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.

NIAC Action Is Proud to Endorse Yasmine Taeb for Virginia State Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, February 2, 2019
CONTACT: Mana Mostatabi | mana@niacaction.org

VIRGINIA — NIAC Action is proud to announce its official endorsement of Yasmine Taeb, candidate for Virginia’s 35th Senate District. Yasmine is waging a primary challenge against the Virginia Senate’s Democratic Minority Leader, Dick Saslaw.

“Yasmine has been on the front lines standing up for the Iranian-American community and against the bigotry that Trump rode to the White House. We are proud to have worked with her, and are thrilled to endorse her candidacy for State Senate today,” said Jamal Abdi, President of NIAC Action. “Whether leading marches against the Muslim ban, advocating for human rights, or blazing a trail at the DNC, Yasmine has the leadership and vision to give the 35th Senate district of Virginia a champion of its values and to make our community proud.”

Yasmine’s dedication to championing progressive values is a result of her own origins. At the age of six, she fled Iran with her family to escape the Iran-Iraq war. Being an Iranian-American immigrant has afforded her a unique, nuanced understanding of the needs of underrepresented groups. As a longtime Northern Virginia resident, Yasmine has worked diligently to highlight women’s issues and to eliminate unlawful discrimination. Her experience has emboldened her to advocate for the same marginalized communities regressive politicians like Northam and Saslaw have abandoned. 

Yasmine Taeb has joined other Virginia Democrats in calling for Governor Ralph Northam to resign after shocking photos emerged showing the governor in racist attire. Yasmine’s opponent, Dick Saslaw, was the only Democrat in the General Assembly to defend Northam, and characterized the outrageous photos as a mere youthful indiscretion. Saslaw’s attempt to excuse this behavior underscores the importance of bringing new leadership to Richmond.

As a lifelong activist committed to amplifying the voices of those frequently sidelined and marginalized by regressive politicians, Yasmine will stand firmly against the bigotry driving today’s politics. Yasmine serves as Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Victims of Torture and has dedicated her career to public advocacy and service, including serving as a 2012 NIAC Congressional Fellow. Yasmine has been endorsed by more than 50 community leaders and local elected officials, including by the leaders of Indivisible, MoveOn, PCCC, and Demand Progress and by progressive groups such as the Progressive Democrats of America – VA, Our Revolution Northern Virginia, and Emgage PAC.

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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.

NIAC Action Endorses Champion of Immigrant Rights, Shabnam Lotfi

NIAC Action is excited to announce our endorsement of Shabnam Lotfi, who is running for the Wisconsin State Assembly in District 77 and would become the first Iranian-American ever elected to the Wisconsin legislature!

“I was born in Tehran in 1982 and came to the US when I was just four years old. From a very early age, I wanted to be a lawyer and fight for justice.” Shabnam tells us. “The first lesson I learned in life was that democracy matters.”

Lotfi, a University of Wisconsin Law School graduate, currently serves as an attorney at her Madison-based firm Lotfi Legal LLC, focusing on immigration law. In March 2018, in the midst of Trump’s Muslim ban and the revelation that the State Department had issued a shockingly small number of waivers, she filed a class action lawsuit against the Trump Administration that is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Lotfi is also known for her popular Facebook group, Immigrants United, which she established to bring people together during times of crisis. In 2017, when the airports were a mess, Shabnam was instrumental in getting Iranian Americans the information and help they needed to navigate a difficult situation.

Shabnam is very active in the Iranian-American community and was a vocal supporter of the Iran deal, saying it “was a win-win agreement for everyone.” She lists government accountability, gun violence, and the University of Wisconsin as a few of her top priorities if elected to Wisconsin’s State Assembly.

Shabnam has been endorsed by Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, City Council President Samba Baldeh, former County Board Supervisor John Hendrich, two former Alders Robbie Webber and Eve Galanter, University of Wisconsin Law Professor Asifa Quraishi-Landes, and many others.

Wisconsin State Assembly District 77 is an open seat that has been held by retiring Representative Terese Berceau (Dem) for the past 20 years. Shabnam faces a primary that will be held in 3 weeks on August 14th. Since no Republican is running in this race, the winner of the primary will win the election in November. With our community’s support, we can help send Shabnam to the Wisconsin State Assembly.

Make a contribution to Shabnam’s campaign

To learn more about Shabnam check out the links below.

Campaign: https://www.shabnamforwisconsin.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShabnamLotfi77/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShabnamLotfi77