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Voters GuideNew York Congressional Primary

Ali Mirza | New York Congressional Primary

Ali Mirza is running for U.S. Congress - 5th District (Democratic)

Ali Mirza

Mirza’s agenda includes preventing companies that move jobs overseas from receiving federal contracts; increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and bringing a Department of Homeland Security training center to Kennedy Airport. Mirza also wants to prohibit for-profit firms from running prisons and wants to require police officers to wear body cameras. “We need real criminal justice reform,” Mirza said. “Our youth are serving unfairly long sentences while private corporations get paid.” Mirza supports comprehensive immigration reform and would work to provide undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship after careful vetting. Mirza wants to redevelop the state-run Belmont Racetrack in Elmont with a hotel and retail but is undecided on plans for a 25,000-seat soccer stadium for the New York Cosmos. “If it creates real economic growth, I will support it,” Mirza said.

Mirza, 58, of Elmont, is the owner of Mirza Strategies and Public Relations, a communications firm. Born in Pakistan, Mirza moved to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in international relations. Mirza once owned a property and casualty insurance agency; his wife, Jaweria, now runs the company. Mirza lost elections in 2005 and 2007 in Nassau’s 3rd Legislative District against Republican John Ciotti. Mirza served as Nassau’s director of minorities and women business enterprises and as a special assistant for communications and community affairs under former County Executive Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat. In 2013, County Executive Edward Mangano, a Republican, hired Mirza as a part-time Parks Department community affairs liaison. He left the position in 2015. Mirza formed the Pakistani American Democratic Club of New York and Americans of Pakistani Heritage. He is married with two daughters.