District E challenger
Address: 4109 Henry J Menninger Wynd
Hometown: Islamabad, Pakistan
How long Have you lived in Raleigh?
What brought you to Raleigh?
A masters degree program in nuclear engineering at N.C. State University.
In two to three sentences, please share something that you believe the City of Raleigh does well.
We are really good at providing an educational environment, a business environment and raising the family, because our per capita rate of college graduates is much better then entire state of North Carolina, so this is a much better place to have a business, family and work environment.
In two to three sentences, please share one thing that you believe the City of Raleigh could improve upon or change.
I would say that because of the diversity of demographics, we need to concentrate on minimizing crime and gang activities. When you have a very good economy going, it brings a lot of different demographics into the city. And when you have different demographics, it brings some crime-oriented minds as well and we need to have a police force trained in those areas to minimize the gang activity. I know we can’t avoid gang activity, but we need to minimize it. By providing good education and training to the police department and having cross-cultural sensitivity we can achieve that goal.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding public transit in the City of Raleigh.
I’ll go back to being diverse and being the best place to live and work. We definitely need public transportation. And we need to focus on how to get the best possible way, using the infrastructure that you have, how to improve on that. I’m in favor of public transportation and transit systems.
As far as pedestrian and bicycles are concerned, we will cover that through planned growth projects and make sure that every proposed growth plan that comes in provides for the bus lanes, pedestrian-friendly, public transport amenities. The transit system is that we have some government complex in downtown Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park. We have to make sure that we connect those properly and any place that is new residential development that they are properly connected to those transit stops. And based on the Raleigh Comprehensive Plan 2030, there’ll be 122,000 new households over the next 20 years. So right now is the time that we have to plan properly to accommodate those households and also meet their needs for transit over the next 20 years. Right now is the time to get into that.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding growth management in the City of Raleigh.
Growth management. If you want to flourish and keep the town vibrant, you have to keep continue growing. And in order to continue growing, we have to have planned growth to make sure we accommodate everything and make it pedestrian friendly and help the environment. And that’s what the Raleigh Comprehensive Plan 2030 tries to address. It is not a complete guide, but it is good document to start off.
In two to three sentences, please share your position regarding crime control in the City of Raleigh.
I would like to see our police dept and law enforcement agencies get better and more training and to be up to speed on new technology to minimize the crime. In order for kids to have a safe education, we need to focus on gang activities, so our kids will not be exposed to the gangs and also by the same token the drugs. So, those are the areas we need to focus on. Once we take control of that and get it under control, the other things will be minor.
Now, we would like to hear your position on two issues that were not previously mentioned, but that you think are important to the voters in the City of Raleigh. You tell us the issue and then give us two to three sentences about your position on the issue.
Basically those are three that are close to my heart and those are the issues that I’m going to work on – crime control, public transit and planned growth. We have parks and recreation – that would be another issue that I’ll be working on because when the city grows, in order first to have healthy work and living environment, parks and recreation and greenways are very vital to any city. And this Dix area, that could be is a prime example where we can work on and make sure we use that as a future park. Also all the new projects come for development, especially the residential and commercial, we make sure that we provide proper proximity of the parks to those developments.
To create the jobs and bring in more corporate employers. City council, especially Mayor Meeker has done an excellent job bringing good corporate companies into Raleigh, but there’s still a lot more to do. And having 122,000 more households over the next 20 year, we’re going to work hard to make it better and keep the high quality of life. If I work for the city, I’ll make sure the citizens have a high quality of life and that it continues to improve.
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
I do love cooking and my wife loves Italian cooking so I learned how to cook Italian food. I have live maybe 30 to 40 different recipes, so we try one every week. As a matter of fact, my cooking has gotten so good that all of our friends and extended friends they have stated demanding “When is our turn? When is our turn?” So cooking is my next passion. I believe in strong family values. We have two boys, and we believe in strong family values because family values are what keeps the family together, and cooking helps.