By: William Ali
On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, The residents of Dearborn will go out to the polls to take part in what will be one of the City’s most important elections that I can ever recall. Voters will have a choice of 14 Candidates who will all be competing for 7 seats on the Dearborn City Council. Voters will also be going to the polls to choose our City of Dearborn’s new mayor which has Mr. Gary Woroncak and Mr. Abdullah Hammoud competing for that seat. Both candidates running for Mayor of Dearborn are very fine gentlemen who have served Dearborn well throughout the years, and both are individuals that I have myself supported during their times in public office. Both candidates for mayor bring a lot of excitement for so many residents in our city. On one side, you have Abdullah Hammoud, a charismatic young politician who is an Arab American and can make history by becoming the first Arab American Muslim mayor of Dearborn. On the other side, you have Gary Woroncak, a very experienced and well-respected community member who has served Dearborn as a public official for 20 years as both our State Representative and our Wayne County Commissioner.
I have been a youth/community activist for 35 years: working with our youth/community creating local youth programs, organizing youth sports and community events, serving on our local Schools PTSA/PTA for over 20 years, working as a community liaison and youth intervention facilitator for Dearborn Public Schools serving on both the Dearborn Recreation and Traffic Commissions. Serving on many task forces and committees both through Dearborn Public Schools and the City of Dearborn working seasonally for the Dearborn Recreation Department. During the last 38 years, I have helped organize many sports programs and events at Lapeer Park and Salina Schools. I have spent countless volunteering hours at our local public schools, coaching various sports such as wrestling, football, and soccer. I have participated in numerous meetings throughout the years to address environmental injustice and other important issues faced by our community. I was key in organizing a community center and Arabic/English school that local kids could both get tutored at and have fun playing at and most of all; trying to be a positive voice and influence to our youth all across Dearborn, especially in my Southend Community.
Throughout all my years of community work and involvement, I have gotten to know both of our candidates running for Mayor of Dearborn and they have both been wonderful public servants that have represented Dearborn and our Communities very well. After many conversations, I have decided to endorse and support Mr. Gary Woroncak to be our new mayor.
Although Mr. Abdullah Hammoud is a great young man who has represented our community as a state representative with integrity and passion to do what’s right and there is no doubt he has a bright future ahead of him in politics. I have to go with what I believe is best for all of Dearborn at this time. During this difficult time which I believe will be important and difficult with the major transition that will take place in our city. Dearborn is going from a city of the past to a new-looking city of the future with many changes and new faces to come along with it. Gary Woroncak has the experience, trust, and relationships in all parts of Dearborn to take this city through that difficult and needed transition. He is a good man with the experience that this city will desperately need right now during this important transition. I believe he will bring the city of Dearborn together from all sides of town to work as one community towards the betterment of Dearborn and that his experience is something the other candidate just lacks at this time.
Gary Woroncak has promised to work hard to create a diverse local government that will include members of all parts of the Dearborn Community including the Yemen American community. Gary Woroncak has been an honest person and friend of the Yemen American community and the Southend neighborhood for decades. I can not count the number of times he has supported or attended my youth and community events in the past as our state representative, county commissioner, or just as a regular resident of Dearborn. Gary Woroncak was attending Eid celebrations for our local Southend and Yemeni American youth over 20 years ago when no other politicians bothered even coming into the Southend. Many others during that time had no real interest in our Yemen American community or its Youth because it wasn’t as important of a voting block as it is today. Mr. Woroncak has been a great friend and public servant for all Dearborn including the Arab and Yemeni American Community. Mr. Woronchak deserves our support and respect especially for his commitment to support our community when many other politicians, especially from the west side did not care to ask for our votes!
I believe Gary Woroncak as Mayor of Dearborn will be what is best for our city moving forward at this time. I hope our community supports Gary and remembers the support and friendship he has shown our Yemeni American community for decades