Anila Ali for 74th Assembly District
CA 74th Assembly District in CA http://www.anilaali.com
21 Santa Rida
Primary Election Date: 2014-06-03 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
My name is Anila Ali, and I am a candidate for California's 74th Assembly District. I am a Pakistani-American woman who has seen first hand the opportunities available to people in America. As a mother of two young adults, I have raised my children to be civically involved and to embrace democracy. I am a mother, an author and a teacher, and as a woman seeking public office, I want to use my platform to empower women to exercise greater influence, as I believe we are better at focusing on solutions rather than just pointing fingers and creating conflict.
I have been an educator (8th grade English teacher) for 12 years, and am proud to be a public school teacher. My decision to run for the CA State Assembly is an extension of my passion for education. As citizens, we must understand our role in advancing Democracy through civic participation. Unfortunately, many people do not understand how critical their votes can be in shaping the future of their communities. I plan to use my campaign as a way to educate and engage voters throughout the district about the critical issues facing our communities and why their vote can make the difference in moving the issues they care about forward.
I have been a lifelong advocate for human rights and gender equality. As a Muslim woman who is pro-choice, supports inter-faith initiatives and has worked to advance the struggle for full political participation by all citizens regardless of race, creed, color, gender or sexual orientation, I believe I reflect the aspirations of the people I will represent in the 74th Assembly District.
Together with two colleagues, one Christian, and one Jewish, I wrote a children’s book called (TITLE) sharing my story about being a Muslim and promoting cultural understanding and peace. America's greatness lies in our ability to see beyond our differences to pursue our common aspirations. California needs better leadership, and I believe my background and experience will help me be an effective representative when I get to Sacramento.
Why am I running?
I am running for California State Assembly to provide strong, effective representation to the 74th Assembly District. In many ways, I feel I have been grooming myself for this role all my life. I am innately political and a great believer in Democracy. At the local level I serve my city on the Strategic Plan for Children, Youth and Families Advisory Board and have worked to elect great leaders like Larry Agran, Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang. I was honored to be a delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and have worked closely with the Obama administration on issues of importance to the Pakistani community.
My parents have served as my strongest influence throughout my life. I was raised to believe that you should give back. Raised by a father who was a journalist and diplomat, and a mother who was a teacher and philanthropist, I like to think that I am the embodiment of all those pieces. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband who has always encouraged my civic involvement. I am also supported by a large and diverse community of friends and colleagues who share my values and have pledged to support my campaign.
The 74th Assembly District is one of the most impressive districts in Orange County. We are a hub for business and education, we are culturally diverse and global thinking, and we are blessed with some of the most pristine coastal resources in California. This district deserves a representative who knows and understands their interests, and will be an effective advocate for their interests in Sacramento.
As a middle school teacher and a parent of two young adults who have benefitted from California's public education system, I look forward to being a strong advocate for smart investments in education from pre-Kindergarten through every segment of our higher education system. It is not enough to talk about our problems. We must focus on solutions. I know that as a first time candidate, my own educational curve will be steep, but what I know is that once in Sacramento I will devote myself fully to using my role as a legislator to help improve quality and access in our public education system.
Investing in Infrastructure
It is often said that Orange County sends more tax dollars to Sacramento than we get back. The 74th Assembly District is a big part of that equation. If that is to change, you need a representative who will bring dollars back to the district. From road building and traffic management to flood control, State Parks and water resources, we need the State to be our partner in building safe, smart and sustainable communities.
Equal Protection Under the Law
The 74th Assembly District is one of the most diverse in California - we truly are a multicultural community. Coming from a diverse background myself, I have a deep understanding of the challenges that those who feel "different" or marginalized face. It is incredibly important that we focus on our common ground and ensure that no one is denied their civil and human rights.
I have always stood up for what's right. In this time of growing fear and ignorance, we must stand against those who would seek to deprive any citizen of this State the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
My DFA Values
Like Democracy for America, I believe in grassroots political engagement. While I will do all I can to raise campaign funding, I know my greatest asset will be the volunteers who will be walking precincts, making phone calls and spreading the word about our campaign.
I know that the words Muslim and "progressive" are not often used in the same sentence, but I am proud to be both. I was not raised to believe that any culture or religion was better than another. I was not raised to believe that women, people of color or even those in the LGBT community should have their rights abridged. I was fortunate to be raised to think beyond myself and to fight for the rights of others. Our personal liberties should not be compromised at the expense of others.
My Campaign is People Powered!
Promoting grassroots causes is something our campaign is focused on. My campaign has been actively seeking volunteers and campaign workers from local high schools, community colleges and universities and from the Democratic Clubs throughout the district. I have broad connections in the Pakistani community, Indian, Asian, Jewish, and Christian communities, all of whom have shown great interest in my campaign.
My grassroots campaign is growing every day. We have had several recruiting sessions and thus far have about 50 volunteers signed up throughout the 74th Assembly District. Our Campaign was warmly received at the Laguna Woods Democratic Club monthly meeting in February to recruit endorsements and volunteers. We attended South County Labor breakfast in Hawthorne, CA to engage with labor leaders and politicians from Los Angeles and Orange County. I spoke at the Democrats of Greater Irvine meeting in February and will be networking at the California Democratic Convention as well.
We look forward to bringing global thinking and local action together to prove what is possible when campaigns put people at the center of their platform.