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The original item was published from 5/8/2023 4:02:13 PM to 5/18/2023 1:26:29 PM.

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Posted on: May 8, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Meet your new City Council members

Moline's new council members Debby Murphy, Abdur Razzaque, Jessica Finch and Anna Castro join

Moline 1st Ward Ald. Scott Williams, 3rd Ward Ald. Mike Wendt, 5th Ward Ald. Sam Moyer and 7th Ward Ald. Mike Waldron are all departing. Taking their places are the winners of the April 4 municipal election, 1st Ward Ald. Debbie Murphy; 3rd Ward Ald. Abdur Razzaque, 5th Ward Ald. Jessica Finch and 7th Ward Ald. Anna Castro. Murphy, Razzaque and Finch all ran unopposed. Castro defeated candidate Kermit Thomas Jr. for her seat.

We asked all four Council newcomers to tell us a bit about themselves. Here is what they had to say:

Debi Murphy, 1st WardDebbie Murphy, 1st Ward Alderperson

Education and occupation: BA, Western Illinois University; MBA University of Phoenix. Retired from John Deere as a Global Forecast Analyst – Service Parts with a background in supply management.

Family and free time: Single, furbaby mom with three Schnauzers, Amari, Amani and Jaxxon. I love reading books, outdoor flower gardening and water aerobics.

Community involvement: Served on the Florence Aldridge Early Learning Center Board of Directors in East Moline. I was an active member of the Quad City Citizens Media Roundtable in the 1990s. I served on the Moline Human Rights Commission and was involved in the Western Illinois University Rock Island High School Mentoring program. While at Deere, I participated in United Way Day of Caring yearly and various United Way initiatives.

Is this your first time serving as an elected official? What was your motivation for seeking office?

I have no prior experience as an elected official. My motivation is my desire to learn about City government and to represent my neighbors in First Ward by providing a new perspective to the future of Moline. 

In your opinion, what are some of Moline’s greatest strengths and what are some challenges it faces you would like to see addressed by City government?

The citizens of Moline are Moline’s greatest asset and their ability to grow and face the challenges of the future together.

The future development of Moline and how we choose to have it grow is a major challenge. In my opinion the utilization and growth of the Quad City International Airport is vital to our success. 

What is your general philosophy about the role of local/municipal government?

Local/ municipal government should reflect the vision, dreams and hopes of its residents while providing excellent services and school systems at an affordable price.

 

Abdur Razzaque, 3rd WardAbdur Razzaque

Education and occupation:  I majored in philosophy and graduated college in Bangladesh. I moved on to getting an MA from Rajshahi University, Bangladesh and a PhD in philosophy from Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. When I moved to the U.S., I decided to change careers. I received a BA in Accounting from Augustana College and currently work as a Database Specialist at World Relief Quad Cities in Moline.

Family and free time: My wife Umme Alwazedi, and I have lived in Moline almost for 15 years. Our children, Ila and Abhik, have grown up in Moline and attended Moline Schools. In my free time, I enjoy watching movies with my kids, reading, writing, and working in my garden.

Community involvement: Before working at World Relief, I volunteered there as an accounting assistant and a translator. I’ve also helped low-income families with taxes under VITA program. Most recently, I have been endorsed by Quad-Cities Federation of Labor Union, and am excited to get more involved with them. I am also a member of the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities.

Is this your first time serving as an elected official? What was your motivation for seeking office?

This is my first time serving as an elected official. When I moved to Moline, I instantly felt welcomed in the community and felt a sense of home, which can be difficult for an immigrant of my age. I have gotten a lot of support from Moline as a whole, and I’d like to dedicate myself to the community and begin to advocate for some changes that can improve the city.

In your opinion, what are some of Moline’s greatest strengths and what are some challenges it faces you would like to see addressed by City government?

Moline’s greatest strengths are the dedication of teachers and administrators in the school district, the city’s constant efforts to support and advocate for immigrant and refugee families, and the presence of multiple wonderful local businesses. In terms of improvements, I would like to focus on beautification efforts for sidewalks, parks, and roads. I also want to create programs where people who are new to the city can connect with long-time citizens and learn what Moline has to offer. It would give newcomers a look at their new home and current inhabitants a chance to experience their city in a new way.

 What is your general philosophy about the role of local/municipal government?

I believe that the main role of municipal government is to create a more direct line of communication between constituents. People can express their views in more informal spaces and feel comfortable that they aren’t talking to a government official but rather a neighbor.

 

Jessica Finch, 5th WardJessica Finch

Education and occupation: Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice; daycare owner.

Family and free time: Four children. Avid book reader and traveler. 

Community involvement: I help my community through civic engagements involving local and national campaigns.  

Is this your first time serving as an elected official? What was your motivation for seeking office? I am a second-term precinct committee member. As a mother, I want to ensure economic growth and opportunities that encourage my kids to stay in Moline and start families here. As a small business owner and daycare provider, I recognize the importance of services that the city of Moline has to offer. It's imperative that we invest in our future and youth by fostering economic growth and expanding community resources.

In your opinion, what are some of Moline’s greatest strengths and what are some challenges it faces you would like to see addressed by City government? Moline has endless possibilities! I would like to uplift Moline's unique diverse community and help to continue improving our parks and library services. 

What is your general philosophy about the role of local/municipal government?

By investing in our community, the local government has the ability to build a community with economic success to nurture talent in youth.

 

Anna Castro, 7th WardAnna Castro

Education and occupation:  BA in Business Administration and Spanish from Augustana College. Employed at Augustana College in the TRIO Student Support Services Office. We offer support for students with disabilities, first-generation college students, and low-income college students. Before working in TRIO, I worked in both the Development Office and Admissions Office at Augustana.

Family and free time: My husband Jose and I were both born and raised in Moline. We have four grown children, Angelica, Benjamin, Nicolas, and Briana, and two dogs, Fifi and Winnie. In my free time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, visiting local attractions and traveling when possible. 

Community involvement: I currently am on the board and the treasurer of the Moline Public Schools Foundation and an active member of LULAC. At work, I serve on our Strategic Planning Commission, our Grievance and Harassment Committee, and our LGBT+ Committee. 

 

Is this your first time serving as an elected official? What was your motivation for seeking office?

Yes, this is my first time serving as an elected official. I am a life-long resident, born and raised in the Floreciente neighborhood. Living in Moline has shaped me into the person I am today and I want to serve the community that has given me so much. I have four children, two who have graduated and two who are still attending college. As they are making decisions on where they want to live and work, I want them, and others to see Moline as a place that they want to live and work.   

In your opinion, what are some of Moline’s greatest strengths and what are some challenges it faces you would like to see addressed by City government?
 

Some of our greatest strengths are: 

  • The diversity of our residents. We have a rich history, we are a very welcoming community, and I want to help celebrate the diversity of our past, present, and future.
  • Our schools - We cannot have a strong city without great schools. A strong partnership with the Moline Coal Valley School District is beneficial for both the city and the schools. 
     
  • Our city workers - We have excellent workers who provide a high quality of service to our residents. 

Some of the challenges we face are:

  • Lack of affordable housing
     
  • The number of empty storefronts

 What is your general philosophy about the role of local/municipal government?

 I believe that the role of the local/municipal government to serve the residents. We need to provide the services and amenities that the citizens expect, while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

 


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