By Mrinal Gokhale
The votes of marginalized communities and young people count for a lot, and the Wisconsin Muslim Alliance recently brought several primary election candidates under one roof to meet their Muslim voters.
On Thursday, Jan. 9, about 20 candidates running in the Feb. 18 primary election gathered at the Islamic Resource Center to meet attendees.
The event, hosted by the Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, featured a free dinner catered by Aladdin’s MKE and the chance to meet and greet candidates that attended. Candidates each gave a brief introduction on stage with their name and what they’re running for.
“We feel bringing candidates here is important because this zip code has the highest Muslim population in the state,” said Janam Najeeb, director of the Islamic Resource Center and founder of the Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance.
“We want the candidates to meet the Muslim community because it is younger and energetic. We have many professionals in the community, many of which are enthused to be involved in the election,” Najeeb said.
Will Perry, executive director of the Islamic Dawa Center and Vice President of Wisconsin Muslim Civic Alliance, co-hosted with Najeeb. He stated that young voters make the biggest difference.
“Those between 18 and 35 years old, it’s extremely important for you to be involved in the process,” he said. “We’re a strong force in this community and it’s about time for our voices to be heard.
Some candidates that attended the meet and greet include Mayor Tom Barrett, Chris Larson, Purnima Nath, Judge Joe Donald, Aycha Sawa, David Crowley, Theo Lipscomb, JoCasta Zamarippa, Tony Zielinski, and Brett Blomme.