By Miles H Barber

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Customs and cultures in Santa Clara have experienced a dynamic transformation over the past generation.

Populations that were non-existent a few decades ago are now communities within our City.

The growth of immigration has created a wonderful renaissance of diversity.

No longer is our population made up of Western European decent.

Census takers indicate that Santa Clara is nearly 60% minorities, consisting mainly of Asian and south Asian cultures.

What an amazing statistic.

What is more amazing, not one person of Asian decent or any other minority has ever been elected to City Council.

This year, we are fortunate to have several candidates from minority communities running for office.

This could be the year of diversity.

Most likely it won’t happen, at least not all at once.

Breaking the barrier of political diversity is about as difficult as the 49ers winning the Super Bowl.

There could be, and should be, one exception.

Dr. Mohammed Nadeem has now become a familiar name in Santa Clara. In the face of serious opposition and bias, Nadeem has challenged the all-white Council system on several occasions. Coming within a few percentage points of victory, he continues to pursue his dream of service to Santa Clara through election to City Council.

Nadeem has been a resident of Santa Clara for nearly three decades. His children attend Santa Clara Schools. He has served our City as a Civil Service Commissioner for 2, four year terms; has been on the Charter Review Committee, active with the Mission City Community Fund, a member of the Rotary Club of Santa Clara and also happens to be a Fulbright Scholar.

His doctorate degree has allowed him to teach Business and Economics at National University where he works with graduate students to prepare them for the business world.

Is he a Muslim? Yes, Nadeem is a Muslim. He is a member of the Santa Clara Mosque and served a term as President.

Funny, we don’t seem to be concerned about Presbyterians, Methodists or Jesuits and yet, the word “Muslims” raises the “Oh, oh” flag.

Nadeem is living proof that Muslims are loving, attentive, participatory and solid members of the community.

His recent endorsement by the San Jose Mercury News is an indication of his ability to communicate, focus on community issues and seek the highest and best solutions.

Perhaps one of Nadeem’s value added qualities is his skill to listen, process and make objective decisions. He is bright, articulate and current on the issues facing Santa Clara.

This could be and should be the year of destiny with diversity.

Just imagine, a minority representative on Santa Clara City Council.

Nadeem is definitely an idea whose time has come.