* Last year it was President Obama endorsing Juliana Stratton over Rep. Ken Dunkin. This year it’s Keith Ellison. From a press release…
U.S. Representative Keith Ellison, who also serves as the Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee attended the campaign launch of Dilara Sayeed, candidate for State Representative of the 5th District.
Sayeed is running for the 5th District seat to be vacated by Lieutenant Governor candidate Juliana Stratton. Sayeed is a community leader and former Chief Education Officer of the Golden Apple Foundation. She would be the first Muslim to be elected to the Illinois state legislature, and only the third in the country.
“You need to have state legislators willing to stand up for public education, to stand up for key issues,” Ellison said. “We’ve got to have state legislators who can be unrelenting and not back down. Dilara is stepping into [this work]. Step into it with her, because you are rolling with the right person.“
Ellison praised her efforts. “She’s reaching out to people, to communities, and we have to be there. Not for her sake, but for all of ours. Dilara, I’m very proud of you.”
“I’m blessed to be able to call Congressman Keith Ellison my friend,” Sayeed said.
Sayeed’s campaign is off to a fast start, raising $50,000 in two weeks from over 60 contributors.
“She’s the real deal,” said Reverend Leslie Sanders, senior pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church. “She has the knowledge, the political skills, and what matters most is that she cares.”
Pastor Joaquin Barry led the guests in prayer. He called on the community to work together and asked for God’s Grace to carve a path to victory.
The campaign launch was held at Sunshine Enterprises, a community incubator in the district that trains and equips local entrepreneurs. One of Sayeed’s key campaign issues is a focus on bringing business and economic revitalization to communities and supporting talent in the 5th District.
“One of the platforms of our campaign is that we shouldn’t call it the American Dream, it should be the American Promise,” Sayeed said. “If people work hard, if we try and are persistent, and if we follow the rules - then we should be able to build a life. My husband and I have been fortunate to build a life…and my career has been about being a bridge so that others can build that life too.
50 grand? Not bad. She may need it. Tregg Duerson, the son of the late Chicago Bears great Dave Duerson, has loaned his campaign $51,000 so far.