MDLM Hosts Reception for State Democratic Party Leadership in Massachusetts
By Kashif Ahmed


L to R : Mike Festa, James McGovern, Deborah Goldberg and Deval Patrick

Lowell, Massachusetts: Recently, the historic town of Lowell, Massachusetts, played host to the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which held its State Democratic Convention on May 13 and 14. Former Governor and Presidential candidate, Dr. Howard Dean was the keynote speaker in his capacity as the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
The convention was an ‘issues convention’, serving to establish the new party platform for the Massachusetts Democratic Party. The platform contains language in opposition to the USA Patriot Act. Under the heading of “Civil Rights and Civil Liberties”, it reads: “While acknowledging the need for increased security in the post-9/11 world, Massachusetts Democrats oppose the unconstitutional excesses of the United States Patriot Act and any other act that infringes on our constitutional rights.”
On the sidelines of the main convention, on a beautiful New England spring evening, the Muslim Democratic Leadership of Massachusetts (MDLM) hosted an elegant dinner party and reception for the Muslim community leadership of the state, and leading Democratic party elected leaders and candidates.
The MDLM is a coalition of Muslims serving in the state Democratic party. The members of this coalition are Parwez Wahid (main organizer of the dinner reception), Mushtaque Mirza, Hanif Butt, Habib Rahman, Shahid Khan and Farooq Mirza. Wahid and Mushtaque Mirza.
The Democratic Party leaders who attended the dinner were: Deval Patrick – candidate for Governor; Congressman James McGovern – Massachusetts 3rd District; State Representative Kay Khan; State Representative Deborah Blumer; State Representative Mike Festa – candidate for District Attorney; and Deborah Goldberg, candidate for Lt. Governor.
Patrick warmly embraced the community members, greeting them all in Arabic. He went on to explain how he would strive to include all and not sideline any ethnic community. He cheerfully answered questions from the attendees. Congressman Jim McGovern (Mass. District 3), having just retuned from a trip to Iraq and the Middle East, made a passionate speech throwing his weight behind Patrick and thus endorsing his candidacy for Governor.
Kay Khan and Debby Blumer also addressed the community gathering and promised to work hard for all Americans in the state. They stressed the importance of supporting the Democrats in the 2006 elections and described what the Party stands for.
Mike Festa, a candidate for Middlesex County District Attorney and Deborah Goldberg, a candidate for Lt. Governor addressed the audience later in the evening. Each described their qualification for the office they were seeking. Festa described his experience as an attorney and a lawmaker, that gave him a unique set of skills for the office of District Attorney. Goldberg talked about the importance of the Lt. Governor’s office to reach out to the towns and communities across the state. From her own experience of chairing her Town Committee, she felt that the current Lt. Governor had not made the best effort in such an outreach effort and it had affected the ability of the local government to provide for their communities. She hoped to correct this situation if elected.
Following the speeches, the Democratic officials and candidates joined the distinguished community members in a scrumptious Pakistani buffet meal of tandoori chicken, biryani, naans, samosas and kheer. Community members in attendance included Imam Talal Eid of the Islamic Council of New England, Dris Djermoun, President of the Islamic Center of Boston, Kemal Bozkurt and Kashif Ahmed.
The warm and congenial atmosphere of the gathering allowed the Muslim community leadership to learn more about the Democratic party and some of the positions of the leading state candidates.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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