegate to the state Democratic Party. He told the San Francisco Examiner, “Moderate and progressive distinctions in San Francisco don’t make sense to me. I’m super pro-housing. I’m also very pro-labor. And I’m passionate about being united against Trump.” He opposes what he calls a “zero sum approach” to politics.

Rahimi credited his last win to grassroots organizing and a commitment to working with the community and pledges to do the same again.

If you are in SF Assembly District 17 and a registered Democrat, vote for Nima Rahimi on January 12! Find out more about his campaign and where to vote here. If you are not a registered Democrat or registered to vote, but live in the district and wish to vote for Nima, you can register or change your party affiliation on site.

2018 Candidate Comparison: Virginia’s 10th Congressional District

Barbara Comstock

Republican Incumbent

Jennifer Wexton

Democratic Challenger

Iran Deal

Opposes 

Comstock voted against the Iran deal in 2015 and supported Trump’s withdrawal: “I commend the President for his decision to withdraw from the misguided ‘Iran deal’.  The ‘deal’, which had strong bipartisan opposition in 2015 has emboldened Iran to continue instability and funding of terrorism around the world, and provided them with billions of dollars through lifted sanctions.”

Supports 

Wexton supports the Iran deal: “I strongly support the JCPOA. This treaty has been successful at blocking Tehran’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon and is a triumph for peaceful diplomacy as a means to settle international conflict and avoid war. The JCPOA is important first and foremost because it prevents war. The United States and our allies could not accept a nuclear armed Iran. This deal prevents that while also preventing what would be a costly, terrible, and devastating war.”

Diplomacy with Iran

Opposes 

Comstock is a close ally of John Bolton, Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor who has long advocated war with Iran and supports the MEK: “I am proud to again receive the endorsement of Ambassador John Bolton for a third term in Congress. Ambassador Bolton is an outspoken advocate of strong national security policies which protect our nation and her allies from outside threats, particularly from rogue actors such as North Korea, Iran, and ISIS.”

Supports 

Wexton supports further diplomacy using the Iran deal as a starting point: “The JCPOA was an excellent example of what can be diplomatically achieved between the United States and Iran.”

Wexton says sanctions must be approached with caution and suggests that eventually lifting the economic embargo on Iran would be a “moderating force” that would encourage civil society and enable the U.S. to have more influence on Iran through trade and culture.

Muslim Ban

 

Supports 

Comstock supports extreme vetting and has refused to sign on to legislation or take any actions to oppose Trump’s Muslim Ban.

 

Opposes 

Wexton proactively opposes the Muslim Ban: “I believe Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is not only unconstitutional, but racist, ineffective, and a hazard for our national security. Immediately after President Trump announced the Muslim Ban, I went to Dulles Airport Northern Virginia, along with many other elected officials and activists, to protest its implementation. As a lawyer, I believe the ban is fundamentally unconstitutional. From a national security perspective this ban gives our enemies around the world a powerful propaganda and recruiting tool to use against us. Finally the ban is racist and unamerican. We are a nation of immigrants founded on religious liberty. Immigrants make enormous economic, cultural, and social contributions to America. We should be looking at how to welcome and integrate immigrants not ban them.”

 

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