The Mayoral Candidate Has His Focus Set On The August 3rd Primary In Lansing
Lansing -- On a rainy Sunday in Michigan's capital city, on the front steps of the Capitol building, what shined was a powerful message from Mayor hopeful Farhan Sheikh-Omar. In what was a perfect scene for honest conversation, Farhan laid out the backdrop of his candidacy for Mayor of Lansing. "Transparency, accountability, and trust," Farhan confidently said when asked about the 3 pillars of his movement. Qualities that have all but evaporated from the city office in a time where Lansing's quality of life has also dipped, according to Mr. Omar; saying "our city is weaker and less prosperous than 4 years ago," which seemingly referred to the near 4 years that current Mayor Andy Schor has held office.
As he prepares for an August 3rd primary that he recently made the ballot for, Mr. Omar gave us the time to breakdown his personal visions and missions. So, who is Farhan Omar? Farhan is a native of Kenya, born in the Dadaab Refugee Camp after violence forced his hardworking family out of their home in Mogadishu, Somalia. He's 26 and already a long-ingratiated member of the Lansing activist community, stating to us "I have always been a public servant, not a politician. I am an activist, an immigrant, a Muslim man. A black man. I don't come from a rich family. I came here as a refugee and know what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, to be .. voiceless. I've always been a tireless advocate of communities who feel unheard and unseen."
Quite the poignant comment from the man looking to become the first Muslim/Black person to hold the title of Mayor Of Lansing. Rooting himself and his campaign in "transparency, honesty, and trust" Farhan is chasing history, seeking to become not only the first Samoli/Muslim/Black Mayor of Lansing, but the youngest ever. Which for Farhan would be the next challenge in a life full of them.
During the the 30-minute conversation with Farhan, we walked the capitol grounds, spoke about the many issues facing Lansing, and heard the platform that Farhan has launched his campaign from. Here are some of the best and memorable quotes from our time:
Farhan while discussing the problem with office transparency - "Our current Mayor is facing 9 lawsuits"
Farhan on the lack of attention on the capital city - "We have a lack of statewide & nationwide recognition due to our elected officials who choose to serve big donors and lobbyist"
"Lansing has not received its correct amount of representation in our elected officials"
Farhan when reflecting on specific factors of community oppression - "Our communities are suffering from systemic disinvestment"
"I'm hoping to build a bridge between City Hall and the Mayor office in order to accomplish our goals"
"Right now our Mayor is only opening his doors to the likes of Pastors and Donors"
When prompted to answer critics who question his inexperience - "When people say that, all they're saying is I'm not friends with the elite"