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Justice for ALL

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San Francisco demonstration against pending deportation of 13,000 Muslims - June 2003

”Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.



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Golden rules for effective participation in political affairs

Senator Walsh

  • · 1. Get to know your legislator as a human being
  • · 2. Volunteer for a few days to work in the candidates office
  • · 3. Make a contribution to a candidates campaign
  • · 4. Call his or her office, when necessary
  • · 5. Write a personal letter to express your opinion on issues that are important to you
  • Senator Fred Riser:
    • · 1. Get involved at any level that is comfortable for you
    • · 2. Find an issue that interests you and start providing leadership
    • · 3. Discover and build on your own unique blend of strengths
    • · 4. Knowledge is power. Take time to learn about the American political system. Also learn how to research candidates
    • · 5. Do your homework and research officials before you approach them. Make your initial contact through a personal letter
    • · 6. There is strength in numbers. Get your community organized
    • · 7. Organization is key to success: organize files on candidates and issues
    • · 8. Put yourself in the position of the legislators. Ask yourself: “what will influence me?”
    • · 9. Start forming coalitions. When the labor and management get on the same side, it is a very powerful coalition. Learn from how wealth and medical groups have formed coalitions with environmentalist groups to get anti-tobacco legislation passed
    • · 10. Learn how to deal with the government. Even working in a charity you learn how to deal with government
  • Lieutenant Governor Scott McCullum:
    • · 1. Learn about issues, particularly the local issues
    • · 2. Money is important in political but it is not the only thing that’s important. People play an important role. The test of leadership is to get people involved. “Three terms ago, I became the Lt. Governor because I was able to get a lot of people involved
    • · 3. An active, educated and organized minority can get a disproportionate amount of power in our system
    • · 4. For Muslim Americans, family values can serve as bridge with the population at large
    • · 5. Elected officials pay attention to groups in proportion to their level of organization, support, value and interest compatibility and personal friendship
  • Congressman Underheim:
    • · 1. Focus more time on those who are undecided
    • · 2. Start your campaign early. Start working at least a year before the elections
    • · 3. Identify issues that will help you apply and publicize your skills and strengths
    • · 4. Develop a mission statement that precisely conveys your message to your audience. It should be less than a hundred words
    • · 5. Don’t be discouraged by initial difficulties and failures. Be prepared to run at least twice before you make it.
    • · 6. Build a team of friends and volunteers
    • · 7. Learn to raise funds.
  • New Hampshire State Assemblyman Mr. Saghir Tahir:
    • · 1. Burning Desire to do what you want to do
    • · 2. Have the knowledge to do your homework (By knowledge , he meant the
      knowledge of the political system, so this knowledge can be passed on to
      family members and friends: THIS response was prompted when I asked your
      question "How important was this to your family"...)
    • · 3. Don't look back, keep going.
    • · 4. Use the right tools
    • · 5. How to plan a fund raising
    • · 6. Interaction with the community
    • · 7. Run a good campaign
    • · 8. Have a bottom's up approach ( this may mean holding signs for candidates,
      volunteer work in Campaign offices)
  • Mr. Hassan Fahmy:
    Candidate for City Council - Prospect Park, NJ.
  • The fundamental qualities for good execution of a plan are, first, naturally, intelligence; then discernment and judgement, which enables one to recognize the best methods to attain it, then singleness of purpose; and lastly, what is most essential of all, will-stubborn will.

    • · 1. Dedication: Dedication and creativity is essential for anyone to become successful. Dedication is not procrastinating, but creating a situation in which people can see that you have made something big out of something small
    • · 2. Education: By nature all people are alike, but by education become different
    • · 3. Dreams: Show me someone who doesn’t dream about the future and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t know where they are going. We could also look at diplomacy when we are dreaming. It is harder than politics. Politics is the art of getting along with people, whereas diplomacy is the art of getting along with politicians.
    • · 4. Imitation: We are what we are; we gain nothing by copying others.
    • · 5. Consistency: Be always consistent with your conscience. There is a difference between him who does no misdeeds because of its own conscience and him who is kept from wrong doing because of the presence of others. Let your conscience be your guide.
    • · 6. Acceptance: Start with where people are before you try to take them to where you want them to be. Accept their ability to be accurate in their endeavors with you. Deviate an inch, lose a thousand miles
    • · 7. Trustworthy: Perfect trust requires no pledges
    • · 8. Insight: In today’s complex and fast moving world, what we need even more than foresight or hindsight is insight.

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