FarsiVoter announces the launch of our new page featuring Iranian-American candidates for US Congress from any political party. The goal is to introduce our community to the people who want to represent us in any Federal, State or Local race in California. Below you will find information on each Candidate as provided to FarsiVoter by the candidates themselves. FARSIVOTER DOES NOT ENDORSE ANY CANDIDATE, but will simply provide a unbiased profile on them, to allow voters to decide for themselves which candidate to choose on Election Day.
who can be a candidate for House of Representatives?
Also referred to as a congressman or congresswoman, each representative is elected to a two-year term serving the people of a specific congressional district. Among other duties, representatives introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments and serve on committees. The number of representatives with full voting rights is 435, a number set by Public Law 62-5 on August 8, 1911, and in effect since 1913. The number of representatives per state is proportionate to population.
As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress’s two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government’s legislative branch. The number of voting representatives in the House is fixed by law at no more than 435, proportionally representing the population of the 50 states.
Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution provides for both the minimum and maximum sizes for the House of Representatives. Currently, there are five delegates representing the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. A resident commissioner represents Puerto Rico. The delegates and resident commissioner possess the same powers as other members of the House, except that they may not vote when the House is meeting as the House of Representatives.
To be elected, a representative must be at least 25 years old, a United States citizen for at least seven years and an inhabitant of the state he or she represents.
For more information go to : House.gov
Who can be a candidate for the US Senate?
Requirements to be a U.S. Senator are established in Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution. The Senate is the United States' higher legislative chamber (the House of Representatives being the lower chamber), containing 100 members. If you have dreams of becoming one of the two senators who represent each state for six-year terms, you might want to check the Constitution first. The guiding document for our government specifically spells out the requirements to be a senator.
Individuals must be:
- at least 30 years old.
- a U.S. citizen for at least nine years at the time of election to the Senate.
- a resident of the state one is elected to represent in the Senate.
Similar to those for being a US Representative, the Constitutional requirements for being a Senator focus on age, U.S. citizenship, and residency.
In addition, the post-Civil War Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits any person who has taken any federal or state oath swearing to support the Constitution, but later took part in a rebellion or otherwise aided any enemy of the U.S. from serving in the House or Senate.
These are the only requirements for the office that are specified in Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, which reads, "No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen."
Unlike U.S. Representatives, who represent the people of specific geographic districts within their states, U.S. Senators represent all of the people on their states.
For more information go to: senate.gov
What is California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the Lower House of the California State Legislature (or the State Government). The Upper House is the State Senate. The Assembly has 80 members, each representing one district. California's State Assembly districts are numbered 1st through 80th, generally in north-to-south order.
The California State Assembly works alongside the Governor of California to create laws and establish a state budget. Legislative authority and responsibilities of the California State Assembly include passing bills on public policy matters, setting levels for state spending, raising and lowering taxes, and voting to uphold or override gubernatorial vetoes. The California State Assembly meets in the state capitol building in Sacramento, California.
The Democratic State Central Committee, the governing body of the California Democratic Party elects roughly 1/3 of its members from Assembly district election meetings held biennially in January in every odd-numbered year within each of the 80 Assembly districts.
The assembly districts and the cities they represent
- 1st - Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties, and portions of Butte and Placer counties
- 2nd - Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino counties, and portions of Sonoma county
- 3rd - Glenn, Sutter, Tehama, and Yuba counties, and portions of Butte and Colusa counties
- 4th - Lake and Napa counties, and portions of Yolo, Colusa, Sonoma, and Solano counties
- 5th - Madera, Amador, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa, Mono, and Alpine counties, and portions of El Dorado and Placer counties
- 6th - portions of El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento counties
- 7th - portions of western Sacramento and eastern Yolo counties
- 8th - portions of eastern Sacramento county
- 9th - portions of southern Sacramento and northern San Joaquin counties
- 10th - Marin county and portions of Sonoma county
- 11th - portions of southern Solano, eastern Contra Costa, and southwestern Sacramento counties
- 12th - portions of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties
- 13th - portions of western San Joaquin county
- 14th - portions of Contra Costa and western Solano county
- 15th - portions of northern Alameda and western Contra Costa counties
- 16th - portions of eastern Alameda and central Contra Costa counties
- 17th - portions of San Francisco
- 18th - cities of Alameda, San Leandro, and most of Oakland in Alameda county
- 19th - portions of San Francisco and northern San Mateo county
- 20th - portions of central and southern Alameda county
- 21st - Merced county and portions of Stanislaus county
- 22nd - portions of San Mateo county
- 23rd - portions of eastern Fresno and northeastern Tulare counties
- 24th - portions of southern San Mateo and western Santa Clara counties
- 25th - portions of southern Alameda and northeastern Santa Clara counties
- 26th - Inyo county and portions of Tulare and Kern counties
- 27th - downtown and eastern San Jose
- 28th - portions of western Santa Clara county
- 29th - portions of northern Monterey, central Santa Cruz, and southwestern Santa Clara counties
- 30th - San Benito county, and portions of Monterey, southern Santa Cruz, and southern Santa Clara counties
- 31st - portions of western Fresno county
- 32nd - Kings county and portions of western Kern county
- 33rd - rural portions of San Bernardino county (Victorville, Barstow and Needles)
- 34th - portions of Kern county
- 35th - San Luis Obispo and portions of northern Santa Barbara county
- 36th - portions of eastern Kern, northern Los Angeles, and western San Bernardino counties
- 37th - portions of eastern Santa Barbara and western Ventura counties
- 38th - portions of northern Los Angeles and eastern Ventura counties
- 39th - northern Los Angeles and San Fernando
- 40th - suburban San Bernardino County (Rancho Cucamonga, Highland and Redlands)
- 41st - San Gabriel Mountain communities in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties (Pasadena, San Dimas and Upland)
- 42nd - portions of rural San Bernardino and Riverside Counties (Yucaipa, San Jacinto and Palm Desert)
- 43rd - parts of Los Angeles County (Burbank, Glendale, and parts of Los Angeles)
- 44th - coastal Ventura County with a small portion of Los Angeles County (Thousand Oaks, Camarillo and Oxnard)
- 45th - Bell Canyon and parts of Los Angeles County (Encino, Northridge and Woodland Hills)
- 46th - parts of Los Angeles County (Panorama City, Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys)
- 47th - urban San Bernardino County (San Bernardino, Rialto and Fontana)
- 48th - eastern San Gabriel Valley (Covina, El Monte and West Covina)
- 49th - western San Gabriel Valley (El Monte, Montebello, South El Monte)
- 50th - Western Los Angeles County (Malibu, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills)
- 51st - northeastern Los Angeles (Chinatown, East Los Angeles, Echo Park)
- 52nd - extreme western parts of the Inland Empire (Montclair, Ontario, Ponoma)
- 53rd - Downtown Los Angeles
- 54th - parts of the Westside (Crenshaw, Culver City, UCLA)
- 55th - intersection of Los Angeles, Orange, and San Bernardino counties (Brea, La Habra, Yorba Linda)
- 56th - the Imperial Valley and parts of the Coachella Valley and the Colorado Desert (Blythe, Calexico, Coachella)
- 57th - parts of Los Angeles County (Hacienda Heights, Norwalk, Whittier)
- 58th - part of the Gateway Cities region and Interstate 605 (Bell Gardens, Downey, Pico Gardens)
- 59th - South Los Angeles along Interstate 110 (Florence, University Park, Vermont Square)
- 60th - northwestern corner of Riverside County (Corona, Jurupa Valley and Norwalk)
- 61st - central section of the Inland Empire in northwestern Riverside County (Mead Valley, Moreno Valley, Riverside)
- 62nd - part of Los Angeles county centered on Los Angeles International Airport (El Segundo, Inglewood, Venice)
- 63rd - part of the Gateway Cities region southeast of Los Angeles (Bell, Lakewood, Paramount)
- 64th - parts of South Los Angeles and the South Bay (Carson, Compton, Rancho Dominguez)
- 65th - northern Orange County (Cypress, Fullerton, Stanton)
- 66th - southern coast of Los Angeles County (Hermosa Beach, Torrance and Ranchos Palos Verdes)
- 67th - southern Inland Empire in western Riverside County (French Valley, Lake Elsinore, Murrieta)
- 68th - inland central Orange County (Irvine, Lake Forest, Orange)
- 69th - heart of Orange County (Anaheim, Orange, Santa Ana)
- 70th - southern coast of Los Angeles County (Long Beach, San Pedro and Catalina Island)
- 71st - rural eastern San Diego County and southwest Riverside County (El Cajon and various Kumeyaay Indian Reservations)
- 72nd - Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Midway City, Rossmoor, Santa Ana, Seal Beach, Westminster
- 73rd - southern Orange County (Aliso Viejo, Dana Point, Mission Viejo)
- 74th - Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Beach, Laguna Woods, Newport Beach
- 75th - southernmost reaches of the Inland Empire and the inland parts of North County (Escondido, Rainbow, San Marcos)
- 76th - coastal San Diego County (Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside)
- 77th - inland northern San Diego (Clairemont, Miramar, Poway)
- 78th - southern coastal San Diego County (Del Mar, Imperial Beach, La Jolia)
- 79th - southeastern San Diego and its closest eastern suburbs
- 80th - southern of San Diego County (Chula Vista and San Diego.
For more information go to: assembly.ca.gov
Below you will find a video explaining the different branches in our State Government.
Besides Congressional candidates mentioned above, there are other Special or Municipal elections that take place throughout the year as well. For more information on these elections you can go to: www.lavote.net
UPCOMING ELECTION DATES FOR CALIFORNIA
California Direct Primary Date: March 3, 2020 This is when we nominate candidates
A primary election is an election in which registered voters select a candidate that they believe should be a political party's candidate for elected office to run in the general election. They are also used to choose convention delegates and party leaders. Primaries are state-level elections that take place prior to a general election. California utilizes a top-two primary system, which allows all candidates to run and all voters to vote but only moves the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, to the general election.
California General Election: November 3, 2020 This is when we choose a candidate.
In the General Election Voters will elect 53 candidates to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives one from each of the State's 53 Congressional Districts.
2020 Iranian-American Candidates
FarsiVoter does not endorse any candidate.
Name: Farshid "Joe" Shooshani
1) What is your political party?
I am a Democrat, although the office I am running for is non-partisan
2) What office are you running for?
Beverly Hills City Council
3) What cities doe the office encompass?
4) How long is the term of the office you are running for?
5) When can people vote for you?
March 3, 2020
6) Please give us a statement about yourself:
I am a community and business leader, with deep roots in Beverly Hills. After serving on the Public Works Commission and as Beverly Hills Planning Commissioner, I am now running for City Council. I was born in Iran, and began my working life at a family business before moving to the US where I began a successful career in business and real estate. A real estate investor and property manager. I also own several local companies, employing dozens in various industries.
I will be the first Iranian-American to run for Beverly Hills City Council. I was appointed to the Beverly Hills Pubic Works Commission in 2008 and went to become a member of the Beverly Hills Planning Commission, where I currently serve. As a Planning Commissioner I have been noted for my unique ability to oversee beneficial progress, from breaking ground on new developments that will promote the growth and prosperity that the city of Beverly Hills is known for, to deserving the iconic residences and business that make Beverly Hills a historical landmark.
In 2017, the Beverly Hills Food and Wine Festival recognized me with a "Lifetime Achievement Award". In honoring me, festival organizers said" " His bold decision making and visionary dedication to integrating new and necessary development in a way that benefits the city has left a mark on this storied landscape that will remain for generation to come. Mr. Shooshani has worked diligently to maintain the cultural integrity and world renowned aesthetics that Beverly Hills is famous for...." I am also active in many local groups and charities, including Iranian-American Jewish Federation (past Vice-President), the Farhang Foundation and many other community, civic and business organizations.
My wife and I Avid Shooshani Harrire, have two children, DIba and Aaron who have both now graduated from college. We have lived in Beverly Hills since 1976. I graduated from Immaculate Heart College, I enjoy taking UCLA extension courses and consider myself a "lifelong learner".
7) What are your qualifications for the position that you are running for?
I am a 43 year resident of Beverly Hills, a successful business owner and community activist. I have served on the Beverly Hills Public Works Commission for five years and have been a Beverly Hills Planning Commissioner since 2014.
8) What issues will you be able to assist our community with once elected?
I will represent ALL of the residents of Beverly Hills. I am proud to be a member of the Persian community and to be the first Iranian running for Beverly Hills City Council. I have been active in establishing Iranian-American communities, in establishing Persian Square and the 405 Freeway Persian Square sign. I have been a member of the Iranian-American Jewish Federation, and was instrumental in the permitting of Nemen Hall.
To know more about Mr. Shooshani please visit his website: www.Votejoebh.com
The following Iranian-American Candidates are running for California State Legislature seats, which consists of the Lower House, the California State Assembly with 80 members, and the Upper House, the California State Senate with 40 members.
For more information on these candidates please visit their websites:
State Senator District 27: Mr. Houman Salem www.salem2020.com
State Assembly Member District 46: Mr. Adrin Nazarian www.adrinforassembly.com
State Assembly Member District 61: Mr. Ali Mazarei www.voteforali.org
State Assembly Member District 72: Mr. Bijan Mohseni www.bijanforassemnly.com
Name: Sudabeh "Sudi" Farokhnia
1) What is your political party? Democratic
2) What office are you running for? Central Committee of Democratic Party of Orange County – AD 73
3) What cities does the office encompass? The district encompasses much of southern Orange County, stretching from the coast to the Santa Ana Mountains. The affluent district consists of a mix of longstanding towns on the shore and planned communities in the hills.
4) How long is the term of the office you are running for? 4 years
5) When can people vote for you? 2020 Primary Election (March 3rd, 2020)
6) Please give us a statement about yourself: 40 years ago I marched on the streets of Tehran for Women’s Rights. Alas, four years ago I marched on the streets of Santa Ana for Women’s Rights and Dignity of Immigrant Communities. The past two years have made it evident there are catastrophic loopholes in the system of checks and balances of the US government. I want to represent my district and be the watchful eye and attentive listener that will help shed light on these loopholes and support efforts that will close these gaps, ultimately ensuring that the platform of the Democratic Party of Orange County is committed to Progressive initiatives, holding elected officials accountable and the structure of the party harbor people's power, inclusivity, and diversity.
I believe my community is eager for progress and would like to support candidates that will champion progressive agendas such as Single-Payer Healthcare, Ratification of UNCRC, ERA, and CEDAW at all levels. I believe access to Public Education, Debt-free Higher Education, and Affordable Housing is every citizen’s right. We must establish Sustainable Solutions for Global Warming, Sensible Gun Controls, Comprehensive Immigration Reform that protects DACA, and Overturn Citizens United.
We must STAND UP to Xenophobia, Violence and Hate rhetoric and practices. We must REMOVE ALL BARRIERS OF VOTING and ensure our elected officials are Accountable and Accessible to their constituents.
I am asking for your vote for the Central Committee of the Democratic Party of Orange County (DPOC) to amplify the voices of our district. I am also asking you to vote for my "Party of the People Slate" peers running to unify, represent, and empower the incredibly diverse communities of the 73rd Assembly District. Learn more by visiting: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesSlateOC/
7) What are your qualifications for the position that you are running for?
I am Sudabeh (Sudi) Farokhnia, a service-oriented Risk and Audit professional from Iranian Dissent. I have lived two-thirds of my life in the United States; in Michigan for 16 years where I studied Accounting and Finance while managing a family restaurant that paid for my college. In 2002, I moved to California and made Mission Viejo my new home. I have been working full time in major financial institutions, moving up the ranks while ensuring compliance with accounting principles and regulatory requirements while I cared for my disabled parents.
Doing the right thing is my guiding light in personal and professional life. I am an attentive listener and passionate about social justice and gender equality. As such, I have had the privilege of serving the community in various capacities, supporting various local nonprofit and professional organizations such as ISCC, KCIS, WHW, IABA, IIA, Child International, and OCIACC. Also, I am a recognized advocate for gender equality and serve in the Steering Committee of ICWIN (Iranian Circle of Women's Intercultural Network), a volunteer-based advocacy nonprofit organization with UN consultative status.
In addition, I am a current member of several local Democratic Clubs in Orange County such as Feel the Bern Democratic Club, South OC Democratic Party (SOCDP), Women for American Values and Ethics (WAVE) and Democratic Women of South Orange County (DWSOC). I was appointed in 2019 by Board of Equalization District 4 as a delegate to the Democratic Party of State of California.
8) What issues will you be able to assist our community with once elected?
Priority 1: Promote Diversity and Inclusion by amplifying the voice of the muted and under-represented communities
Priority 2: Advocate for Progressive values and initiatives such as Environmental Justice, Gender Equality and Social Equity
Priority 3: Stand Up to Hate and Violence that creates division and unsafe environment within the community
Name: Sepi Shyne
- What is your political party?
This race is non-partisan.
- What office are you running for?
West Hollywood City Council
- What cities does the office encompass?
- How long is the term of the office you are running for?
- Four years.
- When can people vote for you?
The election date is November 3, 2020. Early in person voting starts 10 days before the election and mail in ballots will be sent out on October 5, 2020.
- Please give us a statement about yourself:
I was born in Iran in 1977. When I was two years old, there was a revolution by Islamic fundamentalists that wiped away women’s rights and democracy in the blink of an eye. When I was three years old, Iran went to war with Iraq and daily sounds of missiles and bombs were traumatizing every single day. Women's rights were trampled on and we were not allowed to be in the streets with men or boys who were not our family. I asked my mom to cut my hair short and pretended to be a boy to play soccer with the neighborhood kids. My parents did not believe in the fundamentalist regime, so my dad was thrown in jail for speaking up against them. I remember kicking the ball around under the hot Tehran sun just as vividly as I remember fleeing the country with my parents, escaping to the United States for a better life.
It was hard to adjust at first and I was made fun of and beaten up by other kids in kindergarten because I looked different and did not speak English well. I quickly learned the importance of knowledge. I studied hard, went to all of my ESL classes and spent my afternoons religiously watching Sesame Street and The Reading Rainbow. I ended up skipping first grade and advancing to second grade as a result.
After I came out in High School during my junior year, I was bullied by other students and repeatedly called a dyke. The school counselor was no help and told me to go kiss a boy in the yard to prove them wrong. Instead, I chose to be more out and proud and came out to my family. It was hard for them at first, but with patience and my work of educating them, they grew to tolerate, then accept and now advocate for me.
During my second year of college, I was sitting with my girlfriend at the time in a coffee shop that was known to be “gay friendly.” We were getting rude looks from the new manager as we held hands. The next thing I knew, a police officer and the manager were standing over us. We were shocked and frankly terrified when the police officer said, “The manager doesn’t want your kind in his establishment, you have to get up and leave,” as he blew a kiss and winked at me.
We ran out in a hurry and drove around town in tears. We felt powerless. We decided at the moment that we would never be powerless again and both decided to go to law school to learn the law and stop this from happening to others.
I have been a dedicated LGBTQ+ civil rights advocate ever since.
Shortly after my graduation from Golden Gate School of Law, I was elected to the board of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, where I worked to mentor to young LGBTQ+ law students and lawyers.
I moved to Los Angeles in late 2006 and in 2007, was elected to the board of the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, and then elected Co-president in 2008. This was a pivotal year for our community with the disastrous Prop 8 on the ballot. I was proud to help raise thousands of dollars to support the No On Prop 8 campaign.
Never one to stop fighting for equality, the passage of Prop 8 didn’t dissuade me from advocacy. In 2009, I joined the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest LGBTQ+ rights organizations in the world. In various leadership roles at Human Rights Campaign, including a term on the Board of Governors, I helped train diverse leaders, developing the skills they need to advance our cause. I co-chaired the annual HRC Los Angeles Gala in 2012 and I’ve continued to serve with HRC for the better part of a decade to advance the rights, representation, and visibility of LGBTQ+ people in Los Angeles and helped get LGBTQ+ candidates and allies elected to public office.
During Law School, I lost my dad to Leukemia. It was a very difficult time. I am a Team in Training Alum and completed the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon in 2007 and 2008 raising thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in his memory.
I have volunteered to feed the homeless for years starting when I lived in San Francisco and then continued here in Los Angeles with Gobble Gobble Give. Gobble Gobble Give delivers food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless in eighteen cities across the country on Thanksgiving morning. One year, I invited my friend Sofi Mamo to join my wife and me at Gobble Gobble Give. Sofi is one of the female owners of a West Hollywood business called Divine H2o. She went to the Santa Monica Gobble Gobble Give that day and was so inspired, she started a regular monthly feed the homeless event at her store in West Hollywood called Divine Homeless Project. I volunteer with another amazing West Hollywood organization called Handle with Care that meets monthly to put together care packages and drive them out to homeless people.
I am a graduate of the Victory Institute Training, Equality California’s Leadership Academy and the Human Rights Campaign Women in Leadership Academy.
I practice business and trademark law at my own practice. I also have a second business where I provide holistic healing to humans and pets.
I am an avid animal lover and active in a West Hollywood community group called Weho For Wildlife. I am also a member of the Safe West Hollywood Community Coalition.
I currently serve on the Business License Commission in the City of West Hollywood and as an Advisory Board Member for the County of Los Angeles Office of the Assessor. I served a term as a Member on the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the City Of West Hollywood.
I have been a proud renter for ten years in West Hollywood’s Mid City where I live with my wife Ashlei and our fur babies.
- What are your qualifications for the position that you are running for?
I am an attorney and have been a community advocate for many years. I have served as an appointed official on the Lesbian and Gay Advisory Board for the City of West Hollywood and currently serve as a Business License Commissioner. I am also appointed as an Advisory Board member to the Los Angeles County Assessor’s office.
- What issues will you be able to assist our community with once elected?
When I am elected, I will be the first Iranian American to serve on City Council in West Hollywood and the first Out LGBTQ Iranian elected to public office anywhere in the world. I will advocate for our Iranian American community when I am on City Council.
I'm running because the residents of West Hollywood deserve a Councilmember that prioritizes the interests of residents before big developers. I have lived here for ten years and witnessed our inclusive village slowly turn into a City which is hard to recognize. We are losing the heartbeat of our village because we have lost too many historic buildings, lost safe spaces for queer women, lost residents who can't afford to live here anymore and lost businesses that have been here for decades. The cost of living here continues to rise as do the numbers of people who have become homeless. I am running because I want to be the leader that will bring back our voices and our city. I am running because it is our time to Shyne.
As a future City Councilmember I will focus on:
Protecting renters and reducing economic displacement;
Increasing affordable housing and reducing homelessness;
Preserving our community and enhancing our quality of life.
To learn more about this candidate go to her website: www.sepishyne.com