Grass Roots Politics (Paperback)

By Morshed Alam

Createspace Independent Publishing Platform, 9781497366329, 206pp.

Publication Date: April 22, 2014

List Price: 15.99*
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Since third grade in his home country of Bangladesh when Morshed was elected president of his class, he has had a growing interest in politics. One of his cousins later became elected to Parliament in the Bangladesh government in 1970, so politics and serving others has been part of the family's philosophy and outlook. In this book, Morshed recalls his days as a high school student when he served as a courier to the freedom fighters of Bangladesh who were fighting for independence from Pakistan. Freedom finally came in 1971, but it came at a price as millions of people were killed in the conflict. From his experiences in fighting for Bangladesh's freedom, Morshed personally knows how important it is to fight for freedom and what you believe in. After graduating from the University of Dhaka, Morshed and his wife made the decision to come to America, and there they had three daughters and became citizens. After working several years for a pharmaceutical company, he started working as a chemist for the Department of Environmental Protection of New York City and then became involved in union activities. In his home borough of Queens, he became deeply involved in politics and civic life, where he began learning the American grassroots system of politics, specifically within the Democratic Party. He became focused on helping what he called the "new Americans," the naturalized immigrants and others, to vote and to become more involved in civic duties. The book offers unique insights about Morshed's struggles of trying to get involved in politics as an immigrant. As a way of getting started in politics, Morshed established his own Democratic Party club. From that base, he ran to be a board member of the local school board and won. He ran again and he won again. Morshed believed that he could rise in American politics. He ran for state senate against a Republican incumbent and almost won when he got 42% of the vote. He could have won, had he had the support of the local Democratic Party machine, but the leaders were entrenched in their old ways of doing things were against supporting any newcomer, especially an immigrant like Morshed. He considered running for state senate a second time, but he realized he did not have enough money to run a strong campaign. In addition, Morshed's political future became a secondary victim of 9/11 because people in general were not too positive towards newcomers. Morshed's good works have paid off in various ways: a trip to Bangladesh with President Bill Clinton, appointment as Voter Assistance Commissioner of New York City, delegate for Al Gore in the 2002 Democratic convention, and seeing other immigrants holding political office because of his help. In addition, Morshed sees a new future for himself as a political and an international public relations consultant for other countries. Furthermore, he has created a nonprofit health clinic and a scholarship program in Bangladesh.

About the Author

Morshed Alam was born and raised in Bangladesh. During his high school years, he acted as a courier for the Bangladesh Freedom Fighters who finally secured Bangladesh freedom from Pakistan. He has a B.S. and master's of science degree from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. He and his wife emigrated to the United States in 1984, where he worked as a chemist. He became a United States citizen and considers America his beloved home. Since 1992, he has worked for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. He was twice elected to School Board 29 in Queens; founded the New American Democratic Association; became executive director of the Bangladesh American Friendship Association; and ran for the New York State Senate, which showed the power of the immigrant community when he obtained 42% of the vote. He has been the recipient of numerous civic awards for his contributions to the school board and the immigrant community. One of his honors was being invited to accompany President Bill Clinton on his trip to visit the South Asian countries of India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The New York City Council has recognized his community involvement by voting him to be a Voter Assistance Commissioner. He and his wife have three daughters, and his family has been involved with him in his campaigns and civic causes. One of his recent projects is to help establish a medical clinic and education scholarships for the people in his home village. He looks forward to working with the South Asian countries to establish new business ties with American businesses in order to help South Asia to continue to prosper.