Politics

Said Abdikarim

"I am running for city council at-large, because I know what Boston can do for people."

Said Abdikarim

Said Abdikarim, 36, is a social entrepreneur, engineer, instructor, and consultant running for an at-large City Council seat. He used to live in Mission Hill/Roxbury and now lives in the South End. He is married with children.

He is a graduate of Ohio State University for undergraduate and Harvard University for graduate school.

Why are you running for at-large city councilor?

There is a skills disparity and a lack of skills for higher wages, which created a huge wealth gap. The majority of students at BPS don’t have job readiness skills. Working in leadership positions at Harvard University, Apple, Fidelity Investments as an engineer, instructor, and consultant, I want to make sure that our students get a quality education that prepares them for the workforce, and the future, along with literacy and counseling services. Growing up in Boston, I lived in four public housings while attending Boston Public Schools. I know the importance of housing and what it did for my family. At the same time, I have firsthand experience living in underserved neighborhoods and attending Boston Public Schools. While I will make sure that families can afford to live in Boston, I will also fight to create economic empowerment opportunities. I am running because we need a tailored BPS education that provides STEM and Vocational training. As a city, we can bridge the wealth gap through skills for higher wages. We also need to create workforce development opportunities for adults to learn skills in STEM and Vocational training. More than ever, Bostonians need economic empowerment and the chance to get out of poverty. We can create those economic opportunities through tailored educational programs and training because college is not the only option, and it is not for everyone.

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There are 17 candidates for at-large city councilor. What accomplishments and proposals do you think make you stand out from the others? Please be specific.

With my family, I was resettled in the great city of Boston 27 years ago as a refugee. I lived in four public housings throughout Boston; Old Colony in South Boston, Archdale Village in Roslindale, Mission Hill, and Charlestown. As a young adult struggling with rent, I lived in Dorchester as well. I attended elementary school in Roxbury/Mission, High School in Charlestown, Middle School in Roslindale, then West Roxbury. Growing up, I faced many challenges, a language barrier, lack of opportunities, and working multiple jobs in high school to help my family with bills. Through hard work, I overcome those obstacles. I worked for and held leadership positions at Harvard University, Apple, Fidelity Investments as an engineer, instructor, and consultant. I have been involved in the community, teaching students life, career, and technical skills. While at the same time helping immigrants resettle in Boston, learn English, find housing and jobs. Using my language skills, I have been a lead organizer in vaccination efforts within the immigrant community. What makes me different from all the other candidates is that I have experience living in and attending school in different parts of Boston. Not speaking English, living in underserved neighborhoods, I never thought that I would work for top institutions or run for office. My lived experience, language skills, community, and professional work would make me an effective councilor.

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What would be your top three objectives during your term as city councilor?

My top three objectives are economic empowerment and job readiness through STEM/VOC skills for higher wages and equal access to city resources; Affordable, accessible housing and homeownership opportunities/quality of life; safe, clean neighborhoods, parks, and playgrounds.

What is one thing you want the City of Boston to know about you?

Of all the other cities in the US, 27 years ago, the city of champs was the only city that accepted my family and me as refugees. This city means so much to me; it’s the greatest city in the world. In Boston, we got safety and incredible opportunities. I am running for city council at large, because I know what Boston can do for people.

What is your typical Dunkin’ order?

Ice Macchiato with coconut milk.

Visit Said Abdikarim at his website, or social media @said4boston on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Previous candidate: Bridget Nee-Walsh

Next candidate: Ruthzee Louijeune

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