What is your full name? Farad Ali
When were you born? 1967.
Where? Brooklyn, New York
What is your educational background?
Bachelors in Science, Business Administration, Concentration in Finance; Kenan-Flagler School of Business; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Masters in Business Administration; Lundy-Fetterman School of Business; Campbell University
Post Graduate Work, Tuck School of Business; Dartmouth College
What was/is your most recent job?
President/Chief Executive Officer The Institute (The North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development)
Do you have pets? No
What are you reading? Gung Ho
What is a personal characteristic you have that makes you feel qualified to be Mayor?
The ability to listen so that others may be heard is one of my strongest personal characteristics and one that will be principle and effective in uniting the voices of the people. My campaign theme of “One Durham” is an inclusive movement of people –where all voices are heard and citizens unite for the greater good of the whole community—where I must listen so that I may speak.
Additionally, my proven experience and innovation in business, governing and advocacy– cultivating, collaborating and engaging diverse populations and my proven progressive leadership rooted in heart of the community has prepared me to lead Durham with inclusiveness, equity, equality and fairness.
What are the most important issues in this race to you?
Poverty The highest concentration of poverty in the City is the section of North-East Central Durham (NECD)–home to about 3,466 people. It has a 61.4 percent poverty rate, with annual incomes there averaging $10,005 per person. It is time to make Poverty a Priority and to complete the work started by Mayor Bell and bring a new renaissance to the people in areas that are in the greatest need.
Economic Development /Jobs:
Continuing the dynamic success of economic development the City has experienced and spurring economic development to parallel that success in underserved and communities with high poverty rates is a major priority. It begins with expanding the networks of communication between the City, business and residents and collectively developing the policies to promote the long-term economic growth and investment so that all Durham citizens may prosper.
- Offer training and opportunities to prepare our workforce to meet the needs of industry recruited into Durham
- Provide resources to launch new businesses and entrepreneurs
- Seek grant opportunities like the Bloomberg Innovation Team to fund research to tackle urban issues like poverty
- Focus on minority-owned businesses that currently receive a disparate share of the overall business activity in the city, which is 65 percent African-American.
Durham is recognized for its diversity and is a great place to live, and why I am so proud to be running for Mayor. I agree that the “City of DURHAM has seen great momentum over the past five years, with a burst of commercial developments, residential successes, a new center of innovation generating a hub of entrepreneurial development -new start ups and new employment opportunities as companies vie to make Durham their corporate base. While such success have made Durham the recipient of numerous national accolades-and brought a new vitality to the community- particularly downtown–the opportunity and achievements have not been equally shared by all sectors of Durham citizenry.
First we must close the gaps. We live in a community where 46% of the population is white, and 37% African American, 13% Hispanic –yet the data clearly shows on all fronts that there is a great disparity in the economic and academic success of minority populations in comparison to the mainstream. Discrimination in housing-Homeownership: 43.3% for African Americans compared to 65.0% or above for whites. Poor education and the impact on Educational attainment: –earning a bachelor -30% for African Americans, 17.8% for Hispanics compared to 63.5% for whites. Median household incomes for African Americans: $34,766 and Latinos of $38,750 compared to $62,698 level maintained by whites. Durham’s poverty rate for children age 0-8 residing in a home where the head of household is at or below the poverty level is 37% for African American and 36% for Hispanics yet 8% for white children. Yes, these are today’s realities and if we are to uphold our principles and uphold the distinction of a city of social justice- we must move forward as “One Durham” and mend these disparities together.