PEORIA, IL -- An impressive group of liberals stood with Amr Elsamny on Nov. 21, as he announced his run for an open seat on the Peoria City Council. The election is next spring.
Elsamny, 36, would be the first Muslim elected to the council if he wins a seat. He is the fourth candidate running for two at-large seats.
At his official news conference to announce his run, Elsamny said he was born in Egypt, brought to the US as a child, and has lived in Peoria for a decade. He has also lived in several other cities. "I feel Peoria has a lot of potential," he said.
He spoke of an aggressive effort to find jobs for Peoria's minority community, saying that more jobs will decrease crime. The entire community also needs to be united, he said.
"Minorities feel like they are left out and the government does not care" about them, he said."We can help them be entrepreneurs," he said.
Peoria recently was name one of the worst cities in the U.S. for black residents.
Elsamny did not take questions, but he told me that he opposes the apartments in Riverfront Park and would vote to withdraw the application to give the parkland to developers. The National Park Service has to approve the application since the land was purchased using federal funds.
Elsamny is President and Global Project Director for a not-for-profit group, Mercy for Mankind.
-- Elaine Hopkins