COUNCIL FRESHMEN: Rizzy Qureshi

PHOTO: Ward 3 Councilmember Rizzy Qureshi and his wife Kelly Qureshi at the swearing-in ceremony. Photo by Eric Bond.

BY GLEN CHARLTON

Rizzy Qureshi is the new Ward 3 councilmember, and his primary goal is to increase the involvement of the under-represented in all of Takoma Park.

“It’s about getting out and engaging people and telling them what the city can do for them and what it does to impact their lives,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi’s campaign materials touted his track record of advocating for those without a voice – which is the basis of the work he aims to perform. One of Qureshi’s priorities is improving the low voter turnout in city elections.

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New mayor Kate Stewart swears in Rizzy Qureshi, Nov. 16, 2015. Photo by Eric Bond.

“The young people, the black and brown folks . . . we need to engage these people because we’re a majority-minority city. This is key,” Qureshi said.

Qureshi said what makes Takoma Park different from others is its very progressive elections process. This process includes voting eligibility for youth, non-citizens, and felons. Qureshi and the Board of Elections have worked to establish outreach efforts to support the progressive elections process and expand voter participation.

Qureshi said Takoma Park is a unique environment and that “We should . . . make sure that it continues to be a place where everybody can feel comfortable and call home.”

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Freshly sworn-in councilmember Rizzy Qureshi with Buddy Daniels, brother of the late Ward 3 councilmember Kay Daniels-Cohen. Photo by Eric Bond.

Tim Male, Ward 2 councilmember, said, “He’s really bright, energetic, and enthusiastic for the job ahead. I’ve seen great avenues that he’s put out not just for his ward, but for the whole city.”

“As a parent myself, I really appreciate having someone also with young kids on the council,” Male said.

Qureshi served as the Ward 3 representative to Takoma Park’s Board of Elections for the last year. He said that his experience with the board interested him in running for council.

He grew up in the Philadelphia area, attended the State University of New York, College at Geneseo, where he received his bachelor’s in international relations. He also received a Howard University law degree.

Qureshi serves also as an Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he once prosecuted domestic violence and child sex abuse cases. Currently he prosecutes felony guns and drugs crimes and violent crimes

But, in his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his wife and two children and getting together with his fellow alumni of Howard University’s law school. Qureshi also enjoys cheering on his favorite sports team, the Philadelphia Eagles.

More information on Rizzy Qureshi can be found on his website at his campaign website.