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Latinos Should Rally To Omar Qudrat, Potentially The First Muslim GOP Congressman

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

It’s election season again and politician promises to Latino voters are on their way.  The question always remains whether those promises will be kept.  American democracy at some levels is a candidate-by-candidate measure.  In San Diego, two candidates for Congress in California’s 52nd district will be measured as to whether their words to Latino voters mean anything—challenger Omar Qudrat and incumbent Scott Peters.

After a close analysis of their backgrounds and policy proposals, Latino voters should rally behind Omar Qudrat.  Omar lived the experiences of our community and his policies will bring real change for Latinos in his district and the nation.  Omar, 37, is the son of immigrants from Afghanistan.  His parents immigrated to Southern California in the early 70s for education and the American Dream.  Omar and his two older sisters were born and raised in a neighborhood in Los Angeles where Omar saw tirelessly hard-working families remain near poverty.  He went through public schools where kids were recruited into gangs in elementary school and he recalls graduating with kids who were illiterate.  “I will not accept an America where generations of our children repeat a cycle of hard work and ultimately fail because of policies of politicians like my opponent’s.” 

As a child, Omar heard the insincere promises of politicians that he hears now from his opponent Scott Peters.  “It’s that same artificial voice that rings of zero credibility and zero experience. If you’ve had an upbringing where you’ve faced real struggles, artificial politicians are very easy to spot.”   Of Peters, Omar says, “Look around.  We have a middle class exodus from San Diego, homelessness crisis soaring, income inequality being exacerbated by state and local taxes, veterans homeless on our streets without basic necessities.  Scott stands with policies that drive businesses and middle class families out of San Diego.”  So far the plan of Scott Peters, a 60-year-old Caucasian worth more that $100 million (the top 0.01% of America’s wealthy) is to hurl more government burdens on small business owners and working families.

In an experience matchup between Omar Qudrat and Scott Peters, Omar wins.  Omar is the son of immigrants when he speaks of good immigration policy.  He went through the failed public education system with gang violence when he speaks of better education for our children and protecting our children from criminal influences.  Omar is a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve when he speaks of military and veterans issues. He’s a former U.S. Department of Defense official who spent 18 months in Afghanistan when he speaks of national security and counter-terrorism.  Omar was a Prosecutor when he speaks of law enforcement and public safety.  His family was a hard working immigrant family when he speaks of ensuring our ordinary families advance economically. 

Among the many critical issues, Omar is focused on our youth.  In San Diego, over one in ten Latino children do not graduate from high school and only 15% of San Diego Latinos graduate college.  Omar knows what’s in the way—the policies he is fighting against.  He will address the issues head-on, modernizing and strengthening public education through technologically-driven trade and business skills to lift America’s children out of poverty, and mitigating gang and criminal influence.  “Latinos are 1.4 times more likely to become entrepreneurs than average Americans. Latinos are risk-takers and incredibly hard working.  Latinos have over $1 trillion in spending power in the U.S. annually.  So why are so many hard-working Latino families still struggling?”  Omar asks.  “It’s policies that my opponent supports that set conditions against us.  We need to advance small business and reward hard work, not undermine small business and punish hard work.”

Peters has no connection to a single national issue other than big business.  Between these two candidates for Congress, Omar is the voice for working families, minorities, and immigrants seeking the American Dream.  “Latinos will have a real representative in me.  I lived their struggles with them and I know how to advance our interests.”

Remember, it was Scott Peters’s party that promised that the immigration crisis would be addressed back in 2008/2009. But even with a super majority in Congress, Peters’s party punted, instead opting for an agenda to expand dependency, not opportunity.

Omar feels it is his personal responsibility to change the future, not offer promises to the Latino community he never intends to keep. He says, “I will fight relentlessly to ensure the American Dream remains accessible for all of our children.”  

I believe him.

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