CAIR-Chicago Kicks off an Electoral Campaign Summer

With goals of mobilizing 45,000 people to come to the polls on November 7, 5,000 people in the weeks prior to Election Day, and 15,000 new voter registrations additions in the state of Illinois, CAIR-Chicago, along with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and other host organizations, has launched an electoral summer campaign.

The New Americans Democracy Project (NADP), the 2006 version of the electoral campaign run two years ago, aims to mobilize registered voters and register all eligible citizens in Illinois to vote. CAIR-Chicago, as a host organization, will be working intensively in the third congressional district’s Bridgeview and surrounding areas. As a host organization, CAIR-Chicago’s Governmental Relations Coordinator Sadiya Ahmed will be the supervisor for the CAIR-Chicago fellow.

After eight days of intense and grueling training, former CAIR-Chicago intern Haady Taslim (pictured above) became the NADP Fellow for CAIR-Chicago and the third district. As a graduate of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, Haady Taslim has the awesome task of organizing a significant number of Muslims in the area. There have been unofficial estimates of up to 50,000 Muslims residing in the southwest suburbs.

Introduced at Little Village High School on Saturday, July 1, 2006, on the National Day of Citizenship, the 18 Fellows were given the task of organizing in their respective areas both in the city and the suburbs. Later that day, their training officially began with Midwest Academy and Wellstone Academy, both organizations that train activists for social justice. Training continued through the next week with experienced activists and trainers giving the Fellows the tools necessary to mobilize large groups of immigrants to vote.

The NADP is a project that seeks to mobilize the immigrant community and bring forth members as active citizens. Given the significant change in immigration reform discourse, the NADP seeks to show elected officials the power that the immigrant community holds by not only helping people become citizens, but by bringing masses of people to polls on Election Day. The current climate of immigration reform is such that anything can happen in the next few months and this election could be crucial to the future of American immigration laws.

As another part to the immigration moment, Haady Taslim will focus on an issue that has effect that is a sensitive topic for the Muslim community: delay in citizenship. As a part of the agenda specific to the Muslim community, Mr. Taslim will be engaging community members in dialogues to bring light to the issue of significant delays in the time it takes for Muslim men to become citizens in the United States. In addition, he will be registering people to vote in the upcoming elections as well as educating them on comprehensive immigration reform. Good luck Haady!

For more information on the New Americans Democracy Project, contact Sadiya Ahmed at or at 312-212-1520

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