BY LYNN EDMONDS
Satnam Singh Parhar, a Democrat, announced his candidacy for District 23 City Council last Monday, becoming the fifth candidate to enter the race since former Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) stepped down from the position last month.
Parhar said education is his top priority. “Once education is there, we can get much stronger,” he said in an interview, specifically mentioning the STEM fields as an area where there was room for improvement.
He says the way to get there is by collaborating with unions. “I want to work with the teachers union rather than against them.”
We need “teachers that are happy with their pay,” Parhar said, because schools will never improve if “teachers are under suppression.”
Parhar also promised to fight bullying and public safety concerns, as well as address the concerns of homeowners who are facing high water bills.
“My district is the most diverse district, but it’s a fragmented district. I will unite people around interests that they hold mutually,” Parhar said.
The Bellerose resident moved to New York in 1976 from Punjab, India, and owned businesses in both the fashion design and construction industry. He is president of the India Association of Long Island. After the 9/11 attacks, he helped educate New Yorkers about the meaning of the Sikh turban, which some wrongly associated with terrorism or radical Islam.
He’s running against Democrats Bob Friedrich, Rebecca Lynch, Ali Najmi and Barry Grodenchik and would face Republican Joe Concannon in November if he won the Democratic primary on Sept. 10.
Reach Lynn Edmonds at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @Ellinoamerikana