January 28, 2013, Washington, D.C. – On January 24, 2013, PAAIA members and friends gathered to support the election of Councilman Amir Omar for mayor of Richardson, Texas. The event was organized by the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), the connected PAC of PAAIA, and held at the home of Mr. Robert Babayi.
A first generation American of Iranian and Palestinian descent, Omar was raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He attended Texas A&M University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Omar has been involved in the telecommunications field for over 12 years and is finishing his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Texas at Dallas.
Omar currently serves on the city council (Place 7) of Richardson, Texas. He was first elected in May of 2009 and reelected in 2011 with 63% of the vote.
“Amir Omar proudly calls himself living proof that the American Dream is alive and well,” explained Babayi in an eloquent introduction. In his speech, Omar described how his background is a “uniquely American story” and went on to discuss some of his achievements as a member of the city council of Richardson, including a tree planting initiative called Tree the Town. “With widespread support from corporate, non-profit sponsors and volunteers we were able to offset millions in city investment and turn the initiative into the largest tree planting project Northern Texas has ever seen,” explained Omar.
A proponent of community service, Omar is a member of the Richardson Rotary, Citizens FBI Academy Alumni Association, Methodist Richardson Medical Center Foundation Board, and the Richardson YMCA Board. In 2009, he was given an award for his volunteer efforts in the community by the Richardson Chamber of Commerce at their annual banquet. In 2012, Omar was recognized as one of 21 finalists and ultimately won the title of “One Man Dallas,” which highlighted young men (24-44) across the metroplex for their volunteer efforts and impact on the North Texas region.
Following his speech, Omar amiably and openly answered questions from the assembled guests. He showed grace, warmth, and what it means to be an accessible leader within the Iranian American community.
If successful, Omar will become the first Iranian American directly elected mayor in the United States (other Iranian Americans have been elected as city council members and selected to serve as mayors by the city council).
Click here to view a photo gallery of the reception on Facebook.
Click here to learn more about Amir Omar’s campaign.