Iranian American Citizen Representative Seeks City Council Seat in Sunnyvale, CA
Washington, DC – Mr. Darab Ghaffary’s family has a long tradition of public service. His great grandfather served as one of Iran’s delegates to the League of Nations and his grandfather served in Iran’s diplomatic corps. So it should not come as a surprise to see his name listed as a candidate for Sunnyvale City Council (Seat No.2). Ghaffary’s organized team of volunteers, backed by a coalition of community leaders and organizations, has a real opportunity to win Seat No. 2 in the elections this fall. If successful, Ghaffary will become the first American of Iranian heritage to be elected to Sunnyvale’s City Council and the fourth Iranian American to hold public office in the United States.
“Public service is in my blood,” says Ghaffary. “I feel a strong commitment to serve the community in which I live and work.” In fact, Ghaffary has been serving the people of Sunnyvale since 1999, when the City Council appointed him to serve on the Sunnyvale Board of Building Code Appeals. He currently serves as the Board’s Chairman. In addition, Ghaffary previously has served on the Sunnyvale “Multi-Cultural Outreach Task Force” -- working to expand representation and participation of multi-cultural populations at all levels of city government and in the community -- and on the Sunnyvale “Planning Task Force for Community Engagement.”
Born in Iran, Ghaffary moved to United States in 1972 to pursue his higher education. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Southern California in the field of civil engineering with emphasis on structural mechanics. Ghaffary has been a registered engineer with the state of California since 1981 and has extensive experience in the design and analysis of industrial structures. He is married to Roksana Ghaffary, also a graduate of USC. They have two children, Michael, who is completing his final year of study at the Harvard law and business schools, and Shirin, who is fourteen.
Ghaffary views education, public safety, economic development and fiscal responsibility as the key issues in Sunnyvale. “We have a safe community with great schools, good employment opportunities and nice neighborhoods. I want to help to ensure young families will have the same opportunities for education, good jobs and affordable housing,” says Ghaffary. His campaign places strategic emphasis on education and city and school participation. “We must do everything possible to ensure that our children have the best schools possible. This is the only way to guarantee a higher quality of life and a brighter future for upcoming generations of Sunnyvale residents.”
Ghaffary has amassed an impressive list of endorsements. His campaign has received the backing of the Sunnyvale Public Safety Officer’s Association, the Sunnyvale Employee Association, the Communication Officers Association, the SEIU, the Santa Clara County Council of Professional Firefighters, the Police Officers Research Action Council (representing 55,000 peace officers) and the League of Conservation Voters. Ghaffary has also received the backing of community leaders such as Ross Mirkarimi, who serves on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, California State Assemblyman Joe Coto, Santa Clara County Supervisor Pete McHugh and Sunnyvale Councilmember Melinda Hamilton. “I endorse Ghaffary because he has the experience and the knowledge to serve the residents of Sunnyvale in an honest and fair manner,” says Pete McHugh. “Darab will be a real asset to the City Council because of his ethics and consensus building approach to problem solving.”
Since announcing his candidacy, Ghaffary has spent his time busily walking the precincts of Sunnyvale and introducing himself to its residents. He plans on raising $40K dollars for his campaign before the November 8th elections. Ghaffary will run a competitive race with a professionalized mailing campaign and a series of television and/or radio interviews. Campaign supporter and former Sunnyvale Mayor, Fred Flower, believes that Ghaffary represents “the new kind of leadership that is starting to step forward in our diverse community and will bring a unique and important perspective to the City Council.”