DEARBORN — Kamel Elkadri wants to bring his vision for Dearborn to the City Council.
“I decided to run for City Council because Dearborn has given me and my family so much and I want that same opportunity for others,” said Elkadri, one of 18 candidates competing for the seven Council seats. “My father immigrated to this beautiful city from Lebanon over 40 years ago and married my mother, who was born and raised in the Southend of Dearborn. Dearborn welcomed my father with open arms and he was lucky enough to not only start and raise his family, but help others out as well. He was able to start his career at Ford and was lucky enough to retire from there 30 years later.
We need to create an avenue for entrepreneurs to learn, develop and grow their brand and business. – Kamel Elkadri
“Like my father, I was able to start my family with my wife, Mariam, who is a long time Dearborn Public School teacher. Together we have three children that hopefully will also start and raise their family in Dearborn.”
Being a family man, Elkadri said that safety is one of his priorities if elected.
“Safety is an issue,” he said. “Distracted driving and speeding are a huge issue all over Dearborn and we need to work with the police department to not only enforce, but we also need to educate the youth of the city about distracted, reckless and driving under the influence.”
With the price of houses and expenses of living being higher from the pandemic, Elkadri also said that welcoming residents and businesses is also on the top of his priorities.
“The month of Ramadan brings out all the popup food stands that are really fresh and creative ideas,” he said. “It’s great to see all the young entrepreneurs, but why does this have to only be a 30-night thing? We need to create an avenue for entrepreneurs to learn, develop and grow their brand and business. Other cities do it and very successful businesses are born in those cities. We are losing many of our residents to surrounding cities. Improving our services, becoming efficient and continuing to keep Dearborn safe will retain these residents and attract new ones.”
While many candidates have mentioned city services and pollution being areas of concern, Elkadri said that there is more to it than that.
“Pollution is an issue, not only air, but noise and water pollution needs to be addressed and businesses should be held accountable for their air, noise and water pollution,” he said. “We can get very efficient with the services we offer in our city by using technology and obtaining grants. We are the hometown of Henry Ford. Ford is investing heavily in technology and the city should reflect that. Ford just unveiled the F150 Lightning, an amazing truck. Let’s set up some charging stations in our business districts and parks. In 2021, we shouldn’t be applying for permits on paper or requests for services on a phone call and voicemail. We can use technology and submit electronically and track the process.”
A Fordson High School alum who was born and raised in Dearborn, Elkadri said that he is committed to the community.
“I have an associate’s degree in HVAC from Henry Ford Community College and I also have a bachelor’s degree in business management and an MBA in leadership,” he said. “I am the director of dining services at Henry Ford Village, where I have worked the past 22 years serving the seniors in our community. I started there when I was 14-years-old as a freshman in high school and I have loved every minute there. I oversee four different restaurants and have over 200 employees, many who are high school and college students. There, they gain valuable skills they can later use in their careers.”
Elkadri also said that he and his team worked tirelessly to get access to the COVID vaccine and was able to secure 1,000 vaccines and set-up two large vaccine clinics. He also helps support the city’s youth.
“For the past eight years I have also coached baseball, which takes me back to my long summer days of Adray baseball at Ford Woods Park. There, I teach the youth of the city not only the game of baseball but values to live by, like respect, integrity, teamwork, hard work and dedication. Those same values that I lived my life by and the same values I will lead and represent by.”