Momentum grows for African immigrant’s bid for Columbus City Council

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As the November election date draws closer, momentum continues to grow for Ibrahima Sow who is set to be the first immigrant to serve on Columbus City Council.  Mr. Sow’s candidacy is history-in-the-making for Columbus Ohio, a city that has a large population of African immigrants. A native of Senegal, Ibrahima has impressive credentials: graduate from the Ohio State University; aide to former Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder; advocate for immigrant & minority communities. Commenting on Mr. Sow’s candidacy, Richard Herman, the co-host of an upcoming reception/fundraiser for the Republican Party Candidate for Columbus City Council, said: “Columbus city government needs representatives who understand the immigrant experience, and who understands the challenges and OPPORTUNITIES in welcoming immigrants”

The fundraising/reception event is scheduled as fllows:

The event will be held as follows:

Date: Friday, October 23rd
Time: 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

Venue: Dabakh African Restaurant
Address: 2225 Morse Rd. Columbus, Ohio 43229

Although eye brows have been raised about Mr. Sow’s affiliation with the Republican Party, specifically,  about the chances of executing his innovative ideas within the conservative constraints  of that political platform, many Africans in Columbus have nothing but love for the young man.

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Ibrahima Sow came to the United States from Senegal in 1998 with his mother and two brothers. He has lived in Columbus ever since, attending Independence High School and graduating from Ohio State University. Sow is now running for Columbus City Council, endorsed by the Franklin County Republican Party, with the goal of helping people like himself.

“Being from Senegal originally I had a lot of experience with people that don’t have a lot of access to available resources in a city,” said Sow. “So being from that kind of community and that background, I know these people and I’ve grown up around them, so I’d be able to, as a City Council member… bring those resources to people that need it the most.”

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Sow said the top issues he wants to focus on are resource access for new Americans and children, neighborhood investments and diversifying the Columbus Division of Police, coupled with better cultural training for

police officers. Such training must be comprehensive and inexpensive, said Sow, and should take pointers from other cities that have had success with cultural training.

“I think that the Columbus police are one of the best departments in the country, but that doesn’t make them exclusive to innovation,” said Sow. “If you’re good, you have to be better. I feel like they have to be able to know the different circumstances of different people in the city, especially being of different… cultural backgrounds, they have to be able to approach people and speak to them in a way that they understand.”

One thing Sow wants to do to help new Americans is to implement programs in Columbus’ libraries, offering free workshops teaching English and financial literacy, and making sure community members know when those workshops are taking place. Sow suggested giving libraries a wider mandate to help neighborhood populations.

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