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As I think about the work ahead of us, I remember the words of the late Congressman John Dingell in his final address to the public. He said, “elected officials do not have power. They hold power — in trust for the people who elected them.”

Everything we do will begin with that basic truth, that the people of Dearborn have ultimate power, that their trust must be earned rather than granted. Having devoted my life to public service, I know that there is more wisdom in the public we serve than any elected official can dream of. All four corners of our city bring something special that makes Dearborn the rich and vibrant place we all love and call home.

As an administration, we will mold our Dearborn government to be as dynamic and civic minded as the people of our city. That’s why my number one goal as Mayor was to assemble the most qualified team of expert public servants this City has ever seen. Together, we’re on a mission to prove that we can solve the biggest problems we face while being transparent, responsive, and accessible to all. 

Our new team brings not only vast experience, but historic diversity that includes several broken barriers. Diversity in public service is about far more than representation; it is about pooling our shared talents to address our shared problems. By including more of us, we widen our perspectives, we improve our decision-making, and multiply our impact. No matter your background, zip code, or native tongue, the City of Dearborn will always treat you equitably and strive to earn your trust each and every day.

This year marks Dearborn’s 93rd year as an incorporated city. Over the decades, we have served as the birthplace of innovation, and the gateway to opportunity for tens of thousands of families. We’ve modeled for the world what a multiethnic democracy can look like when we approach our differences with kind curiosity rather than suspicion. 

But in assuming this office, we won’t just inherit a shared past. We also inherit responsibility for the future. Dearborn is bigger than all of us, and as we prepare to tackle hundred-year challenges such as catastrophic flooding, we will think not just about our residents today, but also the residents of tomorrow. Working to preserve and better the assets of our Dearborn community for generations to come.

No matter the challenge at hand, we want to be the administration that finds a pathway to “yes.” That means we will always keep an open mind, communicate clearly, and welcome opportunities for improvement. Getting to “yes” means getting off our heels and running towards challenges rather than away from them. We will think big while also embracing the small-town feel that makes Dearborn so special.

It is in that spirit that I look forward to continuing a strong relationship with the City Council, City Clerk, Charter Commission, all the civic and community groups that call Dearborn home, and the hundreds of public servants who clock in every morning striving to make Dearborn better.

I will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way. I will not always succeed. But it will not be out of lack of effort or imagination. So even as I fail, may we learn from those moments and fail forward because I know that triumph will be waiting.

Finally, to the residents of Dearborn, our greatest asset and source of power: thank you for lending me your trust. You’ll often hear that your government is open to hearing your concerns. But I’m here to say that we don’t just want your concerns. We want your ideas. We want your wisdom. We want you to be active participants in shaping the future of our city, co-governing side-by-side, for no single person can change the direction of our city. We must all do it together – for together we can, and together we will.

And just remember that when we fight for home, we never quit.

Thank you, all. Wa Salaam u alaykum.

Let’s get to work.