Technology engineer Nasser Mirzai is campaigning to join the Danville Town Council, running on a platform to reinvigorate what he sees as stale leadership with a fresh perspective.
Pushing to promote economic vitality, quality of life and the preservation of Danville's small-town charm, Mirzai said that while he has nothing against the current council members, he was motivated to run in part due to the belief that incumbents have lost the pulse of the community.
"It's fairly easy to keep the same trends going forward, rather than challenging other issues," Mirzai said, arguing against continuity on the Town Council. "This is not a negative campaign. This has nothing to do with the people that are currently sitting and running the council. This is just a fresh new perspective."
A vocal proponent for term limits in Danville, Mirzai launched an unsuccessful campaign to place term limits on the ballot earlier this year, arguing that the lack of term limits not only prevented newcomers from bringing fresh ideas to the town -- an incumbent council member has never lost an election in Danville's history -- but also that it also allowed incumbents to become disconnected from the needs of their constituents.
"The difference of doing (term limits) is not allowing any one person to hold the position for too long for allowing newcomers, new fresh ideas to challenge (the community) ... If I were in a position for more than, let's say eight years, I would be losing touch with reality, lose touch with the needs of the people" Mirzai said.
"There is so much that I hear … that the council is making decisions and people feel that they are not good decisions. The council doesn't seem to understand people's positions, and again in their mind they are making what is called the right decisions for the town, but then the town isn't happy with those decisions," he added.
While helping reinvigorate the council is a top issue for Mirzai, he also shared his vision for an economically vibrant community and stressed that supporting local businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic downturn should be a top priority for every candidate.
"Especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is going to be a new world and a new normal and there's going to be a lot of decisions that need to be made and processes put in place supporting small businesses," he said. "There's going to be a lot of small businesses that we need to support and help out to keep Danville vibrant."
Mirzai is also a passionate advocate for Danville's small-town charm, and says as a council member he would work to promote public events that foster feelings of togetherness amongst community members.
Maintaining and improving the quality of life in Danville is another top priority, which he says can only be improved through the expansion of the town's outdoor amenities. Particularly relevant now due to the ongoing pandemic, Mirzai said the town needs to seriously look at expanding hiking and biking trails throughout town to promote a healthy quality of life among residents.
Mirzai added that issues surrounding safety and social justice reform are also key issues he keeps close in his mind.
While Mirzai has never held an elected position, he is familiar with state legislative issues through his volunteer work on the San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs Executive Board as a legislative advocate.
In that capacity he lobbied for local schools and worked to stay informed on legislative issues coming out of Sacramento.
To learn more about Mirzai and his campaign to lead Danville, residents can visit. www.nasser4danville.com.