DEARBORN — With voters approving the development of a Charter Revision Commission, community activist Hassan Abdallah wants to give back to the city that has always been home.
Abdallah’s father immigrated to Dearborn from Lebanon in the 1950’s in pursuit of the American dream and Abdallah is one of 11 children.
Being a life-long resident, Abdallah said that he and his wife, Samar, knew that Dearborn was where they wanted to raise a family.
“My mother was the rock of our family as a homemaker and instilled in me the values of hard work and being a good neighbor — the values I want to instill into my children — and the values that would fuel my work as a commissioner,” he said. “Right now, the most important titles I have are that of ‘father, husband, son and brother’ and ensuring that I provide for my family through hard work and being a positive role model for my children.
“When spending time with my family we enjoy the many amenities that Dearborn offers, from our great parks to our locally owned small businesses. Dearborn has always been home, it’s the city that welcomed my father when he immigrated to the U.S. from Lebanon, it is where my parents chose to remain and raise their 11 children; and when my wife and I decided to start a family, we had no doubt that Dearborn is where we wanted to raise our children.”
The Fordson High School graduate earned his bachelor’s degree in economics at Wayne State University before completing his academic career at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, where he earned his juris doctorate.
During his time at Wayne State, Abdallah served as a student senator in the student body government, volunteered at the Michigan Humane Society and Habitat for Humanity and while completing his juris doctorate, he became a founding member of the SAFE Substance Abuse Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to assisting individuals who suffer from addiction and mental health disorders.
This is a historic time in our city and I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute my skills to ensuring our charter is a robust document that makes Dearborn a city people are proud to call home, an attraction for business development and a place for families to grow in. — Hassan Abdallah
Recently, Abdallah was named interim chief compliance officer of HAP, where his job consists of ensuring the company complies with federal and state laws, ensuring the best health outcomes for members and protecting federal and taxpayer dollars by making decisions that are rooted in integrity and promoting ethical behavior by holding culpable individuals accountable.
His experience as a regulatory compliance officer requires a great deal of research on complex issues and identifying solutions that prevent issues from reoccurring — a skill set Abdallah feels is necessary for the commission.
“Serving on the Charter Commission requires discipline, the willingness to listen (impartially) to others and the ability to make tough decisions,” he said. “My experiences have uniquely positioned me to successfully lead in these areas and build consensus with my fellow commissioners. My work as a regulatory compliance officer requires the ability to remain objective and impartial in my decision making. If I am elected, I plan to listen to my colleagues with the intent to learn and make calculated decisions that will serve the best interest for all of Dearborn.”
Since the Charter is the most important legal document in the city, Abdallah said that it’s important to him that it creates a government that reflects the people within the city.
“First and foremost, it’s imperative the provisions of the Charter are legally sound and compliant with applicable laws,” he said. “And while the entire charter is equally important and vital to me, the matters that rise to the top of my priority list are creating a framework of city government that champions our diversity, removing barriers that hinder civic engagement, ensuring that we have a system of checks and balances both for all levels of government and ensuring public safety for our residents and families throughout all neighborhoods. This is a historic time in our city and I am humbled by the opportunity to contribute my skills to ensuring our charter is a robust document that makes Dearborn a city people are proud to call home, an attraction for business development and a place for families to grow in.”
If elected to the commission, Abdallah said that his goal is to be a voice for the entire city and a conduit of positive outcomes; and having been inspired by his family’s story, he said that he is running for the commission so that he can serve the city by creating a framework through the charter that will ensure other families continue to choose Dearborn as their home.
“I am a firm believer that in order to address local issues and lead effectively, you have to have to be willing to do the work and listen to the needs of others,” he said. “My love for the city of Dearborn is why I’m running, to pay back the city that has given my family so much and to be a voice for my neighbors. The Charter Commission will require a lot of work and deliberation with my peers, but I am dedicated to seeing this process through and making Dearborn a model city for working families for many years to come.”