Danyal Idris Najmi

Biography & Background Experience

  • Childhood: Although born in San Jose, Mr. Najmi has lived in the Boston area since he was three.
  • Education: Master’s Degree – Arabic Language and Literature (University of Maryland College Park); Bachelor’s Degree – Child Development (Tufts University)
  • Current Employment: Career Coach at the nonprofit Somerville Community Corporation. “Danyal works directly with job seekers to provide soft skills training and one-on-one coaching from job search through post-placement” (SCC).
  • Endorsed byOur Revolution Malden
  • Skills: Fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, and Haitian Creole. Learning Mandarin. 

Policies & Experiences

  • Biggest issues: “My priorities are keeping Malden affordable for all, making biking and public transit more viable alternatives to cars, accelerating work to get Malden safe from lead, and involving our community more in decision making” (LinkedIn note).
  • Motivation for running: “I want to see Malden with clean safe drinking water for everyone, a Malden where we can all afford to live and share in the benefits of new economic growth, where biking and public transit are safe and convenient means of commuting, where you can find great jobs in your neighborhood, where events and activities are well publicized and people feel connected to their community, and where trash services don’t leave anything on the curb” (MVQ).
  • Philosophy: “Follow the will of the voters. If I feel strongly that something is good for Malden, it is my responsibility to share the facts that make me believe this and convince the voters of its value. I don’t know everything, and I am counting on the community to continue to guide and inform me to making the best decisions for Malden” (Quality 2019).
  • Campaign Committee: “Many people have supported my campaign with their time, effort, and dedication. None more so than Blake and James Robert-Crall, whose knowledge and experience has been essential for me to run my first campaign ever” (Quality 2019).

Citizens

  • Immigrants: “I will do everything I can at the local level to create opportunities in our economy for undocumented folks, whether through entrepreneurship, stipends, or other innovating solutions that allow them to thrive economically. I support keeping ICE out of Malden, out of our courthouse, and off our streets, so that everyone can feel safe here” (ORM).
  • LGBTQ: “When I encounter ignorance and bigotry, I counter it with truth and reason, and I have succeeded in slowly changing hearts and minds, even in conservative Muslim cultures where homophobia can be rampant. As City Councilor I will continue to speak out against homophobia and bigotry, and work to make sure Malden is a community where everyone feels safe and free from discrimination” (ORM).
  • Racial Diversity: I communicate with Maldonians in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Hindi, and Haitian Creole, and I am able to talk to folks who may have never spoken to a city councilor directly before. I am connected to local leaders in the Haitian and Arabic speaking communities, and I am looking forward to meeting more community leaders who can help me reach out to speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, and Vietnamese” (ORM).

Civic Engagement

  • Attendance at Meetings: Mr. Najmi would like to:
    • “Publicize [city council meetings] widely on the city website in a way that is easily accessible;
    • “announce when particular issues are being discussed, and have robust outreach in our neighborhoods and communities;
    • “involve residents in issues that concern them by reaching out directly to schools, houses of worship, and word of mouth” (MVQ).
  • Government Transparency: “It would be great if voting records were more easily accessible … I think there ought to be some limits to what kinds and lengths of binding agreements our city can enter into without more input from voters” (Quality 2019).
  • Public Comment: “I strongly support public comment!” (email 9/26/19).
  • Voter Turnout: Mr. Najmi endorses expanding voting rights to non-citizens. “During my campaign I have set a goal of registering 200 new voters in Ward 5” (MVQ).
  • Ward Meetings “I plan on holding public meetings in all of the six Malden languages I speak, and as a conference interpreter by trade, I can train multilingual community members to serve our city by interpreting for public events” (ORM). 

Infrastructure

  • Affordable Housing: “Remove moratorium and parking space requirements that make it difficult to build, invite ethical / community oriented housing developers into Malden, use all of our leverage to fight exploitative monopolies on the housing market, and work with neighboring cities to improve transportation beyond Malden” (MVQ).
  • Tenants’ Rights: “I support tenant’s right of first refusal, the construction of more affordable housing … I am for common sense limits on how much rent can be raised a year in a way that should be satisfactory to both tenants and small property owners” (ORM).
  • Cannabis: “Remove zoning restrictions and other regulations that are impeding it where applicable, and support local residents who are interested in opening shop. As this sector of the economy grows, let’s make sure Malden residents benefit from the jobs created and get their slice of the pie” (ORM).
  • Lead pipes: “We ought to think about long term effects on health especially for children … The city ought to take this cost on for both public and private portions of the pipes, since it is a health emergency and the cost of doing nothing is far, far, greater … I support initiatives to educate all of us about the lead pipe issues, and investing maximum resources to eradicating this problem in a timely manner” (MVQ).
  • Environment: Incentives for driving less, getting solar panels; increased awareness about MassSave’s insulation program (MVQ).
  • Tax Revenue:”I support inviting businesses to Malden that are committed to investing in our local workforce through local hiring, competitive wages, and opportunities for learning and career growth” (MVQ).
  • Waste & Recycling: “Pay-as-you-buy trash bags may have been well-intentioned, but were a disaster and brought trash, rats, and other vermin … I also think we need more pest-proof trash receptacles at busy bus stops and areas with high foot traffic” (MVQ). Mr. Najmi also supports a solution to accommodate people who “can’t lift a barrel up their stairs” (email 9/23/19).

Public Spaces

  • Malden Hospital: “The Malden hospital site is a great opportunity to build more housing, along with green space, and biking/walking trails” (MVQ).
  • Malden River: “The new development is a great opportunity to create infrastructure for walking and biking, which will encourage public use. The zoning should ease the building of housing that is affordable for low and middle income families, and permit sufficient residential density to achieve this goal. Adding a bus route or eventually an orange line station will make the area more accessible and attractive tor residents and businesses alike” (Quality 2019).
  • Roosevelt Park: “I support natural grass for Roosevelt Park. As a resident of the neighborhood, I appreciate having green spaces to sit in the shade in the Summer and relax on the cool earth – something that turf will not provide. But more importantly, I believe the future of Roosevelt Park should reflect the wishes of the children of Salemwood School, as it is their only outdoor area during the school day” (MNN 10/23/19).
  • Trees: “In our schools, give our children time to explore natural spaces outdoors (and plenty of recess time!) and inculcate a reverence of nature. Recruit volunteers from our community to take care of our parks, and plant trees in areas that don’t have enough shade. Set goals for number of trees to plant per year, and identify target locations” (Quality 2019).

Schools

  • School Budget: “I support using our education budget to fund our public schools that are committed to serving all of Malden’s children and youth, many of whom will grow up to be the entrepreneurs and innovators of tomorrow and contribute to our city’s prosperity” (MVQ).
  • Charter Schools: “Our focus should be on making our public schools the best they can be. We can give families choice by involving them in decisions that affect their children’s education, including hiring and retention of school staff, and defining school policies and goals” (ORM). “It is unfair that charter school receive public funds but can be selective in who they accept” (email 9/26/19).

Transit Issues

  • Bikes: “I’m really happy with the bike to the sea in my neighborhood, and I’d like to see more viable and safe bike routes that are separate from roads and have right of way at intersections” (email 9/26/19). “I want to make biking and public transport easier, but not penalize drivers” (MVQ).
  • Lyft & Uber: “We must collect data on our commuter’s needs and add rush hour shuttles to improve public access to key locations” (MVQ).
  • Traffic Congestion: “I propose running more buses at rush hour and piloting dedicated bus lanes to keep buses efficient and not overcrowded. I would like to expand our bike infrastructure and keep it separate from automobile traffic as much as possible- my vision is for folks to be able to commute to any of the surrounding cities on safe bike paths. I am researching the possibility of bringing Circuit to Malden, a van that gives free rides and is paid for by advertising” (Quality 2019).

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