Hammoud Appointment Opens New Era for DPS

By: Brian Stone

DEARBORN, Mich – With the recent announcement of Fadwa Hammoud as the new solicitor general of the state of Michigan, the school board here in Dearborn faces a new choice over who to appoint to the board.

This development is sure to be exciting for Hammoud, who will now be heading the Flint water crisis investigations for the office of attorney general. I wish her the best in those endeavors to protect the citizens of Flint. This situation also opens up new opportunities for education here in Dearborn.
In the past, board appointments were fraught with controversy, such as the appointment of Celia Nasser over other qualified candidates such as Roxanne McDonald and Adel Mozip. It’s also worth remembering that Fadwa Hammoud herself was originally appointed to the board and only ever ran for office as an incumbent. In a city that favors incumbency more than anything else, we need to be thoughtful about who is appointed.
We must ensure we are electing school boards rather than imposing them.
With Roxanne McDonald and Jim Thorpe leading the pack in the most recent election, the school board is run by a majority of members who are not closely tied to any political special interest groups. That opens up the possibility of appointing someone who represents the people, who is independent and who has ran for office before.
Why does running for office matter? Because the process of running for office forces a person to listen, not just to those who are close to them and their tribe, but to people all across the community. There is really only one candidate for public office who could represent the students at Haigh as well as they could the kids at Salina.

That person is Adel Mozip.
I saw, first-hand, Adel listening to frustrated parents and citizens during the last election. Often times, those interactions reflected the complex racial and cultural dynamics of our city, but Adel was not dismayed. Part of the challenge of running for office in a city like Dearborn is handling the divide between different ethnic groups, and more than ever we need leaders who are willing to build bridges across communities.

That person is Adel Mozip.
Board members need to learn from the lessons of 2017 and recognize that the will of the people does matter. Roxanne and Adel were both considered the top choices for an appointment at the time, and the overwhelming majority of comments at the public meetings were in their favor.
In last year’s race, with only one non-incumbent position open, both Roxanne and Adel ranked at the top for that open position, with Roxanne winning the most votes. If the board is to respect the will of the people, then we need to appoint someone who was chosen by the people to be next in line.

That person is Adel Mozip.
There is a certain point where special interest groups and insiders need to stop fighting the people they represent, and instead learn how to work with the diverse communities in our city. That means accepting differences of opinion, different cultures, different religions, and yes – even political opposition.
True harmony can only come from a city that embraces its whole self. We need to learn how to put past battles behind us while still growing from those experiences.
Dearborn presents a wonderful opportunity: we can be a place where people of different cultures, religions, races and backgrounds come together and learn to live with each other. We could become a shining beacon for the rest of the world.

No candidate for appointment to the school board could represent the hope of such a future more than Adel Mozip. Our trustees need to do the right thing – and sometimes, politics is just that simple.