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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Everyday People


 
As we approach the Primary Election for Niagara County Legislator and City Council on Tuesday September 10th, there are a couple of things I wanted to share with all of you, our local voters.
 
Is it just me or have you also noticed that most County Legislator and City Council candidates only speak about their contributions and accomplishments to our county, and city, within the context of their job duties or affiliations? Rarely do I hear someone speak about anything they've done as an everyday citizen. Rarely do I hear of anything some candidates have done that they're not getting paid for, or that's not affiliated with a club/organization they belong to. In other words, if it wasn't their job, or expected of them as a club/organization member, you'll see almost no contributions or sacrifices being made to benefit anyone outside of their own family. We are all citizens first, and what we are willing and able to do first, as everyday citizens, regardless of our job, or the club/organization we belong to, is worth considering. This is especially important to consider when these everyday citizens, choose to run for public office, and serve our everyday people as elected officials.

Recently a citizen reached out to me about a public safety concern in his neighborhood. This person is not a politician, they are not a member of a club/organization, they are not getting paid, and their concern had nothing to do with their job, or affiliations. This was an everyday citizen being proactive and taking the responsibility to coordinate other concerned citizens to resolve a situation in one of our communities. That proactive approach towards the growth and development of our communities, as an everyday citizen first, is a quality we rarely see in public officials today. It is my assessment that many of the things we would like to see happen in our communities, and city, aren't getting done, or won’t get done, because we choose people to represent everyday citizens that have done very little to nothing as everyday citizens themselves. Imagine if the citizen who reached out to me also had this mentality "it's not my job, and I'm not getting paid for it" philosophy. Can you see how this increases the danger, and lack of growth and development, of a community?

I am currently running for Niagara County Legislature to represent the fourth district. The majority of the contributions I have made to our community, and other communities around the country, have been as an everyday citizen. I had the opportunity to work as a program consultant for the History Channel Show 'Gangland', and work as a media consultant for an actor from the T.V. Series OZ. I've created Mentor Programs including a free 8-Week Young Writers Program that empowered our youth to successfully publish a book. I operate a Prison Correspondence Program where I donate literature to correctional facilities around the country. I've done fundraisers to send two local youth on a College Tour out of state, and support a Reconstruction Project for an academy in Philadelphia, PA. I've hosted various educational forums, and taught life skills classes, at our Niagara Falls Public Library. I've volunteered with various community organizations, and have done workshops, radio programs, and speaking engagements about community outreach, economic development, and personal empowerment globally. I've authored 10 books, have helped publish other authors, and have written for various publications globally. These are just a fraction of the things I've done, and currently do, as a 38 year old everyday citizen whose concerned about the growth and development of our communities, especially our youth. These are contributions and accomplishments that have nothing to do with a job I'm getting paid for, a title, or a club/organization I belong to.
 
 
Citizens of Niagara Falls, if your goal is to elect people who are going to anticipate your needs as citizens, and exceed the expectations of our community and city, there are two things we must do. Number one is: assess candidates based upon what we've proactively done, and what we currently do, as everyday citizens. To be more accurate, begin your assessment of us prior to this election year because all of the dog petting, baby kissing, and festival photos can create an image of activism and community outreach that may have never existed. Secondly, public office is a job, and just like with any job, you have people who sit around and watch the clock, people that milk the clock, people that hide until it's time to punch out, and people that give you a hard day’s work. You also have people who don't treat their position like it's just a job, and will do everything in their power to help resolve your concerns of our community. Before you vote for any of us, find out who we are. Look for evidence that supports what we have been willing and able to do, as an everyday citizen; because this is who we really are. And this is who we will continue to be, after you have elected us to represent you.
 
Saladin Q. Allah,
Candidate; Niagara County Legislature, 4th district
Official Bio
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