DEARBORN — The Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC) announced its endorsements for the Nov. 6 General Election this week after its members convened at The Arab American News office here Monday evening for nearly three hours debating and voting on which candidates and statewide ballot proposals to support.
AAPAC has proven to be a powerful political force, because of the strong influence it has had on previous ballot proposals and local election races. Only candidates and ballot proposals that received two-thirds of the vote were endorsed according to the by-laws of the group .
Moving forward AAPAC will use all its available resources to campaign on behalf of the candidates and proposals. The group has already started preparing bilingual newsletters and flyers to distribute and mail to Arab American registered voters in support of its endorsements. AAPAC has been conducting a series of interviews with candidates since late August to determine which ones would serve the best interest of the community if elected. Tuesday was the last day to register to vote in the election.
While the group is asking for people to volunteer to assist it as the election approaches, AAPAC President, Attorney Mariam Bazzi says the most important thing people can do is remember to vote, and encourage their family and friends to do the same. “First and foremost we need to get out and vote, not for AAPAC or the community but for ourselves,” Bazzi said.
She says it’s important for people to be informed on the various statewide ballot proposals that could amend the constitution and change laws. “This is a very important election…Arab Americans have the power to make a difference when they vote,” she said.
AAPAC endorsed candidates running in local and statewide judicial, school board, congressional and state house races. Additionally, the group is supporting a number of candidates running for public office positions in Wayne, Ingham, Macomb and Oakland County.
“Every race is important, whether it’s judicial or legislative because people’s rights are at stake,” Mona Fadlallah, attorney and AAPAC member said.
A statement released by Sam Salamey’s campaign reads, “Sam Salamey is honored to have received the endorsement declaring him the most suitable candidate for the 19th District judge. AAPAC makes strides in our community to help people make a decision based on merit, and what serves the best interest in our community.” Other candidates who received endorsements from AAPAC also issued similar statements thanking the group.
AAPAC didn’t endorse a presidential candidate this election, because no written request to receive an endorsement from the group was made by any candidate running for the position. In accordance to AAPAC bylaws, no political candidate can be endorsed unless they submit a written request.
|AAPAC members convened Monday to vote on which candidates and statewide ballot proposals the group will endorse in the Nov. 6 General Election|
Baydoun says if Proposal 6 passes it would hamper the state’s efforts to build an economically vital international bridge crossing, and possibly another tunnel in the future, ultimately preventing Gov. Rick Snyder from building the newly proposed bridge to Canada.
“Detroit and Michigan sits at the crossroad between the two largest trading partners in the world, the U.S. and Canada. Along with the billions in trade coming across the border every year there are billions of dollars in economic activity necessitated by this trade in logistics, shipping, storage and the like. Not building this bridge would force traders and shippers to look for other routes, squandering an opportunity to help revitalize the region,” he said. The group votes to oppose Proposal six.
AAPAC External Vice President, Attorney and Founder of the Arab American Civil Rights League, Nabih Ayad says he believes proposal one is harmful. It’s a referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011 that would authorize the governor to appoint an emergency manager (EM) upon state finding of financial emergency, and allow the EM to act in the place of local government officials. “The proposal divests whoever is in power from consideration of important decisions,” he said.
The group gives two thumbs down on proposal one. Here is how AAPAC voted on other statewide ballot proposals:
Proposal One: No
Proposal Two: Yes
A proposal to amend the state constitution regarding collective bargaining. If passed it would grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.
Proposal Three: No
A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish a standard for renewable energy
The initiative would mandate that by 2025, 25% of the state's electricity must come form renewable resources. The proposal was filed by Michigan Energy, Michigan Jobs on January 12, 2012.
Proposal Four: Abstained
A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and provide collective bargaining for in Home Care Workers. It would allow in home care workers to bargain collectivity with the Michigan Quality Home Care Council (MQHCC), and continue the current exclusive representation of in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.
Proposal Five: No
A proposal to amend the state constitution to limit the enactment of new taxes by state government. If enacted this measure would require that increases in state taxes must be approved by either a 2/3 majority in the Legislature or by a statewide vote. The measure was sponsored by Michigan Alliance for Prosperity.
The following candidates have been endorsed by AAPAC:
Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Partial Term Ending 01/01/2015:
Incumbent Lawrence Talon
Incumbent Margaret M. Van Houten
Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, six-year term
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Wendy Marie Baxter
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Gregory Dean Bill
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Edward Ewell Jr.
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Richard B. Halloran
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Kathleen M. McCarthy
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Maria L. Oxholm
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Linda V. Parker
Incumbent Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge, Deborah A. Thomas
Wayne County Third Circuit Court Judge non-incumbent, six-year term
Dana Margaret Hathaway
Brian L. Morrow
Dearborn 19th District Court Judge, six year term
Dearborn Heights 20th District Court Judge, six year term
Incumbent Judge David D. Turfe
Ingham County 30th Circuit Court Judge non-incumbent, six-year term
Washtenaw County 22nd Circuit Court Judge, six year position
Inkster 22nd District Judge, six year term
Incumbent Sabrina Johnson
36th District Judge non-incumbent, partial term ending 01/01/15
Michigan Supreme Court Justice,
partial term ending 01/01/15
Incumbent Brian Zahra
Michigan Supreme Court, eight year term
Connie Marie Kelly
Bridget Mary McCormack
Macomb County Commissioner, District 5
Robert Mijac (D)
Wayne County Commissioner, District 8
Incumbent Diane Webb (D)
Wayne County Commissioner, 3rd District
Incumbent Martha Scott (D)
Wayne County Commissioner, 13th District
Incumbent Gary Woronchak (D)
State Representative for the 4th District
Rose Mary Robinson (D)
State Representative 10th District
Phil Cavanagh (D)
State Representative for the 11th District
David Knezek (D)
11th U.S. Congressional District
Dr. Syed Taj (D)
12th U.S. Congressional District
Congressman John D. Dingell (D)
13th U.S. Congressional District
Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D)
Wayne County Clerk
Incumbent Cathy Garrett (D)
Wayne County Treasurer
Incumbent Raymond Wojtowicz (D)
Wayne County Sheriff
Incumbent Benny Napoleon (D)
Crestwood School Board
Incumbent Hamid Soueidan
Dearborn School Board, four year term
Incumbent Aimee Blackbum
Incumbent Mary Lane
Oakland County Executive
David Howley (D)
Michigan State University Trustee
Brian Mosallam (D)
Wayne County Register of Deeds
Incumbent Bernard Youngblood (D)
Wayne County Prosecutor
Incumbent Kym Worthy (D)
Oakland County Clerk
Lisa Brown (D)