OPEN CALL FOR MUSLIMS TO RUN FOR OFFICE
Jetpac Inc. is issuing a challenge to Muslims across the US: if you want change, run for office.
CAMBRIDGE, MA—This “open call” for American Muslims to immerse themselves in local politics is the product of twelve months of organizing by startup nonprofit Jetpac Inc., who are leading the drive for an increase in civic education for American Muslim communities across the United States.
Jetpac was founded by Nadeem Mazen, Massachusetts’ first Muslim City Councillor, and Shaun Kennedy, former Deputy Campaign Manager for Mazen’s landslide 2015 Cambridge City Council win. President and Executive Director respectively, their team has already been training American Muslim community leaders, coordinating group workshops, and organizing civic education programs in what they describe as “America’s most politically underrepresented community.” They have trained prospective Muslim Democratic State Committee members, Democratic National Convention delegates, more than fifteen aspiring candidates for office in MA, NY, RI, and CA, as well as first-time campaign staff who have gone on to successfully manage one of MA’s most contested 2016 primaries. Jetpac also organized the first AP course to be taught at local Islamic school Al-Noor Academy. This US Government and Politics class focuses on practical applications of grassroots organizing and the history of civil rights movements.
Mazen’s 2013 campaign—his first foray into local politics—was won by a margin of just six votes. Two years later, in 2015, Mazen won the most votes of any candidate, doubling his 2013 vote totals with a 300% increase in Muslim voter turnout. Mazen’s campaign attributed this success to an updated campaign methodology—one that embraced cutting edge tech and targeted new media outreach as an essential complement to traditional “ground game” tactics. Mazen believes that Jetpac has gone on to “rewrite the playbook for grassroots organizing and organizer training” and are now scaling and publishing that work for the benefit of the entire American Muslim community.
“Jetpac is not interested in what party you want to run for, or for what office—we want to make sure you’re ready to win before you even declare your candidacy,” said Kennedy. As a nonprofit, Jetpac is unable to involve itself in political campaigns and can’t declare support for or against any politician—but, as Kennedy puts it, they “can educate the American Muslim community, and when it comes to civic engagement, it’s 50 years overdue.” For the same reasons, Jetpac’s intensive training program provides a foundation in civic organizing, covering all the basics and skills of grassroots organizing and some “millennial innovations on traditional campaigning,” according to Kennedy. Jetpac has developed proprietary software that allied organizations and communities can license to enhance their digital outreach efforts. Their comprehensive preparation also covers fundraising, new media communication, canvassing, campaign strategy, and—essential to Muslim candidates—combating negative rhetoric.
With tensions rising between Federal and Local Governments around sanctuary city funding, and unprecedented crowds turning out across the country in solidarity with the Muslim population, the time is now. American Muslims are ready to organize and coming forward to run for office. Now, Jetpac is taking off.
If you want the chance to run for office email Jetpac Inc with your name, address, and phone number.
Jetpac stands for justice, education, and technology.
Jetpac is building the American Muslim civic base. We teach everyone from highschool students to young professionals to empty-nesters how to organize on the local level. Through organizing, our trainees learn to apply the Muslim community’s numbers, votes, and dollars towards social justice and service causes. Through this organizing work, trainees also learn all the skills you’ll need to one day run for office.
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