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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Gambian vies for public office in US

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Samba Baldeh is a software engineer who has lived in the United States since 1999. If elected, he’ll become the second Gambian to be elected into public office in the US, following the success of Momodou Ceesay, who is the current mayor of Oklahoma city in Glenpool. 

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Speaking to APA on Sunday about what motivated him to run for public office, Samba, who had been heavily involved in youth activities in the Gambia prior to his migration to the US, said his objective is to make sure all the residents of District 17 have a voice at city hall, and to contribute in addressing the profound issue of inequity in his community.

“I will try and engage everyone, particularly immigrants and minorities, to make sure their concerns are heard,” he added.

He further told a Gambian online newspaper: “Our community is made up of people who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. If political office-holders reflect that same diversity of background and experience, we could have a more democratic local government, and one that is more focused on the needs of the people.  Too often, policies are made without considering the opportunity cost, including the cost to people who have the least access to opportunity. If people are invisible to officials, then it is not likely people will really be represented, even if office-holders mean them no harm. There is also a diversity of style and inclusiveness that can go with diverse backgrounds.   Our local democracy will be healthier when it can be informed by the richness of other traditions.” 

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