DEARBORN — With the filing deadline coming to a close, Kamal Alsawafy becomes one of 19 candidates vying for one of seven City Council seats up for grabs.
“What makes me a qualified and unique candidate for Dearborn City Council is my diversified and relevant experience,” Alsawafy said. “Dearborn is a great place to call home, but we are facing so many challenges. My experience as the business development manager for Wayne County, my previous experiences as a business owner and my experience as a military officer provide me with the necessary skill sets to become an effective City Council member.”
Being in Wayne County’s business development, Alsawafy is responsible for helping local business owners start up and grow their businesses as well as receive access to vital resources.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked tirelessly to help develop, administer and deliver over $50 million in grant programs to put lifeline dollars in the hands of small business owners and non-profits when they needed it most,” he said. “As a Michigan National Guard officer, I know how to manage a team to mission success effectively. I lead with discipline, courage, selflessness and respect. I’ve served our country, I’ve served our county and now I am asking you to help me serve our city. At the end of the day, I am a neighbor and I want to do good for our neighborhood.”
Having grown up in Dearborn and in the Dearborn Public School system, Alsawafy went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he also was elected as president of the Student Supply Chain Association.
Alsawafy also started up his own business during that time and upon completing his degree, he was accepted into Chrysler’s Leadership Development Program before earning his master’s degree from Wayne State University.
“I was then appointed to join Wayne County’s Economic Development Department as the business development manager,” Alsawafy said. “This position gave me first-hand experience managing government programs and effectively serving the residents I was appointed to represent. During the pandemic, I effectively bridged financial grant aid to local business owners by using my Arabic language skills to break down language barriers by effectively producing Arabic-translated grant applications and informational webinars to help residents receive the aid they need regardless of their language abilities.”
Prior to joining Wayne County, Alsawafy had enlisted part-time in the Michigan Army National Guard, where he attended Federal Officer Candidate School.
“Officer Candidate School is challenging and is designed to assess and develop a candidate’s leadership, personal character and team building skills,” he said. “After successful completion, I received my officer commission as a second lieutenant. I enjoy serving in the Michigan Guard because it allows me to serve the community I live in by maintaining Michigan’s response to natural disasters and national emergencies.”
Alsawafy’s goals include reducing property taxes, supporting public safety, improving the environment and quality of life, improving city services and supporting small businesses and nonprofits.
“I worked on state and federal level grant programs on the county level,” he said. “We can apply for these same grant programs on the city level. These grant programs, if identified and utilized correctly, can bring new dollars to be used to develop our city without reaching into the pockets of the Dearborn taxpayer. Dearborn is slated to receive millions in federal funding with the introduction of the new American Rescue Plan Act. I want to double this amount by working with state and federal partners and apply for matching grant programs. This will allow us to amplify our funding dollars and take on projects to improve our city and relieve the property tax burden.”
Alsawafy said that public service and serving the community has always been a part of his passion.
“I grew up in Dearborn; I know and can relate to the community’s needs,” he said. “I am running to serve my neighbors, amplify their voices, work on their behalf and shed light on the local issues that matter most, to have conversations with residents, return their calls and quickly find solutions to those issues. I’m running for Dearborn City Council because I love our city and I want to give back to the city that gave my family and me so much. This means that I am ready to step up to the plate, fight for our residents’ concerns and take on the challenges to improve our city.”