من از یک خانواده مهاجر می آیم و آرزوهای زیبایی برای ایرانیان خارج و داخل ایران دارم
شما رأی بدهید تا صدای شما در کنگره آمریکا به گوش ها برسد
“شروین اعظمی“ کاندیدای ایرانی برای نمایندگی کنگره، یک جوان تحصیلکرده، آگاه و از یک خانواده اصیل و صاحب دانش و اعتبار می آید. شروین از امیدهای آینده جامعه ایرانی در سرزمین آمریکاست.
• از شروین اعظمی می پرسیم درباره خودش و درباره اینکه چرا تصمیم گرفته بعنوان نماینده وارد کنگره آمریکا بشود.
می گوید: من یک پدر، یک همسر و یک مهاجر هستم. من یک فعال مخالف جنگ که بعنوان نماینده ای از کالیفرنیا بخش 32 هستم که در صورت پیروزی من اولین ایرانی آمریکایی دمکرات برگزیده برای کنگره در تاریخ این کشور خواهم بود، سانفرناندوولی که بیش از نیمی از این بخش تحت پوشش محل زندگی من است. من در این منطقه بزرگ شدم، دبیرستان رفتم فارغ التحصیل شدم و با افتخار با خانواده ام، با همسرم در اینجا رشد کردیم. من فرزند یک خانواده پناهنده هستم که بدلیل مذهب وعقیده با یک چمدان کوچک لباسهایشان از سرزمین خود ایران گریختند و من با وجود کودکی می دیدم که چگونه آنها با فداکاری برای دوباره ساختن زندگی و آینده من می کوشند تا آنجا که من دو Master Degree در مدیریت سلامت و اجتماعی بدست آوردم و در همین زمینه ها در کاپیتال فعال بودم.
من با هدف های انسانی پیش میروم، در جامعه ای که بی خانمانها، مشکل بزرگ و غیرقابل عملی بنظر می آید، شرایط اقتصادی رو به وخامت میرود، شرایط زندگی و سلامت جامعه در خطر است در منطقه ای زندگی کردم که می خواهم صدایشان باشم، صدای مردمی که با وجود تلاش شبانه روزی و زحمات فراوان آینده روشنی در پیش روی ندارند.
من احساس می کنم برای رفاه این مردم و نیازهایشان باید بودجه اختصاص بیاید نه برای کارخانه های اسلحه سازی و وال استریت بودجه ها حذف شود.
• دیدگاه شما درباره خط مشی برخورد وارتباط با ایران چیست؟
- رابطه با ایران و برخورد با مسائل ایران برای من خیلی شخصی است من آرزو دارم، مردم ایران قدرت واقعی خود را داشته باشند، ایران امکان دسترسی به سلاح اتمی نداشته باشد، ما وظیفه داریم جلوی جنگ را بگیریم با سیاست و دیپلماتیک مشکلات را حل کنیم.
در شرایطی که دولت ایران از این رابطه لرزان میان دو کشور سود برده و مرتب میزان تولید اورانیوم را بالا می برد و تحریم ها سبب میشود هر روز شرایط اقتصادی وخیم تر شده و مردم زیر فشار قرار گیرند و درواقع مردم تنبیه شوند نه دولت ها. هرچه فشارهای اقتصادی بروی ایران بیشتر بشود، ایران بیشتر به سوی چین جذب میشود تا آنجا که یک قرارداد 25 ساله 400 میلیون دلاری منعقد می شود، اگر ما به برقراری دمکراسی در ایران می اندیشیم، چین این دمکراسی را برقرار نمی کند و حتی آنرا به عقب می اندازد از سویی عدم همکاری وارتباط گوگل، اپل با ایران، سبب میشود همه ارتباطات اینترنتی هم قطع شود و همه فعالیت های ایرانیان را برای دستیابی به صلح و آزادی متوقف سازد. و کمتر کسی از دولت های خارجی خبردارند این تحریم ها چه بروز روزنامه نگاران و فعالان سیاسی و حتی زندانی شدن واعدام و کشتار مردم از جمله درسال 2019 انجامیده است.
• لطفاً محدوده فعالیت تان را برای ایرانیانی که آماده رأی دادن هستند مشخص کنید.
- منطقه 32، شامل وست هیلز، وودلند هیلز، نورتریج، چتسورت، انسینو، تارزانا، کانوگا پارک و بخشی از رسیدا، شرمن اوکس، استودیوسیتی، ملیبو، توپنگا، برنت وود، پاسیفیک پالسید، پرشین اسکوئر در وست وود، بخشی از بل ایر و بورلی گلن. اگر شما در هرکدام از این مناطق زندگی می کنید و سیتی زن آمریکا هستید، می توانید رأی بدهید.
تاریخ اولیه رأی دادن. 7 جون است. اگر شما ورقه های رأی را دریافت نکردید، آخرین روز 23 ماه می است و می توانید آن لاین هم نام نویسی کنید.
اگر نیاز به ورقه رأی فارسی دارید تقاضا کنید تا برایتان فراهم شود.
I am a father, husband, immigrant, and anti-war activist
As an Iranian American, U.S. foreign policy towards Iran is very personal to me
Tell us about yourself and why you are running for Congress
My name is Shervin Aazami. I am a father, husband, immigrant, and anti-war activist. I am running to represent California’s 32nd District in U.S. Congress, and if elected, I would be the first and only Iranian American Democrat elected to Congress in United States history. The San Fernando Valley – which covers more than half the district I am running to represent – is my hometown. I grew up here, went to grade school here, and now proudly raise my family here with my wife. I am the son of two Iranian asylum seekers who fled religious persecution as teenagers during the Iranian Revolution with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and while I was growing up, I watched them make every sacrifice to build a better life. They instilled in me an unshakeable work ethic and commitment to serving my community, which is what led me to earn two master’s degrees – in Public Health and in Public Administration – while working full-time as a healthcare advocate on Capitol Hill in Washington DC.
I am running because the everyday issues facing our communities – from homelessness to unaffordable healthcare to lack of economic opportunity – are only growing more dire. I am running because my lived experiences as an immigrant growing up in working class neighborhoods in the Valley reflects the lived experiences of many of our district residents – many of whom feel like their struggles and priorities continue to be ignored by status quo politicians. I am running because I believe my hometown congressional district deserves an unapologetic advocate for bold, structural, progressive policy reforms that uplift and empower all of us.
I am running because I passed more bills in 2 years as an advocate on Capitol Hill than the incumbent has in 26 years as a legislator. These include bills that cancelled copays and deductibles for certain Veteran populations, guaranteed long-term funding for community health centers, and delivered over $10 billion to communities for COVID-19 response, maternal health, and substance use treatment. No other challenger in this race can claim to have successfully advocated for federal legislation.
In my view, the term “advocate” is the key here – because the central question facing our democracy is not whether we have identified the right solutions to preserve and strengthen it, but rather have we elected the right representatives who are steadfast in their commitment to championing the solutions we know to be effective. In other words, it’s a question of political courage and a willingness to fight against a status quo that has caused so much harm.
My philosophy is that in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, poverty is a policy choice. I believe we deserve budgets that invest in us – in strong public schools no matter someone’s zip code; in housing and healthcare as human rights; in preventing the worst impacts of climate change, and in economic security for all, not just the wealthiest among us.
What would your election mean for the Persian community in Los Angeles and across the United States?
Los Angeles is home to the largest Persian community outside of Iran and is lovingly referred to as Tehrangeles. Nevertheless, one of our own has never represented us in Congress. There has never been an Iranian American elected to U.S. Congress from California. In fact, there is only one representative of Persian descent in Congress across the entire country – a Republican from Oklahoma. I think we are far overdue to elect an Iranian American Democrat to promote stronger bipartisanship on issues impacting the Persian community across the United States.
In addition, for far too long Congress has made policy decisions about the Persian community without any Persian voices. We have not had a seat at the table in congressional decision-making, and that has been to the detriment of our community. And let’s be clear, issues surrounding lack of Iranian American representation in Congress go farther than just their impact on U.S. foreign policy towards Iran. For example, immigration reform is obviously a big issue for our community, and we don’t have many advocates in Congress for reforms that would help Iranians who are attempting to gain U.S. citizenship or wishing to come to the U.S. for their education. For example, federal laws like the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 discriminate against Iranian dual nationals living outside Iran and/or that have visited Iran anytime on or after March 1, 2011, by requiring them to obtain a visa before visiting the United States for personal or business travel. This means that if, for instance, Iranian Americans have family members who are dual citizens of Iran and another country like Germany, France, Australia, or any other country whose citizens usually don’t need a visa to travel to the U.S. are nevertheless required to obtain a visa simply because they traveled to Iran since 2011 or also hold citizenship in Iran. That is discrimination.
Furthermore, because the United States has no diplomatic or consular services in Iran, Iranian students who wish to attend U.S. universities for their 4-year or advanced degrees face enormous challenges, like having to first travel to Dubai, Yerevan, or Ankara to obtain a single-entry visa which can take months to process. For those Iranian students lucky enough to obtain a visa, many are forced to go back to Iran after they complete their U.S. education because of challenges in securing a work visa or Green Card.
In addition, while President Biden rescinded the so-called Muslim travel ban, Congress has not passed legislation blocking a future administration from reimposing it. We must fix that.
These are just some of the immigration issues I plan to address if elected. In short, we should not be punishing the Iranian people for the despotism of the Iranian government. Many lawmakers are unaware of the unique challenges facing Iranian immigrants, and my job will be to both educate and partner with them on legislative solutions.
What are some of your top legislative priorities?
My priorities reflect the priorities of our district voters – fighting for strong public education, to end homelessness, for guaranteed healthcare coverage under Medicare for All, and for clean air and water as human rights. I’m fighting for a humane immigration system that ensures immigrants aren’t waiting years or decades to earn their citizenship. I’m fighting for a more genuine democracy right here at home, and to establish a new foreign policy grounded in diplomacy, protection of human rights, and promotion of public health – and to end our legacy of foreign imperialism and occupation.
We have lawmakers that are fine to invest over 50% of our annual budget on endless foreign wars, while 8 out of 10 Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. We have countless small businesses that were forced to shutdown during COVID-19 and are unable to access federal resources while big corporations like Amazon and Chevron pay zero in federal taxes and receive billions in taxpayer subsidies. Why should small businesses and working and middle-class people shoulder the burden of taxes while billionaires and large international corporations dodge their tax liability? That is not right, and it is not fair. I believe we deserve government budgets that invest in our needs, and in our communities – not in the needs of weapons manufacturers and Wall Street corporations.
What are your foreign policy positions towards Iran?
As an Iranian American, U.S. foreign policy towards Iran is very personal to me. I want a foreign policy that uplifts and empowers the Iranian people, not the murderous Iranian regime. My position is that we need strong diplomacy to prevent war and prevent the Iranian government from possessing a nuclear weapon.
The unfortunate reality is that since U.S. departure from the Iran Deal, the Iranian government has enriched uranium to their highest levels ever – over 60%. Comparatively, when both the U.S. and Iran were compliant with the deal, Iran’s uranium enrichment levels were at only 3.67%. In other words, the deal was working, but for political reasons that had nothing to do with the parameters of the deal itself, the U.S. unilaterally exited the deal. That has hurt the Iranian economy and triggered massive inflation and poverty – all of which exclusively hurt the Iranian people, and do not take power away from the regime. We should not be punishing the Iranian people to punish the regime – that does not help anyone.
We must also recognize that the maximum pressure sanctions on Iran have achieved very little in democratizing the country or in reducing Iran’s financing of foreign terrorism. On the contrary, U.S. sanctions have led Iran to draw closer ties with the Chinese, made evident by the 25-year $400 billion deal the two countries signed last year. If our hope is for the Iranian people to one day establish their own democracy, I don’t think the Chinese government will help facilitate that. In addition, our economic sanctions have severely reduced internet access in Iran, because companies like Google and Apple refuse to do business there out of fear of violating our sanctions. In response, Iran has cracked down further on free public internet access by engaging in more surveillance and censorship – all of which hurt the Iranian people and stifle movements for peace. Indeed, the world is unaware of how many innocent people and journalists the Iranian government killed during the uprisings in 2019 because of U.S. sanctions.
We must reexamine the efficacy of our sanctions, have the integrity to acknowledge that they have not produced the intended results, and the courage to focus on what is actually best for the American people and the Iranian people instead of focusing on what is politically expedient.
Tell us the borders of your district and how and when people can vote
Our congressional district – California’s 32nd – is primarily located in Los Angeles County. The neighborhoods in our district include West Hills, Woodland Hills, Northridge, Chatsworth, Encino, Tarzana, Canoga Park, parts of Reseda, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Malibu, Topanga, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Persian Square in Westwood, and parts of Bel Air and Beverly Glen. If you live in one of these neighborhoods and are a U.S. citizen, you are eligible to vote for us!
The date of the primary election is June 7. Every single registered voter will automatically receive a ballot in the mail starting on May 9, and they can turn in their ballot anytime up to June 7. We strongly encourage everyone who receives their ballot to fill it out and submit it immediately.
If you are not registered to vote, the last day to register is May 23. It is very important to register before that deadline. It is very easy to register online and only takes a couple minutes: https://registertovote.ca.gov/. You must be a U.S. citizen to register to vote. Farsi speakers can request their ballot to be in Farsi.