Meet Democratic Party Candidates
By Mario Moreira
From left: Mario Moreira, Tom Conroy, Parwez Wahid
and Gerry Leone
September 17, 2006, two Democratic Party candidates, Gerry
Leone and Tom Conroy, visited the Islamic Center of Boston
(ICB)–Wayland to enlighten community members on "Community
Outreach and Civic Participation".
Parwez Wahid, a member of the ICB who is actively involved
in state and regional politics, coordinated the event. He
is keen that American Muslims should engage in the political
process and thus gain empowerment. About 50 members of the
ICB-Wayland community attended the function to hear the
Democratic party candidates.
The session started with Parwez introducing the candidates
and each candidate providing an overview of his platform
Gerry Leone is a candidate for Middlesex County District
Attorney. We learned of his active role at the county level.
The good news is that due to his impressive record, he is
running unopposed in the November elections and will become
the DA in January. He is a former prosecutor and attorney.
He has experience of conducting major criminal investigations
and prosecuting cases at the highest level. He has spent
his career in directing investigations and prosecuting major
cases in the Superior Court and enjoys the distinction of
securing the first US conviction of al Qaeda terrorist 'Shoebomber'
Richard Reid. He believes in attacking the root causes of
crime before they have a chance to take hold. An example
of this approach is his work in schools where he goes every
week and gives kids the right tools and support to turn
away from crime.
Tom Conroy is candidate for State Representative for the
13th Middlesex District. He faces a difficult contest in
November against the incumbent. Tom used to work in the
State Department and was on the staff of two US Senators.
His district includes the area of Lincoln, Sudbury, and
Wayland Massachusetts, where his goals are: preserving the
great schools, making smart choices about the environment,
improving public works infrastructure, balancing commercial
growth with semi-rural character, and preventing the seemingly
unavoidable annual increase in property taxes. Tom believes
strongly in civil rights and ensuring that members of all
races and faiths are treated with fairness and respect.
The objective of this session was two-fold: to allow the
Democrats to have an opportunity to voice their respect
for the Muslim way of life and recognize American Muslims
as an important part of the American society. The session
also allowed the American Muslims to let the Democrats know
that they are a growing number in the United States and
they value the American way of life and the country’s
The session ended with a Q&A round in which the American
Muslims posed questions and heard the candidates’
views on civil rights and security issues. Gerry Leone seemed
committed to ensure that our community felt safe while Tom
Conroy focused more on ensuring that our civil rights remained
Mario Moreira, ICB Member at Large, concluded the session
thanking Parwez Walid for helping the American Muslim community
in gaining political awareness. He also thanked Gerry Leone
and Tom Conroy for their time and involvement in the community
and wished them luck in the upcoming Democratic contests.
Mario concluded the session by urging the audience to vote
in the upcoming Massachusetts primary and the mid-term elections
on November 7, 2006.
There are many American Muslims in the United States who
can make a difference, but they need to get involved in
the American political system to ensure that they are treated
fairly and with respect.