By Mohamad Bazzi
Unis Middle School
On Nov. 5, 2013, seven new representatives were elected for the Dearborn City Council.
Susan Dabaja defeated former City Council President Thomas Tafelski. This placed Tafelski as council president pro tem. The five councilman include Mike Sareini, Brian O’Donnell, David Bazzy, Bob Abraham and Mark Shooshanian. The Dearborn City Council is now mostly Arab American.
Other candidates in the race were Patrick Melton, Tarek Baydoun, Sharon Dulmage, Kristyn Taylor, Jane Ahern, Colette Richards, and Stephen Dobkowski.
Susan Dabaja was elected council president. She’s a graduate of Edsel Ford High school, and received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Dabaja earned her law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law. Her professional career has been spent practicing law in Dearborn. As City Council president, she will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to Dearborn. Dabaja edged Tafelski by only 32 votes, with a total of 9,398 votes.
Tafelski, council president pro tem, He graduated from Fordson High School in 1988. At the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1992. He’s also a member of the Dearborn Polish Legion, Dearborn Elks, Fordson Varsity Alumni Club, Friends of the Archbishop of Detroit, and St. Alphonsus and Divine Child Parishes. Tafelski received 9,366 votes.
Shooshanian is now serving his sixth term on the City Council. Bazzy and O’Donnell are serving second terms. Sareini and Abraham are new. These five men will bring fresh new ideas to Dearborn. Their vote totals ranged from 7,400-8800.
At Unis Middle School, language arts teacher Donna Barranger said, “My major concern that needs to be addressed in Dearborn is the increase with the crimes. I don’t mind the City Council being Arab dominant. I work with Arabs and I love their community. I also think they are very hard working people.”
Eighth grader Tarek Dakroub said, “My major concerns in Dearborn are the littering and number of crimes. The percentage of crimes has gone up rapidly and this needs to stop. These elections gave Arabs a chance to prove that they can run a city.”
Ali Beydoun, father of four, said, “More police officers need to be hired to lower the number of crimes. I want Dearborn to be a safe place for my kids when they grow up, and hopefully these seven representatives will help with that. I feel that Susan Dabaja will do our community justice and make Dearborn a safer place.”
These people hope that the new council will reduce crime. It’s about time that Arabs had a chance to show their full potential, by proving that they can run a city. These representatives will determine if Dearborn will be a good place to live or not.