An Okotoks resident wants to give back and be part of change as part of the next council.
Syed Tassidq Hussain immigrated to Canada from Kashmir with his family 12 years ago, living in Calgary before moving to Okotoks, where they have been for almost five years.
He appreciates the opportunities afforded to his family in Canada and wants to give back to his community.
“It’s one of the best countries and gave me everything, and now I have to return that,” said Hussain. “That’s why I decided to run for council. I want to work for Okotokians, I want to serve them.”
Over his four-and-a-half years in town, he said he’s been disappointed with the leadership on council, adding he’s never seen councillors in the community or had the opportunity to engage with them.
That’s something he would like to fix.
“I believe in change,” said Hussain. “I want to make a difference on council and work with the community.”
Communication with residents regarding their concerns or proposed projects and initiatives will be strengthened by his ability to speak five languages, which he said makes him more approachable for those who are not native English speakers.
He comes with a background in politics, having worked as a student leader and media advocate for human rights in Kashmir prior to immigrating.
The issues faced by Okotoks are different than those in his native country, but no less important, he said.
While water and accountability top the list of priorities, he said providing opportunities for low-income residents is also vital.
“They are really suffering right now, and nothing is going on with them from council,” said Hussain. “I definitely want to make a voice for them.”
Affordable housing is part of the solution, as well as lowering municipal taxes and broadening the business base, he said.
“There are lots of opportunities in Okotoks,” said Hussain. “We need to attract these businesses here.”