February 2, 2017

Drive to get more Muslims into public office

Nadeem Mazen
A successful Muslim city councilmember from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his deputy campaign manager have launched a national campaign to get more Muslims into public office. Their group, Jetpac, has also launched a drive for an increase in civic education for American Muslim communities across the country.

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. 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.

Shaun Kennedy
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.

“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.

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.

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