Salih to run for City Council


James Year

Iowa City resident Mazahir Salih, president of the Eastern Iowa Center for Worker Justice, announces her candidacy for city council at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center on Monday, March 6, 2017. (The Daily Iowan/James Year)

By Sarah Stortz

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Iowa City resident Mazahir Salih announced her plans to run for an at-large seat on the Iowa City City Council at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center on Monday.
Her contributions to the city include being the president of the Eastern Iowa Center for Worker Justice, and she currently serves as a board member for the Community Police Review Board.

Michelle Hoehne, the communications coordinator and office administrator for the Eastern Iowa Center for Worker Justice, said Salih played a vital role in the organization when she served as vice president.

“She’s one of our cofounders, so she’s been with us since the very beginning,” Hoehne said. “She’s also been an organizer since October of last year. We’re very happy to have her on our staff.”

During her announcement, Salih focused on issues pertaining to immigrants’ rights, affordable housing, raising the minimum wage, and strengthening the transportation system.

Salih proposed to find “creative resolutions” to fix each of these local problems. She noted that the local economy, while it’s currently strong, needs to become more inclusive.

Salih also told the story of moving to Iowa City five years ago. She said she asked a strange man to give her directions. Instead, the man offered to come with her and show her the way. She expressed her wish to return the favor by showing the way to community members.

“My interactions in the organization was with people with different levels of education, class, along with elected officials. I’ve been bringing those people together all the time, and we find solutions to different issues,” she said. “I go to the City Council [meetings] a lot, and I find out I can bring those people together.”

Salih said because of her camaraderie with other workers in the community, she would make an ideal candidate to serve on the City Council.

“I work in a different class of workers,” she said. “I feel like a worker at a factory. I’ve met a lot of people who have a lot of solutions. I can work through the bridges and bring those people together through the City Council.”

Jesse Case, the secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 238 who has worked with Salih, praised her.

“I’ve been very impressed with her leadership skills and her advocacy. A lot of people run for City Council and try to convince us that they’re a part of the community, but Mazahir is already a part of the community,” he said. “She already has the support of a very diverse group of Iowa City citizens. She’s going to take the experience that she’s learned in the community and bring it to the government.”

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