(Iowa City) – Two major labor organizations that represent thousands of Iowa City workers are throwing their support behind Mazahir Salih, a workers’ rights activist and candidate for an at-large seat in November’s Iowa City Council race.
The endorsements are from the Iowa City Federation of Labor and Teamsters Local 238
“The support of these groups means a lot to me,” said Salih following the announcement by the Iowa City Federation of Labor and Teamsters Local 238. “We’ve worked together for several years to promote and protect workers and their rights. I will continue to fight for these things as a member of the city council.”
“Mazahir has been an inspiring leader since helping found the Center for Worker Justice in 2012,” said Greg Hearns, President of the Iowa City Federation of Labor, a coalition of 22 different unions that represents thousands of workers in Johnson County. “She has worked closely with organized labor and our community allies to fight wage theft and promote programs like the community ID. We enthusiastically endorse Mazahir Salih for City Council.”
Teamsters Local 238 is the largest local union in Iowa with around 6000 members statewide, including both private and public sector workers.
“I’ve personally seen for years how hard Mazahir Salih works on behalf of all workers, and our union is proud to stand with her as she runs for city council in Iowa City,” said Jesse Case, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 238. “Since the Republican controlled government in Des Moines ripped away so many workers’ rights, local election mean more than ever. We know what side Mazahir is on. She’s on the side of working families in Iowa.”
“When I’ve worked on behalf of workers and families here in Iowa City, it’s always been because it’s the right thing to do,” said Salih. “But it’s still really nice to be recognized by the Iowa City Federation of Labor, Teamsters Local 238, and the AFL-CIO as someone they want to help get elected. It’s a huge vote of confidence which will help with votes on November 7th.”
Salih came to the United States from Sudan 20 years ago with a degree in civil engineering. She lived in Virginia where she became a citizen, met her husband, and started a family. She moved to Iowa City in 2011 to go back to school, and she said she and her family quickly decided that this was their real home.
“I love Iowa City, and I love the people who live here,” Salih said.
In 2012 Salih helped found the Center for Worker Justice, where she worked as a volunteer, served as a vice-president and president, and currently works as a full-time community organizer. She has also been on numerous local boards, committees, and local social justice organizations, including Black Voices Project, Community Police Review Board, Iowa City Downtown District, Iowa Valley Global Food Project, the City Manager’s Equity Round Table, and the Sudanese-American Women and Children Organization. Salih also works on an as-needed basis at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in the epilepsy lab where she helps give and read scans of brainwave activity.
She announced in March that she would be running for an at-large seat on the city council. The election is November 7th.