Mohammed Mardah is running again as assemblyman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx, and The African Journal has endorsed him: Mr. Mardha is speaking openly

             After he lost the race to be the assemblyman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx, Mohammed Mardah is running again in June 2024 for the same seat. The African Journal is endorsing Mr. Mardha. In the interview we have with him, he explains the reason why he is running and speaks a little bit about his vision for the African community. In a commentary we also explain why we endorse Mr. Mardha. Let’s find out.

The African Journal: After assemblywoman Latoya Joyner announced in January 2024 her resignation as assemblywoman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx, you have decided to run as assemblyman in the election for the newly opened 77th Assembly District. This is great news for the African community. Many people know you in the African community in New York in general, and in the Bronx in particular. Please introduce yourself to those who do not know you.

Mohammed Mardah : Thank you for the opportunity. My name is Mohammed Mardah, originally from Ghana. I graduated from Lehman College with a degree in History and Political Science. I am married with 2 children and live in Highbridge. I have served in various positions in the community. Currently, I am a member of Community Board 4, former Chairman of the African Advisory Council to the Bronx Borough President’s Office, member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Botanical Garden serving as the representative of the Comptroller Brad Lander. I am also the General Secretary of Muslim and Immigrant Coalition for Justice (Mic4Justice), former President of Yankasa Association of USA (Ghanaian Muslim Community in New York), former Executive Secretary General of the National Council of Ghanaian Association (NCOGA) and current Board Member.  

I believe this is why so many people know me, because I have been involved with so many different organizations over the years.

 Why did you decide to run as assemblyman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx?

Mohammed Mardah : I decided to run because I have been living in the district for almost thirty years. I have seen the district grow and become more diverse. In fact, my venture into community engagement began when my children attended P.S.73, and I joined the Parent Teacher Association as Treasurer and later became Vice President.

There are so many issues facing the community, that I believe I am uniquely qualified to make a difference and help resolve some of those issues. One of the most important things is to recognize and appreciate the importance of our diversity, work together to leverage our diverse experiences to find creative solutions to our issues in the district.

 What is the role of an assemblyman?

Mohammed Mardah : The Assembly is the lower house of the State legislature, and the role of the assembly member is to advance legislation beneficial to their district. There are currently 149 members of the State Assembly, because the 77th district is number 150, but we have no representation as we speak.

 What is your message for those who want to vote for you and to those who are hesitating to vote for you?

Mohammed Mardah : The message is simple. Vote for new leadership. Vote for change, vote for diversity. Vote for inclusion, and above all, vote for progress. We intend to work hard and ensure that we get jobs for our youth, clean up our communities, work with the Police to make sure public safety is enhanced, support our senior centers and housing, fight for more money for our schools, encourage and provide resources for our small businesses, majority of whom are owned and operated by immigrants. These are just a few of my priorities.

 We hope you will win. What African community should expect from you if you win?

Mohammed Mardah : It is not a matter of ‘if’ I win, but ‘when’ I win. I am confident that I will win this race because I have a coalition of diverse communities that believe in my candidacy. They have known me for many years, can attest to my commitment to the community, and are supporting me fully.

The African community should look forward to a new day. You know, one elected official told us that “Africans have economic power in the Bronx, and that there is no way they would give us political power”. That is a very true statement. Africans and other immigrants own a majority of the small businesses in the Bronx – markets, barber shops, taxi, uber and livery drivers, etc. Even in the hospitals, most of the nurses and doctors are immigrants. And yet, we do not have a single representative in the Borough with the largest population of Africans in the United States.

A win in this election would be shattering of the glass ceiling that has been placed on us. We would have the blueprint for success, thereby helping support other Africans interested in running for office. And we can achieve that if we come together. 

 When is the election date? 

Mohammed Mardah : The Democratic primary is Tuesday June 25, 2024.

Early voting starts from June 15 through June 23. Absentee ballots can be requested and mailed postmarked by June 25. Last day to register to vote in the Primary election is June 15, 2024. You can call 1-866-VOTE-NYC for more information.

 

 Why we endorse Mohammed Mardah?

Mohammed Mardah was an independent or Write – in candidate in February 13,2024 to occupy the 77th assembly district seat as an assemblyman after assemblywoman Latoya Joyner announced in January 2024 her resignation as assemblywoman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx. Mardha who is a democrat, was competing against democratic candidate Landon C. Dais, and Republican candidate Norman Sobe McGill. 

Mr. Mardha not only was intellectually fit to win the race, but also numerically strong enough to beat the two other candidates if we, as his own people, have come together to give him a chance. As always, we failed again.   However, Mr. Mardha has lost a battle, not the fight. It is not too late to do good things. We must start voting for him on June 15, 2024, which is the democratic primary early voting date.

 The African Journal is endorsed Mr. Mardha to be faithful to our mission to champion Africans in their quest for the American dream.

During the election, the mainstream media have already labeled Mr. Mardha as a West African. That is a stratagem we absolutely must reject. Here in New York, there is not a West African, an East African, a North African, or a South African, we are just Africans.

 Beyond our mission   to support Africans, we strongly believe that Mr. Mardha who was born and raised in Ghana, is the best candidate who knows more than anyone else the Africans’ struggles as migrants because he is himself a migrant. He is not putting his feet in other shoes to try to understand their pains. He is the shoes themselves.

We wanted to encourage African leaders to come together as one people and give a chance to Mr. Mardha to be in a place where he will have the power to appoint people but not to be appointed. A true leader is not just words. A true leader is the one who can transcend his/ her own personal interests for the common good.

So, let’s come together and make him the assemblyman for the 77th assembly district in the Bronx in June 2024.

Bazona Barnabe Bado

 

 

 

 

 

 

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