DEARBORN — Lifelong resident Mustapha Hammoud has entered the race for one of seven City Council seats that are up for election.
Having been born and raised in Dearborn, Hammoud attended Dearborn Public Schools, Henry Ford College and the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering.
“This city welcomed my immigrant parents and grandparents with open arms,” he said. “We owe Dearborn and I owe Dearborn. The least I can do is give back by stepping up and running for office to serve this city and its residents.”
Hammoud said the decision to run was not taken lightly.
“From a young age, I have been surrounded by people who value service, community and volunteer work,” he said. “My father spent most of his career in public service as a prosecutor fighting for justice and the safety of our communities, all while being active in many non-profit and political organizations.
“My mother’s career has been in advocacy as well, both through her work helping small businesses and through volunteering with several professional and community organizations. She currently serves on the Wayne County Ethics Board. These values were not limited to just my parents; everyone in my extended family works hard and helps people every day.”
Hammoud said that some of his drive for public service was inspired by his grandfather as well.
“As far back as I can remember, my grandfather always taught us the importance of education, good ethics and integrity, as well as the fulfillment which comes from serving our community,” he said. “These are the principles that drove me to be involved and to spend over a decade in volunteering and community organizing. The time is right for me to use my public advocacy experience, along with my professional background as an engineer at Ford, for the service of my hometown and its residents.”
With Dearborn recovering from the pandemic and welcoming a new administration in November, Hammoud said he is running because the city is at a critical juncture.
I will be a voice for transparency and seek residents’ input in all major decisions we make, especially when it comes to ensuring our tax dollars are spent efficiently and that our services are first class — Mustapha Hammoud
“As an engineer for nearly a decade, I have experience managing and delivering multi-million dollar projects on a tight timeline and I plan to bring that expertise to the City Council,” he said. “I will always push for data-driven, evidence-based best practices in city management of any crisis, whether it be mental health, substance addiction or COVID-19. I feel we can do better in providing city services and, as the recovery takes place, I would like to see Dearborn be a leader in innovative city planning to bring more people to our city and businesses.
“Another issue I would like to tackle is fiscal responsibility. We need to reexamine our government’s spending to ensure that our hard-earned dollars are being put to good use. Dearborn residents are currently taxed at one of the highest levels in the state for a city our size and, if elected, I will look into every possible solution to reduce this tax burden without impacting the city services that our residents value.”
As a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and of the Arab American Political Action Committee (AAPAC), Hammoud has led and participated in volunteering activities with Ford Volunteer Corps as well as being active in local politics and volunteering for several local campaigns.
Having been so involved for a number of years, Hammoud said his goals involve including the residents in his decision making.
“I will be a voice for transparency and seek residents’ input in all major decisions we make, especially when it comes to ensuring our tax dollars are spent efficiently and that our services are first class,” he said. “I will use my professional experience and business sense to bring more businesses to Dearborn while ensuring that our current businesses thrive and stay open. Growing and keeping our local economy is crucial to the sustainability of our city and to maintaining a major portion of our tax base.”
Having lived in Dearborn his entire life, Hammoud said he is familiar with the challenges people face.
“I am intimately familiar with the challenges small business owners face when opening shop in our city and one of my top priorities will be cutting red tape and making City Hall accessible to everyone,” he said. “We also have to make sure that we continue to make Dearborn a good place for our major employers, such as Ford and Beaumont and others to thrive, all while taking care of our environment.
“I have always advocated for moves toward clean air, water and energy, both in the public sphere and the private sector, and I believe Dearborn has opportunities, given the proper vision. There is no reason that some of our families, especially in the Southend, still breathe polluted air to this day. Kids in all of Dearborn should grow up without fear of getting sick due to the air they breathe. I will also support expanding our recycling programs, as well as making Dearborn more pedestrian and transit-friendly as we transition new styles of mobility.”