Dr. Emad Rahim Announces Run for Third District Common Council Seat

Democratic candidate has resolved to work across divisions and be an inclusive representative for third district residents;

If elected, would be the first Asian-American member of the Syracuse Common Council.

(Syracuse, NY) — Dr. Emad Rahim announced Tuesday he will seek the Democratic nomination to represent the city’s third district on the Syracuse Common Council. Rahim launched his campaign with an announcement on his website and in an email to supporters. (http://www.teamrahim2019.com). Current third district Councilor Susan Boyle will vacate the seat February 4, 2019, and Rahim sees the vacancy as an opportunity to serve the community that had a vital impact on his life.

As a former refugee and genocide survivor of the Cambodian Killing Fields, Rahim and his family were sponsored by a group of families affiliated with Catholic Charities to resettle in Syracuse. “I have lived in this neighborhood for 30 years,” said Rahim. ”Three generations of my family — my mother, my wife, and our two daughters — live in outer Strathmore off of Bellevue Ave. I attended Frazier Elementary, Grant Middle School, and Fowler High School, and I’m proud to send my daughters to Syracuse City Schools.”

Rahim’s platform connects education, safety, economic opportunity, and community engagement. Greater job opportunities in the city mean more investment in our properties, economic diversity in our public schools, and stronger involvement from surrounding companies and organizations. “Career opportunities with living wages can create transformational changes and revitalize neighborhoods,” said Rahim. “We have all witnessed a decrease in crime when people’s quality of life improve.”

Dr. Emad Rahim (click on image to enlarge)

As an entrepreneur and business professor, Rahim is actively involved in the city’s economic ecosystem. He has mentored startup teams at the Technology Garden, counseled minority owned businesses at the South Side Innovation Center, and judged business plan competitions across Upstate, NY. “While I’m excited about the development happening downtown and in the University Hill neighborhood, a lot of communities are still struggling with poverty,” said Rahim. “We need to advocate for economic development that favors job opportunities for local residents, and reinvestment projects that will directly impact our city.”

Rahim sees the third district as poised for his inclusive vision, which empowers the voices and needs of a diverse community. Syracuse is home to some of the most marginalized neighborhoods in the country, where many residents are struggling to get by. This poverty is not an abstract concept for Rahim; he has lived it. “I remember hanging out on my friend’s porch on Oswego St. and Merriman Ave.,” he said. “We heard several popping sounds and glass breaking, followed by screams. We ran across the street to find one of our friends shot in the phone booth, bleeding. Luckily, the paramedics saved his life. But there were many instances where it was too late.” Rahim believes this is where access to economic opportunities, quality public education, safe living conditions, and a support network of caring mentors can intervene.

“Advocating for safety, quality education, job opportunities for all residents, and affordable housing is something we should expect from our city and its leaders,” said Rahim. “I will hold absentee landlords accountable, champion job programs that provide a living wage, push for more progressive education reform in our schools, and collaborate with our community partners to interrupt violence. It is important in our shared efforts for equitable prosperity that we push for actionable solutions.”

Rahim’s campaign and policies are about listening and putting community first. He will work with Council members to ensure access to opportunities for all third district constituents. “I have a lot of optimism about what’s possible,” said Rahim. “To ensure all voices are represented, we will be asking for your opinion, your advice, and your support. We will run an active campaign and will be knocking on the door of every voter in the third district.”

Dr. Emad Rahim currently works as the appointed Dean of Social Impact at Claremont Lincoln University, and Endowed Chair and Associate Professor at Bellevue University. He serves on the Board of Directors of CNY Community Foundation, SUNY OCC Scholarship Foundation and the Good Life Youth Foundation, and volunteers on multiple committees in the city. Dr. Rahim is a Fulbright Scholar and Leadership of Greater Syracuse (LGS) alum. He completed his post-doctoral studies at Harvard University and Tulane University, earned his doctorate and graduate degrees in business from Colorado Tech and completed his undergraduate education at SUNY Empire State College and Onondaga Community College.

The third council district covers the southernmost neighborhoods of Syracuse, extending from Winkworth on the west through the Valley and parts of the South Side to Outer Comstock on the east.