Meet the Husband and Wife team running to represent the Democratic Party of Orange County

Meet Iyad Afalqa and Samila Amanyraoufpoor, the husband and wife team running to represent the people of California Assembly District 74 in the Democratic Party of Orange County Central Committee!

Both Samila and Iyad are union professors whose immigrant experiences have shaped their views and involvement in politics.

Samila Amanyraoufpor is an Iranian-American professor at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and Cal State University, Los Angeles. Having lived through the 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq War, she has always had a deep understanding and appreciation for politics. At the core of her activism is her commitment to strengthening civic engagement. We see that now as she is a member of the CSUDH Chapter of the California Faculty Association (CFA) and serves as the chair of their union’s Political Action Committee (PAC).

Iyad Afalqa, a Palestinian-American, is also a professor at CSUDH, specializing in Health Care Management, Policy and Strategic Management. Iyad views politics as an opportunity to make an impact in his community. Born in Jerusalem, Iyad spent his formative years living in the West Bank under Israeli occupation, an experience that shaped his political outlook.

Iyad is currently serving his first term as the Co-President of CSUDH Chapter of the CFA and comes with years of experience within the Democratic party, having served within the ranks of the Democratic Party in WI, NV and CA in different capacities; as 2016 DNC elected Delegate and a 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign Healthcare Advisor; as a4th-term CADEM E-Board; Delegate; as a Chair of a Statewide Caucus; and in an Affirmative Action Committee. Currently, he is the President of the California Democratic Council, which represents 500+ Clubs state-wide.

When we asked Samila and Iyad why they are running, they pointed to the need for change from within the local party. Some of these seats have been held by the same people for the last four decades. And currently, over 80% of the Central Committee does not reflect the racial diversity of Orange County. Considering the demographic shift in the county over that time, they believe that now is the opportunity to elect a new generation of diverse community leaders that reflect the county itself.

Over the years, Samila and Iyad have also taken actions to stand up for the Iranian-American community. In 2015, they joined NIAC’s grassroots efforts to ensure the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal withstood Congressional review, focusing on lobbying now-former Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. More recently, they have held over a dozen meetings with elected officials to advocate against the Muslim ban.

Progressive values are what drive these candidates. Their priorities include rent control, immigration reform such as abolishing ICE, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. Ultimately, they believe in holding elected officials accountable and people powered campaigns that are devoid of corporate, developer, or police union money.

If you live in CA Assembly District 74 and want to vote for Samila and Iyad, you can find their race on your primary ballot under “Democratic County Central Committee”. You must be a registered Democrat to find this race on your ballot. If you are not registered with the Democratic Party, you can change your party affiliation by re-registering to vote at the polls on election day. The California primaries will be held on March 3. Polls will be open from 7 AM to 8 PM.

2020 Democrats: Where do the Presidential candidates stand?

NIAC Action has urged all 2020 Presidential candidates to make two key commitments: to return the U.S. into compliance with the Iran nuclear agreement and to repeal the Muslim Ban. 

President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord and inhumane sanctions have undermined U.S. credibility, made America and the world less safe, and brought us to the brink of war. Returning to the international agreement without preconditions is the only sensible way for the United States to reverse the damage, restore Iran’s compliance with far-reaching nuclear concessions and reestablish diplomatic opportunities squandered by President Trump’s dangerous escalations.

President Trump’s Muslim Ban, imposed in his first week in office and still in effect after court-ordered revisions, continues to separate Iranian-American families and institutionalize discrimination against our community. The next president should make it a top priority to reverse this discriminatory, un-American policy on their first day in office in order to undo its continued harm. 

There are many other issues important to the Iranian-American community and pro-peace allies that NIAC Action would like to see Presidential contenders weigh in on, some of which we have directly encouraged the campaigns to comment on. In the tracker, we include some of the top tweets from candidates of interest to our community, including tweets condemning Iran’s brutal November crackdown on protesters; warnings against a march to war; comments on the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani; condemnations of President Trump’s outrageous threat to target Iranian cultural sites; and tweets on deportations of Iranian students and harassment of Iranian Americans at the border.

Joe Biden Mike Bloomberg Pete Buttigieg Tulsi Gabbard Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Tom Steyer Elizabeth WarRen Andrew Yang


Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

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Vice President Biden has announced that if Tehran returns to compliance with the nuclear deal, he would do so as well while working to strengthen and extend it. He has also noted that this would enable him to more effectively push back against Iran’s “destabilizing activities.”

  • Foreign Policy Speech on July 11, 2019: “The historic Iran Nuclear Deal we negotiated blocked Iran from gaining nuclear weapons with inspectors on the ground, international inspectors confirming that the agreement was being kept. Yet Trump cast it aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, and raising the risk of another disastrous war in the region. If Tehran returns to compliance with the deal, I would rejoin the agreement and work with our allies to strengthen and extend it while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s destabilizing activities which under the agreement we are allowed to do and we had partners to do with us.”
  • Foreign Affairs article on January 23, 2020: “The historic Iran nuclear deal that the Obama-Biden administration negotiated blocked Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. Yet Trump rashly cast the deal aside, prompting Iran to restart its nuclear program and become more provocative, raising the risk of another disastrous war in the region. I’m under no illusions about the Iranian regime, which has engaged in destabilizing behavior across the Middle East, brutally cracked down on protesters at home, and unjustly detained Americans. But there is a smart way to counter the threat that Iran poses to our interests and a self-defeating way—and Trump has chosen the latter. The recent killing of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, removed a dangerous actor but also raised the prospect of an ever-escalating cycle of violence in the region, and it has prompted Tehran to jettison the nuclear limits established under the nuclear deal. Tehran must return to strict compliance with the deal. If it does so, I would rejoin the agreement and use our renewed commitment to diplomacy to work with our allies to strengthen and extend it, while more effectively pushing back against Iran’s other destabilizing activities.”

✅✅ Vice President Biden’s campaign told NIAC Action staff that he would rescind the ban on Day 1 of his Presidency. Biden also has said that the Muslim Ban “hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool.”

  • Vice President Biden’s immigration plan released on Dec. 11, 2019: He states that he will “Rescind the un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as ‘Muslim bans.’ The Trump Administration’s anti-Muslim bias hurts our economy, betrays our values, and can serve as a powerful terrorist recruiting tool. Prohibiting Muslims from entering the country is morally wrong, and there is no intelligence or evidence that suggests it makes our nation more secure. It is yet another abuse of power by the Trump Administration designed to target primarily black and brown immigrants. Biden will immediately rescind the ‘Muslim bans.’”
  • Facebook post on June 26, 2019: “One year ago, the Supreme Court upheld Trump’s Muslim ban—one of this administration’s most egregious attacks on our core values. Wielding the politics of fear and intolerance by slandering entire religious communities as complicit in terrorism is wrong, and it’s not who we are.”

  • Jan 2, 2020: “No American will mourn Qassem Soleimani’s passing. He deserted to be brought to justice for his crimes against American troops and thousands of innocents throughout the region…None of that negates the fact that this is a hugely escalatory move in an already dangerous region…”
  • Jan. 10, 2020: “Donald Trump brought us dangerously close to starting a new war with Iran without any semblance of a plan. This moment requires a leader who will be ready on day one to pick up the pieces and repair the damage Trump has caused.”
  • Nov. 23, 2019: “Our hearts go out to the families of Iranian protesters who were killed this past week. Iranians, like people everywhere, have a right to protest peacefully without being brutally attacked by their own government and having the internet shut down for days. The world is watching.”


gabbard

Representative Tulsi Gabbard

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Rep. Gabbard’s campaign affirmed with NIAC Action that she has committed to returning to the nuclear accord. At the June 26th debate, she said “We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it.”

  • Gabbard’s campaign told NIAC Action: “Despite its limitations, the Iran deal successfully rolled back Iran’s nuclear program and we must restore it. Diplomacy is the best way to achieve lasting solutions to security crises. We must refrain from aggressive actions that could endanger the lives of U.S. troops, undermine the nuclear deal and put us on the path to war.”
  • During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Tulsi Gabbard was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?”
  • During the same debate, she said: “Let’s deal with the situation where we are, where this president and his chickenhawk cabinet have led us to the brink of war with Iran. I served in the war in Iraq at the height of the war in 2005, a war that took over 4,000 of my brothers and sisters in uniforms’ lives. The American people need to understand that this war with Iran would be far more devastating, far more costly than anything that we ever saw in Iraq. It would take many more lives. It would exacerbate the refugee crisis. And it wouldn’t be just contained within Iran. This would turn into a regional war. This is why it’s so important that every one of us, every single American, stand up and say no war with Iran. We need to get back into the Iran nuclear agreement, and we need to negotiate how we can improve it. It was an imperfect deal. There are issues, like their missile development, that needs to be addressed. We can do both simultaneously to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and preventing us from going to war.”

Congresswoman Gabbard told NIAC Action that she would end the ban as President. Additionally, while in Congress, she cosponsored the NO BAN Act, which if it became law, would repeal the Ban along with similar discriminatory orders.

  • The Gabbard campaign provided NIAC Action with the following quote: “Ever since President Trump put this ban in place, I’ve stood in strong opposition to it. And as President, I would lift the ban that is hurting and harming so many people, and so many families both here and in other countries around the world. Trump’s “travel ban” is supposedly for our national security. However it doesn’t do anything to make us safer because it’s not based on a legitimate threat analysis – it is instead completely arbitrary and useless.
  • The campaign continued: “True to our history and values as a nation, we have served as a place of refuge to the most vulnerable in the world. We should not be putting in place a blanket ban of refugees, especially when we have actively been fueling the counterproductive regime change wars that have caused them to flee their homes in the first place. These people would much rather stay in their homes and live in peace. That’s why we must address the cause of this refugee crisis and end the destructive U.S. policy of counterproductive regime-change wars, as we’ve seen most recently in Iraq, Libya, and now in Syria.”
  • Rep. Gabbard tweeted the following on the Muslim Ban’s anniversary on Jan. 26, 2018: Trump’s “travel ban” is supposedly for our national security. However it doesn’t do anything to make us safer because it’s not based on a legitimate threat analysis – it is instead completely arbitrary and useless.

  • Jan. 3, 2020: “We do not seek regime change” Trump declares as he escalates his regime change war against Iran. Neocons like Graham/Bolton are cheering. To all who voted for Trump bc of his antiwar rhetoric, it’s time to realize he lied to u. Stand with me against Trump’s Iran War! #TrumpsWar
  • Jan. 7, 2020: #IranAttacks on U.S. troops today brought back a flood of memories from my 2005 deployment at the height of Iraq war. Constant rocket attacks. A daily reminder of the terrible cost of war. Unimaginable suffering awaits if this escalation continues. #NoWarWithlran #IranvsUS
  • Jan. 9, 2020: Trump’s war with Iran is undermining our national security and putting all Americans in greater danger. Iran is closer now to a nuclear weapon than ever before. And it’s opening the door to resurgence of ISIS/al-Qaeda. #NoWarWithIran #StandWithTulsi
  • Jan. 12, 2020: Pompeo: The attack was imminent, but “we didn’t know when and we didn’t know where.” Well, if you don’t know when and if you don’t know where, that is not “imminent”. #StandWithTulsi #NoWarWithIran
  • Jan. 11, 2020: My heartfelt condolences & love to the families of victims of plane “crash” in Iran. One of the great tragedies of war are unintended consequences & so-called “collateral damage.” Once hostilities begin things quickly get out of control & no one knows where it may end #NoIranWar


Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders

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Sen. Sanders has unequivocally committed to returning to the nuclear accord, saying “I would re-enter the agreement on day one of my presidency and then work with the P5+1 and Iran to build upon it.”

  • In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations: “Yes. The agreement achieved by the US, Europe, Russia and China with Iran is one of the strongest anti-nuclear agreements ever negotiated. It prevented a war and blocked Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. I would re-enter the agreement on day one of my presidency and then work with the P5+1 and Iran to build upon it with additional measures to further block any path to a nuclear weapon, restrain Iran’s offensive actions in the region and forge a new strategic balance in the Middle East.
  • A spokesperson for Sen. Sanders told Al-Monitor: “As president, Sen. Sanders would rejoin the JCPOA and would also be prepared to talk to Iran on a range of other issues, which is what Trump should’ve done instead of simply walking away. Rejoining the JCPOA would mean meeting the United States’ commitments under the agreement, and that includes sanctions relief.”

✅✅ In his response to a NIAC Action inquiry, Senator Sanders pledged to repeal the Ban on day one of his presidency and went on to say that “We are going to stand together in the struggle for justice and human rights, and we are going to end everything Trump has done to demonize Muslims.” He also commits to working with Congress to pass the NO BAN Act to guard against future discriminatory orders.

  • The Sanders campaign told NIAC Action that Sanders pledged to repeal Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, Presidential Proclamation 9645) on Day One of his presidency.
  • The statment went on to say, “We must speak out when we have a president and an administration who believe that “Islam hates us.” We must speak out at hate crimes and violence targeted at the Muslim community – and call it what it is – domestic terrorism. We are not going to allow Trump to divide us up. We are going to stand together in the struggle for justice and human rights, and we are going to end everything Trump has done to demonize Muslims. We will repeal President Trump’s racist and disgusting Muslim Ban on Day One of my presidency. And we will work with Congress to codify limitations on the President’s ability to restrict or suspend the entry of people or classes of people into the United States by passing the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.
  • Sen. Sander’s immigration plan released on Nov. 7, 2019: “I would overturn President Trump’s racist and disgusting Muslim ban” and “work with Congress to codify limitations on the President’s ability to restrict or suspend the entry of people or classes of people into the United States by passing the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.”
  • Statement on Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2018: “The Supreme Court today sided with fear, racism and xenophobia and against the American ideals of religious freedom and tolerance. The Trump administration’s travel ban was never about keeping America safe. We need only look at Trump’s own words to understand that this has always been a racist and anti-Islamic attempt to ban Muslims from entering this country. America loses when we become divided by religion, race, national origin or sexual orientation. We are stronger when we come together.”

  • Nov. 19, 2019: All people have the right to protest for a better future. I call on the Iranian government to end the internet blackout and stop violence against demonstrators.
  • Jan. 13, 2020: All people have the right to protest without fear of violence. I call upon the Iranian government to respect that right. The Iranian people’s future is theirs to determine, and I stand with all who seek a future of peace, dignity, and equality.
  • Jan. 6, 2020: After 16 years of war in Iraq, trillions of dollars, the deaths of 4,500 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the Iraqi government is now trying to throw us out of their country. All that suffering, all that death, all that huge expenditure of money, for what?…I believe the House and the Senate must act quickly to advance legislation that reasserts Congress’s constitutional authority over war. We must prohibit any funding for offensive military force in or against Iran without authorization.
  • June 14, 2019: The Gulf of Oman incident must not be used as a pretext for war with Iran. War would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States, Iran, the region, and the world. A unilateral U.S. attack on Iran would be illegal and unconstitutional.
  • May 24, 2019: I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one.


Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren

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Sen. Warren has consistently committed to returning to the nuclear deal and bringing Iran back into compliance as well.

  • In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations on July 30, 2019, Sen. Warren said: “If Iran returns to compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, the United States should return as well. If Iran is not in compliance, I will pursue strong and principled diplomacy in concert with our allies to bring both the United States and Iran back into the deal.
  • During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Warren was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question, “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?” Warren also tweeted that night, “As president, I would make sure our country gets back on the 2015 Iran Deal. We can’t afford another forever war, and I’m fighting to stop Donald Trump from dragging us into another one. #DemDebate.”

Note: Sen. Warren appears to have been the first Presidential contender to call for a return to the JCPOA, suggesting the President should do so in a committee hearing in December 2018.

✅✅ Senator Warren told us she would repeal the Muslim Ban on day one of her presidency. She also noted on the day after the Ban was instituted that “I wish I was exaggerating or that this was some sort of game, but a ban that issues religious tests and keeps refugees and immigrants from entering our country is illegal. It is unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it must be overturned.”

  • The Warren campaign told NIAC Action that Sen. Warren pledged to repeal Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban, Presidential Proclamation 9645) on Day One of her presidency.
  • Medium post on July 11, 2019: “But while Trump may have taken the system to its most punitive extreme, his racist policies build on a broken immigration system and an enforcement infrastructure already primed for abuse…I saw it in the tears of families as they waited for their loved ones at Logan Airport in Boston on the night Trump announced his Muslim Ban.” In the same post, which outlined her entire immigration policy, she went on to say that “I’ll reverse Trump’s bigoted Muslim Ban on my first day in office.”
  • Speech on Senate Floor on January 28, 2017: “On Friday Night, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that strikes at the very heart of our democracy. I wish I was exaggerating or that this was some sort of game, but a ban that issues religious tests and keep refugees and immigrants from entering our country is illegal. It is unconstitutional, it is immoral, and it must be overturned.”

  • Jan. 20, 2020: Shahab Dehghani is an Iranian student with a valid F1 visa, returning to finish his education. CBP already held him overnight. His deportation must be halted, and we must fight the Trump administration’s xenophobic policies.
  • June 21, 2019: It’s not enough to say that we don’t want conflict—we must make one less likely. Congress must make clear that war with Iran is not authorized. We should work with our allies to deescalate tensions and create space for diplomacy. We can’t afford another forever war.
  • Nov. 22, 2019: Iranians have taken to the streets to protest corruption and authoritarianism. This struggle must ultimately be fought and won by the people of Iran, but we support their demand for dignity, freedom to connect to the outside world, and right to peacefully demonstrate.
  • Jan. 2, 2020: Soleimani was a murderer, responsible for the deaths of thousands, including hundreds of Americans. But this reckless move escalates the situation with Iran and increases the likelihood of more deaths and new Middle East conflict. Our priority must be to avoid another costly war.
  • Jan. 3, 2020: We’re on the brink of yet another war in the Middle East—one that would be devastating in terms of lives lost and resources wasted. We’re not here by accident. We’re here because a reckless president, his allies, and his administration have spent years pushing us here. Donald Trump ripped up an Iran nuclear deal that was working. He’s repeatedly escalated tensions. Now he’s assassinated a senior foreign military official. He’s been marching toward war with Iran since his first days in office—but the American people won’t stand for it.
  • Jan. 13, 2020: I support the right of the people of Iran to peacefully protest against their corrupt government. But this isn’t about us. We should support them, including by lifting the Muslim Ban—not try to engineer regime change or recklessly risk a war.

Bloomberg

Mayor Mike Bloomberg

Mayor Bloomberg’s staff told NIAC Action that he would return to compliance with the JCPOA without preconditions. After rejoining, Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign says he will seek to address “other inadequacies in the deal” in order to make it sustainable:

  • In response to NIAC Action’s question on whether Mayor Bloomberg would return to the JCPOA without preconditions, the Mayor’s staff said: “Yes. Mike was initially against the Iran deal but thinks it was a mistake for President Trump to unilaterally walk away from it. While the agreement was not perfect — it did not address Iran’s ballistic-missile program, and it gave the regime political cover to step up its aggression in the region — the U.S. had an obligation to keep its word once the agreement was in place. The U.S. withdrawal has allowed Iran to abandon its own obligations under the deal, and has left the world with few tools to stop it. The first thing to do is reestablish the coalition that realized the danger of Iran marching toward a nuclear weapon. Collective pressure will be needed to change Iran’s behavior. This should be the starting point for the use of diplomacy. We should also be prepared to employ the leverage that sanctions have provided.”
  • “Next, Iran must come back into compliance with the JCPOA requirements. That will require addressing the advances it is likely to make between now and next year—advances that could shrink its breakout time. After rejoining, in order for any new arrangement to be sustainable, we must also be ready to address other inadequacies in the deal, which include the need to extend fast-approaching sunset clauses, curtail Iran’s ballistic missiles, end its destabilizing regional activities and institute more intrusive international monitoring of Iranian facilities.”

NIAC Action asked Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign whether he would rescind the Muslim ban and if he would commit to doing so on his first day as President. In response, the Bloomberg campaign told us that while the Mayor is not making any “first day” pledges on any policy, “Rest assured that there is no question Mike would reverse the policy swiftly.”:

  • Mayor Bloomberg’s campaign staff also told NIAC Action: “President Trump’s proclamation is wrong on multiple levels. It doesn’t make the U.S. safer. It is an assault on our values and degrades our moral authority in the world. It undermines our relationships with friends and allies, and could hinder valuable cooperation on counterterrorism and other issues. It makes us a less attractive destination for immigrants from countries who aren’t on the list—and thus undercuts our competitive advantage in attracting the world’s best and brightest. It is precisely the kind of wrong-headed, un-American administration policy that Mike will undo as one of his first acts once in office.”
  • On January 27th, 2020, Mayor Bloomberg tweeted: “Three years ago Trump ordered a travel ban on 7 Muslim-majority countries, kickstarting a divisive, incendiary presidency that has made Muslims and other communities feel unwelcome. What Trump doesn’t understand is that diversity is America’s great strength and always will be.”

  • Jan 3, 2020: “Qassem Soleimani was a murderer with the blood of Americans on his hands. Without more information, we can only hope that the president has carefully thought through the national security implications of this attack for our country and the grave risks involved. But given his track record and his history of making reckless and impulsive decisions that undermine U.S. strategic and weaken our allies there is every reason to be deeply concerned.

 

buttigieg

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Buttigieg has committed to returning to the nuclear accord, stating “I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal.” He has also supported a “parallel policy of confronting Iran’s support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record.”

  • The Daily Show on April 19, 2019: “Yes, I think the Iran deal is something that we should be party to and should strengthen. We didn’t do it as a favor to Iran, we did it to reduce a nuclear threat and it’s still a good policy.”
  • Foreign Policy Speech on June 11, 2019:I will rejoin our international partners and recommit the United States to the Iran nuclear deal. Whatever its imperfections, this was perhaps as close to a true “art of the deal” as it gets. As even this Administration repeatedly certified, it was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. It has helped constrain the military threat that Iran poses to Israel and Europe without leading us down a path to another Middle Eastern war. This agreement was concluded not to do Iran a favor, but because it is in our national security interest—just as a parallel policy of confronting Iran’s support for terrorism and abysmal human rights record reflects our values and security interests.”

When Mayor Buttigieg was asked if he would lift the Muslim Ban early in his presidency, he answered: “of course, the Muslim ban is something that really cuts against our values and does nothing to make us safer.” He has also stated that the Muslim Ban has “distanced America from the world, undermined our State Department, harmed immigrants and visa applicants, and damaged our global credibility.”

  • When asked by NIAC Action about whether he would repeal the ban on Day 1, the Buttigieg campaign pointed us to this interview with The Intercept:

    Reporter: And just to be clear if you’re elected president in 2020, you come to office in January 2021, would you make lifting the Muslim ban an early priority of your presidency?

    Mayor Buttigeg: “Of course, the Muslim ban is something that really cuts against our values and does nothing to make us safer. Look, I take counterterrorism and security very personally and very seriously as somebody who was in the military as an officer working on these issues and I could tell you that a blanket ban on people of a certain faith or a, you know, the fig leaf over that isn’t really you know, targeting certain countries in a way that isn’t really any better, is not making us safer and it’s also undercutting the very sense of American moral authority that we are trying or at least hoping to protect.”

  • Mayor Buttigieg’s immigration platform on December 22, 2019: “The Trump administration’s policies—including the Muslim ban, budget cuts, and the public charge rule—have distanced America from the world, undermined our State Department, harmed immigrants and visa applicants, and damaged our global credibility.” He goes on to say that he would “end the Muslim Ban. Pete will immediately end this ban, which is anathema to our values as Americans.”

  • Nov. 22, 2019: I applaud the bravery of the Iranian protesters and I stand with them as they once again rise up to demand change. The Iranian government must take action to improve the lives of its citizens, rather than resorting to violence and censorship to repress protests.
  • Jan. 5, 2020: We still don’t know much about the president’s decision-making on Suleimani. But we do know that military efforts to defeat ISIS are now on hold. We know that Iraq’s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops. We know that our embassy in Iraq remains under fire. We are not safer.
  • Jan. 7, 2020: Attacking cultural monuments in Iran would be a war crime under international laws. We are a nation of laws. We will act to keep America safe, not destroy cultural sites like the Taliban and ISIS have done. And my administration’s orders will not put our troops in legal jeopardy.
  • Jan. 10, 2020: When service members are deploying into harm’s way, the president should be prepared to make a case for why they need to be there, and Congress should have the courage to cast a vote on it. It’s their duty

 

klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Klobuchar consistently voices her support for returning to the nuclear accord, along with the Paris Climate Accord. However, at times, Sen. Klobuchar has intimated that there may be preconditions on reentry beyond Iran’s return to compliance, including when she said “I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that’s something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal.” NIAC Action is seeking clarification from Klobuchar’s campaign regarding her commitment to reenter the agreement.

  • When asked by the New York Times on whether she would re-enter the deal without preconditions, Sen. Klobchar stated “Senator Klobuchar has made one of her major foreign policy priorities returning to the Iran nuclear agreement while working with the other parties, the U.N. and the I.A.E.A. to strengthen the terms and conditions. As an example, she would push to extend the sunset provisions for caps on Iran’s enrichment levels and capabilities.”
  • During the June 26th, 2019 debate, Amy Klobuchar was one of nine candidates who raised their hand in response to the question “Who as president would sign on to the 2015 nuclear deal as it was originally negotiated?” During the same debate, she said “It was imperfect, but it was a good deal for that moment. I would have worked to get longer sunset periods, and that’s something we could negotiate, to get back in the deal. But the point is, Donald Trump told us when he got out of it that he was going to give us a better deal. Those were his words. And now we are a month away from the Iranians, who claim now that they’re going blow the caps on enriching uranium. And the Iranians have told us this. And so that’s where we are now. He has made us less safe than we were when he became president. So what I would do is negotiate us back into that agreement, is stand with our allies, and not give unlimited leverage to China and Russia, which is what he has done.”
  • During the January 14, 2020 debate, Klobuchar stated: “We just found out today that four Republicans are joining Democrats to go to (President Trump) and say, “You must have an authorization of military force if you’re going to go to war with Iran.” That is so important because we have a situation where he got us out of the Iranian nuclear agreement, something I worked for a significant period of time. As President, I will get us back into that agreement. I will take an oath to protect and defend our constitution and I will mean it.”

Senator Klobuchar’s has not committed to repealing the Muslim Ban on the campaign trail, but highlighted after the first ban that “it is irresponsible and unconscionable to exclude entire populations from seeking refuge here, simply because of where they come from or what religion they practice.” She has also co-sponsored the NO BAN Act, which would repeal the Ban and similar discriminatory orders if signed into law.

  • Senator Klobuchar statement on Jan. 28, 2017: “I have long advocated for thorough vetting and have supported strong national security measures, but it is irresponsible and unconscionable to exclude entire populations from seeking refuge here, simply because of where they come from or what religion they practice. The President’s executive order is already having devastating consequences, as legal residents with green cards, refugees fleeing violence, and travelers with visas are being denied entry to the United States and some are being detained in airports. Together, lawmakers and the American people must make it clear to the President that separating families and punishing those who followed the rules is not acceptable.”
  • She continued, saying “Refugees strengthen our communities. In Minnesota, we are proud to have the largest Somali, Liberian and Oromo populations in the U.S., as well as the second largest Hmong population. They are police officers and small business owners, students and teachers. They have often fled desperate and dangerous situations, and as legal workers, have been an important part of our economy and society. We cannot turn our back on them.

  • Jan. 7, 2020: As we await the casualty assessment from tonight’s attacks, it is vital that we take this moment to consider any response. A full-blown war with Iran is not in the national security interest of the U.S. or allies in the region.
  • Jan. 9, 2020: The House vote to require the President to come to Congress to get any authorization for military action against Iran is an important step towards Congress upholding its Constitutional duties. We must use this moment to de-escalate instead of ramping up the rhetoric towards war.
  • Jan. 12, 2020: People should have the right to peacefully protest in any country, including Iran.

 

Steyer

Tom Steyer

Steyer public comments appear to support returning to the nuclear deal without preconditions. In conversations with NIAC Action, he has also affirmed that he would return to the deal without preconditions.

  • In an Interview with The New York Times, Steyer supported reentering the Iran nuclear deal without preconditions and said “Mr. Trump has blundered his way into a potentially long-lasting conflict with Iran. Since he announced the United States’ withdrawal from the J.C.P.O.A., Iran has grown bolder. I recognize the seriousness of Iran as an adversary and the need to work with our allies to bring Iran back to the table and away from the brink of war. While the J.C.P.O.A. did not solve all problems with the Iranian regime, it did reduce the threat of a nuclear Iran. A more long-term and responsible approach to Iran would be the diplomatic route taken by the Obama administration, including re-entering the J.C.P.O.A.”
  • In an interview with Vox on January 21, 2020: “We have sanctions on, so (lifting the sanctions) would have to be the give from us. We’re in the same position now. And the question is where are they and what can be redone? In a negotiation, of course, God is in the details. But people have to think, first, that you’re a partner who can be trusted. Why negotiate with someone who goes back on their word? You can’t do it. And secondly, are you in the range of reason? You can’t negotiate with someone if they’re not in the range of reason. That’s just normal stuff.”

✅✅ Mr. Steyer’s campaign staff told us “Tom Steyer has committed to repealing the Muslim ban on day 1 of his presidency.” He has stated separately that he would use his executive authorities to “end the Muslim travel ban.” He has also noted President Trump’s policies such as the Muslim Ban are “systemically attacking immigrant communities of color.”

  • Mr. Steyer’s campaign staff told NIAC Action that “Tom Steyer has committed to repealing the Muslim ban on day 1 of his presidency.” Steyer’s campaign website says that he will use executive action to “end the Muslim travel ban.”
  • On January 24th, 2020, Steyer tweeted: “Mr. Trump’s immigration system does not reflect America’s best values. From the Muslim travel ban to the repeal of DACA to this proposal to block visas for pregnant women, he is systemically attacking immigrant communities of color.”

  • Jan 8. 2020: I’m grateful that no Americans or Iraqis were harmed in last night’s missile strikes by Iran. Let’s make one thing clear: Trump created this crisis and his remarks today demonstrate, once again, that his go at it alone strategy makes our country less safe. His unwillingness to provide a clear path to a deal with Iran and come back to the negotiation table continues to put the lives of Americans at risk and will his recklessness will encourage more instability in the region.

 

 

Yang

Andrew Yang

Mr. Yang has announced that it was a mistake to withdraw from the nuclear deal and that he would rejoin the agreement as President. However, he also said that the U.S. should “renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don’t make as much sense,’ potentially muddling his position.

  • Interview with WBUR, Boston’s NPR station: “I think it was a mistake that we withdrew from the agreement to try and have them tamp down their nuclear development in return for various economic considerations. I would rejoin that agreement, which is multilateral. There are other countries that are actually still in that agreement with Iran that have been waiting for us to rejoin.”

In the July 31, 2019 Democratic debate, Mr. Yang said “I would move to de-escalate tensions in Iran, because they’re responding to the fact that we pulled out of (the nuclear) agreement. And it wasn’t just us and Iran. There were many other world powers that were part of that multinational agreement. We’d have to try and reenter that agreement, renegotiate the timelines, because the timelines now don’t make as much sense. But I’ve signed a pledge to end the forever wars…I would bring the troops home, I would de-escalate tensions with Iran, and I would start investing our resources in our own communities.”

Mr. Yang has stated that he would “reverse the travel ban very early on” in his presidency, citing that it does not make us safer and instead “amplifies xenophobia.

  • Mr. Yang’s campaign platform does not address the Muslim Ban, but in an interview with the Washington Post on Oct. 21, 2019 he said: “I would reverse the travel ban very early on because restricting travel doesn’t make Americans any safer. All it does is cut us off from various people and countries, increasing mistrust. It’s counterproductive and it many ways not even designed to make us safer, but rather to amplify xenophobia.”

  • Jan. 2, 2020: War with Iran is the last thing we need and is not the will of the American people. We should be acting to deescalate tensions and protect our people in the region. I have signed a pledge to end the Forever Wars. Our Constitution says that it is the power of Congress to declare war. I would repeal the AUMF and restore the historical balance between Congress and the Executive branch concerning military action. We have been in a constant state of armed conflict for 19 years at a disastrous cost to both our people and our resources. This must end. Our Constitution says that it is the power of Congress to declare war. I would repeal the AUMF and restore the historical balance between Congress and the Executive branch concerning military action.

Candidates included in this tracker were polling at 1% or higher in 538’s aggregate polling tracker on January 28, 2020.

Announcing Our First Wave of 2020 Endorsements

The 2020 Election may be the most critical vote in our lifetime. It is more important than ever that Iranian Americans and our allies have a powerful voice at the ballot box.

That’s why we are excited to announce NIAC Action’s first 2020 endorsements – our largest ever single wave of endorsements!

We have an opportunity to elect more Iranian Americans into office than ever before.

And we have our best chance ever to send the first Iranian American to the U.S. Congress!

We have identified twelve champions of our community – incumbent members of Congress who have worked to prevent war and end Trump’s ban on our families, and Iranian Americans who are ready to make an impact in all levels of government. With your help, we can elect them to office and bring real change in 2020.

By making a donation to NIAC Action PAC, you can help elect these champions of our community and send a powerful, united message that Iranian Americans will not be ignored on the political stage.

 


Meet our endorsed candidates:

Katie Porter – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, CA-47)

Congresswoman Porter represents the second largest population of Iranian Americans in any Congressional district in the country. Katie defeated an anti-diplomacy, pro-Muslim Ban incumbent who held this seat in 2018 and strongly supports our legislative priorities. NIAC Action was proud to endorse Katie in 2018 and we must protect this swing seat in 2020!

>>Donate to Katie Porter’s campaign.

Pramila Jayapal – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, WA-7)

Congresswoman Jayapal is a leading progressive voice in Congress who supports legislative efforts to prevent war with Iran and advocates for equitable immigration policies for all communities.

>>Donate to Pramila Jayapal’s campaign.

Seth Moulton – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, MA-6)

Congressman Moulton is a Marine veteran and a respected voice in Congress on national security issues. He has called for the U.S. to return to its commitments under the Iran nuclear deal and supports diplomatic rather than military efforts with Iran.

>>Donate to Seth Moulton’s campaign.

Ilhan Omar – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, MN-5)

Congresswoman Omar has championed many of NIAC Action’s priorities, including working to end inhumane sanctions and leading efforts to end the Muslim Ban. She is a member of the No War with Iran Caucus and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

>>Donate to Ilhan Omar’s campaign.

Tom Malinowski – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, NJ-7)

Congressman Malinowski was elected to this swing seat in 2018 a highly competitive race and is being targeted by pro-Trump groups in 2020. He is a former State Department official who now sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he has advocated against the Muslim Ban and in favor of diplomatic efforts to resolve challenges with Iran.

>>Donate to Tom Malinowski’s campaign.

Rashida Tlaib – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, MI-13)

Congresswoman Tlaib is a leading advocate of efforts to end the Muslim Ban and has committed to blocking Trump from going to war with Iran. She has used her national platform to promote issues and values in line with NIAC Action’s mission.

>>Donate to Rashida Tlaib’s campaign.

Ro Khanna – Incumbent, U.S. Congress (D, CA-17)

Congressman Khanna is a leading advocate for an anti-war U.S. foreign policy in line with NIAC Action’s priorities. He is the champion of efforts to end wars in the Middle East and end unconditional U.S. support for inhumane policies and actors in the region. He is the leader of legislative efforts to prevent war with Iran.

>>Donate to Ro Khanna’s campaign.

Anna Eskamani – Incumbent, Florida House of Delegates (D, HD-47 – Orlando)

Representative Eskamani is one of the first Iranian-American women to be elected to office and a progressive champion in her state of Florida. NIAC Action was proud to join President Barack Obama and several other high-profile national organizations in endorsing her in 2018. Anna is the recipient of NIAC’s “Rising Star” Award and a consistent champion of the Iranian-American community.

Alan Khazei – Open Seat, U.S. Congress (D, MA-4)

Alan Khazei is a successful social entrepreneur who co-founded City Year as a student at Harvard three decades ago. As the son of an Iranian immigrant, he is passionate about eliminating the Muslim Ban and pursuing a diplomatic solution to the challenges between the U.S. and Iran. He has been endorsed by the likes of NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg, General Stanley McChrystal, and director JJ Abrams.

Dary Rezvani – Challenger, U.S. Congress (D, CA-22)

Dary Rezvani is an entrepreneur and a small business owner. Born and raised in Fresno, Dary is passionate about the effects of climate change on his community. As a first-generation Iranian-American, Dary is also dedicated to ending the Muslim Ban and preventing war with Iran.

Zahra Karinshak – Open Seat, U.S. Congress (D, GA-7)

State Senator Zahra Karinshak is a former federal prosecutor and U.S. Marine veteran who is proud of her Iranian American heritage. NIAC Action was proud to endorse Zahra in her 2018 race to win her state senate seat and looks forward to her repeating her victory on the national stage.

Yassamin Ansari – Open Seat, Phoenix City Council, District 7

Yassamin Ansari is a climate activist and rising political star in the Iranian-American community. She has worked at the United Nations, serving as the youngest advisor to UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, and with the office of California Governor Jerry Brown on climate initiatives.

 

Donate now to support them with NIAC Action PAC →

 

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!

Celebrating #TeamZahra on Women’s Equality Day

August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day, a day to celebrate those brave women who fought for, and achieved, much deserved gains in equality since ratifying the 19th Constitutional Amendment. We have gotten as far as we have on gender equality because their courage paved the way for the generations that followed. Their resolve, leadership, and undeniable determination undoubtedly changed for the better America and its future leaders.  

And the momentum hasn’t faltered since. 

On this day, NIAC Action would like to honor another trailblazing woman, Zahra Karinshak. In 2018, Zahra made history on her first day as a State Senator when she was sworn in as Georgia’s first Iranian-American legislator. Soon after her first legislative session began, Zahra became the leading opponent of anti-abortion legislation and co-sponsored legislation to require schools to support young students with dyslexia. 

Zahra, who was endorsed by President Obama and Planned Parenthood in the last cycle, is also a proud U.S. Air Force veteran and federal prosecutor. Making history once again, she is taking her fight for equality to Capitol Hill as the first Iranian-American woman to run for Congress in Georgia’s 7th district. 

Zahra’s commitment to public service knows no bounds as she joins the many women leaders before her whose hard-fought accomplishments have shaped and strengthened our communities and democracy. NIAC Action is proud to have endorsed Zahra Karinshak in her Congressional raceand we can’t wait to see what more she has in store not only for the state of Georgia, but for the entire nation.

Learn more about and support Zahra here.

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.

NIAC Action Endorsee Unseats Incumbent in Virginia Primary Elections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | 202.386.6325 x 103 | mana@niacaction.org

VIRGINIA— Moments ago, the Virginia Department of Elections polling results indicated that NIAC Action endorsee, Parisa Dehghani-Tafti, has unseated incumbent Theo Stamos to become the state’s new Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church, by a margin of 58.5% to 41.5%. Separately, NIAC Action is continuing to monitor the election results for NIAC Action endorsee and DNC delegate Yasmine Taeb in her race for Virginia’s 35th Senate District.

In response to Dehghani-Tafti’s win, NIAC Action Political Director Arzo Wardak said:

“Rarely are prosecutors unseated, and many find themselves in their seats for a lifetime. But that trend is changing–beginning with Parisa. Parisa is an extraordinary woman who now holds the honor of being the first Iranian-American ever elected to this position. Parisa’s influence was felt long before the election results came in. She is among a fresh wave of progressive Iranian-American leaders inspiring a new generation and nurturing civic engagement among a community that has historically shied away it.

“Her candidacy marks an important step forward for the Iranian-American community, and for all communities looking to secure a seat at the table. And her victory illuminates the growing trend of Iranian Americans not only casting off previously ingrained hesitation about civic engagement, but actually wholly leaning into the idea of building political power.

“Parisa is poised to reform the criminal justice system to the benefit of all Virginians–including for minority and immigrant communities who have traditionally found themselves disenfranchised by the system. With Parisa now steering the state toward the path to progressive politics, Virginia voters can now rest assured that there is a candidate in office who is driven by only one thing: the best interests of her constituents.”

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!

Build Iranian-American Power With Us

From Sunday, March 24th through Tuesday, March 26th, the notoriously hawkish AIPAC will be hosting at their annual conference a cohort of officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shamelessly promote the most destructive Iran policies seen to date.

At the conference, AIPAC is expected to announce the launch of a new PAC aimed at steering political donations toward candidates that will support AIPAC’s regressive priorities: escalating the demise of the Iran deal, upholding sanctions that suffocate the same Iranian civil society they claim to support, and driving the U.S. closer to war.

But we can combat them, with your help.

NIAC is aiming to raise $10,000 to establish a PAC that will support progressive candidates who will prioritize diplomacy, equitable immigration policies, and civil rights.

We’re excited to announce that one generous individual has offered to match dollar-for-dollar the amount raised, up to $10,000. But we need your help to reach our goal. Please consider making a donation, as this match ends tomorrow night.

 

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.