We have made history here in Euless. There has never been a Muslim candidate for City Council. No member of an ethnic minority has ever been elected to office in Euless. And, to the best of my knowledge, no other City Council candidate has had to run not only against their opponent, but also against their own representative in the Texas Legislature.
To prevail against these odds truly is a historic achievement. That’s why stories about our campaign continue to appear daily in local papers, in the statewide press, and now in the national news media.
Folks, this is a big deal, and I’m glad you’re all here to experience this with me and my family.
Friends, when people refer back to this historic race, I hope they will not just focus on the victory itself, but our journey and the values we displayed. The great people of Euless voted for us because they saw something in our campaign. Chances are they were drawn to our values. These values underpin every piece of communication that came from our campaign, whether it was a Facebook post, a tweet, a mailer, a press interview or a conversation with a voter, and in my humble opinion, there are three important values that we displayed.
Number one: Hard work. Boy, have we worked hard on this campaign. We knocked on more than 5,000 doors. Made thousands of phone calls. Sent out at least three mailers. And were out at the polls every day from dawn to dusk.
Second: Resiliency and perseverance. We received a lot of hateful speech and anti-Muslim bigotry. But we persevered through it and always brought back the focus of my love and passion to serve this great city. We did not give up.
Third: Honor and humility. We took the high road. We did not let negativity and hatred drag us down. But instead, we made it help us pull upwards. As Michelle Obama aptly put it, when they go low, you go high.
And these are the values that I have grown up with in my family, in my faith and in my community, and these are the values I will continue to display in the coming months and years as I work to improve our city.
For my Ismaili friends, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the importance of this victory during the year when millions of Ismailis are celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of our beloved leader, his Highness, Prince Karim Aga Khan, who is the 49th hereditary spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims. For the past 60 years, the Aga Khan has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life of people around the world and he is my role model. Hence, this is doubly historic for me and the entire Ismaili community, and I wish everyone Diamond Jubilee Mubarak.
Friends, I’ve been congratulated many times in the last week – in person, on the phone, in text messages, and on social media. I’ve been especially moved by people who wrote to say that this win restored their hope in America, or in democracy, and in their neighbors. I do think that people have been losing hope. The man who is now president of the United States launched his campaign by declaring, “The American dream is dead.” Well, the American dream is not dead here in Euless. It’s alive and well in this cities and cities like it, here in Texas and all across the nation.