What matters to you?

Over the next few weeks, I want to hear from Redmond Residents on what are the most important issues you want to see your government focus on. City government is a reflection of its community and I want to ensure that I represent the people of the city, feel free to contact me directly at theotherosama@gmail.com and let me know what you are looking for in your city government.

You should run for Office

In 2016, we all learned an interesting lesson, literally anyone who wants to can run for office. Many may not have liked the result of the presidential election or the many things that happened since, but the reality stays true: anyone can run for office. I did it myself in 2017 when I ran for City Council in Redmond. I can say it was an eye-opening experience from a political perspective and a rewarding one because I got to meet so many new people and got the support of so many people that had faith in me.

So here we are in 2019, and the opportunity presents itself again with the deadline to submit your name in the hat to run for office coming up quickly. Many of the people I see every day have asked me if I plan to do it again and I said I was considering it. While I have not made a decision one way or another, in the process I realized that there are not enough people running. Two years ago was unprecedented in that every Redmond council position was contested, including two in the primary. This showed a clear drive that some people see a need for change in our politics.

While there is still time to consider running for office, I want to tell any and all of my fellow Redmond residents if you have ever toyed with the idea that you could run, then you should run. This reminded me of the day I decided to first run for office, it happened to be the day before starting to fast for the month of Ramadan. I was stressing so many things: Could I do it? Could I spend the time needed? Would I get the support of my family? Would people seriously consider me a viable candidate? I remember waiting until the last 15 minutes of the filing deadline before I finally made the decision to do it. While there were a lot of things going through my mind at the time, there was one thing that pushed me over the edge to go for it. It was simple: I would only regret NOT doing it.

In order for us to have a true representation of the people in our government, we need more people to run, we need more opinions and we need new, young, energetic people who can help take our city forward and build a new more modern city. The only regret you will have is not taking the leap.

So what do you do next? It’s easier than you think, complete and file your “Declaration of Candidacy” on the “Running for office” page on the King County Elections website. It has all the details you need to take that next step: kingcounty.gov/depts/elections/for-candidates.aspx.

About Osama

Coming to the US as a refugee with my parents at the age of 7, I have had all the opportunities of the American dream. My father always instilled in his children that hard work is the way we can achieve that dream. He started his first job as a janitor in a hospital outside Detroit, eventually getting a job on the Ford assembly line and ultimately opening his own business. His goal was to provide for his family which led to my college education and me joining Microsoft more than 20 years ago. I moved to Redmond because I believed it would provide the best experience for my family. My oldest boys have grown up playing baseball on the RedWest Little League and now are both on the Redmond High School Mustangs Football team. My daughter plays on the Redmond Girl Select Basketball team. These experiences have helped my kids build a strong sense of community. They are not just players on a team, but are part of a team that cares for each other. These are the same experiences I want for all our residents. Throughout my life I have built a passion for identifying and solving problems. From when I worked for my father in his business to building and running strong teams at Microsoft. I pride myself on understanding the issues from different perspectives and coming up with solid long-term solutions. Today, Redmond is a great place to live, but we can’t take it for granted. We are at a key turning point and how we manage through the challenges we face will define the Redmond of the future. Traffic and other pressures are only getting worse and we need to do better at solving those problems. Redmond is the kind of community my father dreamed about when he came to America. It has opportunity for everyone and offers a lifestyle where we can raise our families and enjoy our community. Those are the values we all share in Redmond, and with my background and experience, I will work to build a community that lives up to those values.