A Muslim who has been re-elected as mayor of a New Jersey township says “In the age of Donald Trump, we in Teaneck, New Jersey, know how to get it right,” implying that rhetoric against Muslims had not worked in his township.
Mohammed Hameeduddin, Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, was sworn in July 1, to complete the term of the incumbent Mayor Lizette Parker, who died in April.
“I had two African Americans vote for me, two Orthodox Jews vote for me, one African American who did not vote for me, and so on,” Hameeduddin said pointing to the diversity in the 7-member town council. Hameeduddin was the first Muslim mayor in Bergen County, N.J., back in 2010.
He served for four years and was followed by Parker. Hameeduddin was the first Muslim councilmember elected in 2008 in Teaneck and in Bergen County.
“While nationally, it may matter that I am Muslim, in my town I am just ‘Mohammed’,” said Hameeduddin, one of the very few Muslim mayors in the U.S.
Hameeduddin was born in the Bronx, and came to live in Teaneck when he was just 7 years old.
His parents hail from Hyderabad in India and came to the U.S. in 1968. The new mayor owns an insurance agency, is married and has two children.
According to census data, the 2014 population of Teaneck, Hameeduddin is one of the few Indian-Americans in the township.
Of the 40,972 people, Whites make up 44.4 percent, followed by Blacks, 27.3 percent, and Hispanic, 18.7%.
Hameeduddin was sworn-in by Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop who is considered to be one of the Democratic front-runners for Governor of New Jersey when Gov. Chris Christie’s term ends.
Hameeduddin’s agenda for constituents he said was to maintain the quality of services without raising taxes; keep the surplus that was created when his last term ended in 2014; work with the school board to economize on services and avoid duplication; and invest in the roads which remain neglected for three decades.
“Now that oil prices have dropped significantly, now is the time to move forward,” on infrastructure, Hameeduddin emphasized.