The goal of the campaign is to make the voices of our community heard and to be taken notice of, to have the municipality’s attention, and to obtain our legal rights in all matters of education, living conditions, basic public needs, etc..
In October 2018 there will be the local elections in which every village; town and city will elect a new mayor. The SDC is working on a project which aims to make Arab citizens aware of their power during elections, and how they can use their vote to improve their community.
For this “election” project, we will use all our findings of the past such as all data about housing, the situation of the Arab senior citizens, the needs of our marginalized and neglected neighborhoods, and all other challenges the Arab community is facing. Candidates for mayor and political parties will be confronted with these findings, which will be highlighted during several meetings and debates. In June 2018, the SDC launched the campaign “30th Actober” with the emphasis on the need to “Act”.
The campaign includes information, brochures, photo campaigns and videos. Together with participating community members and activists of numerous Arab neighborhoods, two meetings were held in July, for which mayoral candidates Ainat Kalech Rotam and the lawyer David Atsiony attended. They were given a summarized list of the public demands written by the campaign committee.
The candidates were given the chance to display their agendas and work plans on the Arab community’s needs in Haifa. Participants got the opportunity to convey their opinions on the matter afterwards, and inquire about matters that displayed their views, political concepts, and their concern on issues such as the issue of the Al-Midan Theater (which has had it’s budget cut by the municipality), freedom of expression and activism, no Arab representation on decision-making level, inadequate budgets for the Arab neighborhoods and lack of services.
As for the SDC Director, Jumana Ighbaria, she commented on the aforementioned activities saying: “We are entitled to our rights in this city, the place of our nationality and identity, in addition to our right in equal public service and attention from the municipality. The point of these meetings is to shed light on our needs as a minority, to take us into consideration and include us into their work plans. We will continue, in the Social Development Committee, to interact and keep up with our community and activists within this project from various neighborhoods before and after elections to achieve our goal of obtaining the rights we are entitled to. We will also conduct further meetings with the electoral candidates in the coming month, as well as new projects and workshops in said neighborhoods.”