DEARBORN — After seven years on the City Council, Council President Susan Dabaja has announced her candidacy for mayor.
Dabaja is a lifelong Dearborn resident born to immigrant parents in Dearborn’s Southend.
Having grown up in public housing, Dabaja went to Salina Elementary School, and Stout Middle School and graduated from Edsel Ford High School in 1995.
“I am honored and excited to announce that I’m officially joining the race to become the next mayor of Dearborn,” Dabaja said. “It would be a privilege to continue to serve my city in a meaningful way.”
Dabaja pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn before graduating first in her class from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
I am proven. I am centered. I am seasoned. I will continue to be a fighter for Dearborn — Susan Dabaja
Dabaja is also a practicing attorney and the mother of three.
“Dearborn has always been my home,” she said. “It’s the place that welcomed my parents to this country, it’s the place where my siblings and I continue to flourish and thrive and it’s the only place in the world where I want to raise my own family. I entered into public service only to serve Dearborn and I feel as though all roads have led me to this run for mayor.”
As she would be the first new mayor in 14 years if elected, Dabaja’s campaign is expected to reflect her history of excellence and record of accomplishment.
“My campaign will be aligned with my tenure in public service and will be a campaign Dearborn’s residents deserve — based on issues and ideas, and devoid of divisive rhetoric,” she said. “I challenge all the candidates to make the same commitment.”
Since 2014, Dabaja has been involved with some of the city’s most important decisions and helped navigate it through some of the most trying times, including the current ongoing pandemic.
She also has experience in prioritizing public health, police and fire, city finances, property taxes, economic development, environmental issues and mobility, and said she is hoping to lead the city into an innovative future.
“I know that these are the issues Dearbornites care about because I’ve been listening to them all my life,” Dabaja said. “For the last seven years, I have worked diligently in my capacity as Council president alongside my colleagues to tackle tough challenges and forge solutions that work for all of us. And while I have had many great achievements in that role, now I know it’s time to shift into a role that will allow me to serve in a new way.”
Dabaja said that while she is excited, it wasn’t an easy decision to make.
“This was not an easy decision for me,” she said. “Being the mayor of Dearborn is a tough job, but one that will bring unique challenges with each new day. As a wife and mother, I’ve deliberated over this decision because I know well what this job would demand, especially during a global pandemic and our eventual recovery. I am running because I know in my bones that I am the person who is most prepared to be mayor of Dearborn right now. I am proven. I am centered. I am seasoned. I will continue to be a fighter for Dearborn.”