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Outgoing Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem Mazen is exploring a bid to represent Massachusetts’s 3rd Congressional district, according to Federal Election Commission paperwork filed on Sept. 21.
Mazen, who has served two terms on the Council, recently filed a statement of candidacy that would have him running a campaign to fill the seat of retiring House Rep. Niki Tsongas. According to the paperwork, Mazen would run the campaign out of Andover, Mass. He is one of several candidates who has expressed interest in the open Congressional seat.
“I hear from residents who are renewing their participation in community building — across racial, socioeconomic, and town lines,” Mazen said to the Boston Globe. He teased an October 1 announcement “regarding my upcoming campaign plans at the Andover Town House.”
Mazen is the president and co-founder of Jetpac, an organization which seeks to prepare youth and minority candidates to run for office, as well as “empower minority communities through targeted training and civic education programs.” He is also first Muslim elected official in Massachusetts.
When asked about the race to fill the City Council seat he’ll be leaving behind, Mazen said he supported some of the candidates, but was overall discouraged by the lack of student participation in Cambridge politics. Mazen is one of three City Councillors stepping down ahead of November’s municipal elections.
“We’re talking about races that would change if only 100 students from each class voted, even only a handful” he said. “I won my first race here by 6 votes.”
In order to increase student participation and political engagement, Mazen said he thinks that politicians need to speak to the issues young people care about, as well as encourage civic engagement.
“Students could register here every odd year, and vote local every even year, or when they go home” he said. “There’s lots of way for them to participate.”
—Staff writer Nicholas W. Sundberg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @NickWSundberg.
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