WESTFIELD – City Council candidate Muneeb “Moon” Mahmood said Westfield residents are fed up with political stalemates.
Mahmood said he can bring “independent thinking and bipartisan solutions” to the City Council Chambers.
“The biggest issues people have been really concerned about right now it’s the partisan, the Democrats, Republicans, how things have been so gridlock,” he told Reminder Publications. “People are not coming to the center to come together. That has been a huge concern. People have just been completely disgusted with that. They want someone who can stick in the middle and be independent voice.”
The at-large seat candidate said he could offer the city a break from this and represent what matters to the residents.
“The reason why I’m running is because I’d like to bring a fresh new perspective to the council. By fresh new perspective, I mean that nowadays, there’s too many personal issues if you take a look at all of our government bodies, but specifically in terms of Westfield,” Mahmood said. “I want to bring the people’s concerns to the council.”
Mahmood is a lifelong Westfield resident who graduated from Westfield State University in May with a degree in business management, finishing the program a year early. He also works as a commercial pilot and flight instructor. Though just 22, Mahmood said while he may not have years of political experience on his resume, he still has assets to offer Westfield.
“What I like to throw out there is that even though I lack the real life experience, what the youth does have is energy, motivation and determination to make sure we get things done,” he said.
Among his platforms, Mahmood said he has heard from Westfield citizens that rising taxes are a concern. Having watched his father, a local business owner, he said, “the piece of the pie has been getting smaller and smaller” in terms of profit, said the tax rates hurt residents and small businesses.
He said, if elected, he would hope the council could implement a special tax rate for small business that would incentivize staying in Westfield.
For Mahmood, a large part of an elected city councilors role is to reestablish a strong relationship between local government and the community.
“Not only am I looking to win people’s votes, but I’m also looking to rebuild that loss of trust that’s been lost at all sectors of our government. I believe the true power lies within the people. I know there are people out there that say a certain person’s done this and that, but the people have the power to change that. Nobody can do anything by themselves,” Mahmood said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to focus on, not only winning their vote but winning their trust as well.
Part of this, he said, is transparency.
“Local government, I believe, is one of the most important forms of government because this is the form of government where you’re closest to the people. That’s why you should be transparent,” Mahmood said. “They should have your number; they should have your email. They should have the opportunity if they want to sit down with you one on one. I know it’s time consuming, but they should have the opportunity to sit down with you one on one, grab a coffee or tea or something, they should be able to express their concerns or issues.”
For more information about Mahmood’s campaign, visit www.moonmahmood.com.