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She's OK
Goli Ameri is not ideal but she is breaking barriers

Moji Momeni
October 8, 2004

This year, Goli Ameri (Republican) is running against David Wu (Democrat) for the opportunity to represent the people of District One of the State of Oregon. There has been discussions for and against Ms. Ameri's candidacy in the Iranian-American community. Many have celebrated her candidacy and some are against it since she is running as a Republican candidate and may influence the politics of the next administration with regard to Iran.

There's an English proverb that says: "Let's not put the cart before the horse." In other words let's keep things in perspective. The candidacy and election of Ameri, for those outside her district, should not be viewed with an eye toward world politics. It should be viewed with an eye toward breaking barriers and opening doors for Iranian-Americans throughout United States.

First let me state that neither Ameri nor Wu is going to represent the Iranian community, the American community, or the Chinese community. The person who gets elected will represent the people of District One of the State of Oregon. That district includes Washington County, Clatsop County, Columbia County, Yamhill County and parts of Multnomah County. Only the registered voters of District One can vote to elect either Ameri or Wu to represent them in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C.

Having said that, it is far fetched to believe that either Wu or Ameri are running so that they can affect, influence, or change regimes in their motherlands. It is also far fetched to think that the people of District One should have more interest in changing/affecting world politics than improving their own quality of life.

The two candidates are running to get an opportunity to represent the people of District One and help represent our views and wishes (those living in District One) to the Federal Government so that we can improve our job growth, our economy and our way of life in District One. That is their mission and if they do not do that well, they will not get reelected.

That's the beauty of democracy and America. The elected candidate does not go to D.C. to push his or her own agenda. They go there to push OUR agenda for District One. That's how they get our votes and remain our representative in District One.

But why should all Iranian Americans celebrate Goli's success? Because she is opening the door for others to follow. She has already motivated other Iranian-Americans to think seriously about getting involved with politics. That by itself is a cause to celebrate.

Is she the ideal person for every Iranian-American? Of course not. Our community is diverse and perhaps more diverse than other ethnic communities. But that's OK. The diversity will propel us forward. The system/communites that depend on uniformity and "all for one and one for all" attitudes have either become a page in history or are on their way to become one.  

Goli Ameri is the first Iranian-American to have come this far in the democratic political process of the United States. She is the Republican candidate for District One of the State of Oregon and she has a very good chance of winning the election. When she goes to Washington, she will have a few Iranian-American aides and advisors amongst her staff and she will become a role model to some Iranian-American youth.

Her success will motivate other Iranian-Americans to get involved, especially, the young Iranian-American woman. Those "side effects" should be a source of pride for all. However, if her candidacy and its "side effects" do not do anything for some, that's OK. We cannot win them all. :-)

In the coming weeks, if you live in District One of the State of Oregon and are registered to vote, I hope you join me and other voters in sending someone to Washington that will listen to us and understands the challenges that face our community and our economy. That person is Goli. If you have issues with her representing you, then you may vote for her opponent.

If you do not live in District one, spread the word to your young ones that we are here, we have strong representation in the medical, engineering and high-tech arenas. We are now going to get involved in politics and someday we will become a powerful political voice in Washington. Goli is paving the way for the rest of us.

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