Omar Vaid, the son of immigrant parents of Gujarati Indian heritage, growing up Muslim in Illinois and Florida, embraced his family’s rich cultural heritage, as well as that of his schoolmates and friends. This background is one of the reasons Omar feels compelled to run in 2018. As a member of the Democratic Party he believes diversity is an asset and that all voices must be included.
Indian American Omar Vaid is running for the 11th Congressional District seat which is currently being held by Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn), and has been gaining a lot of attention on social media, according to Voices of NY.
After attending UCF and completing his bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Omar moved to Brooklyn in 2006, and started his career in the movie industry. Omar moved to Bay Ridge in 2008, and remembers fondly the many nights he spent at a local Turkish restaurant eating adana kebab and drinking laziza. In 2009 he joined the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 52. In the same year, Omar left Bay Ridge due to prolonged problems with the R train. This is one reason that improving transportation is so important to Omar.
Now, Vaid works with props and set decoration for New York productions, along with working on the TV shows “Luke Cage” and “The Get Down.” According to his website, Vaid has also spent the “last decade directly working with teamsters, welders, electricians, carpenters, mechanics and manufacturers to make sets and scenes possible. He votes with his dollars and for this reason, buys largely from a network of local business owners and small suppliers and believes that ‘Made in America’ and strong allied trades are key to our future prosperity and the perseverance of the American Dream” and believes that “diversity is an asset and that all voices must be included.”
Vaid believes that immigrants and unions make America stronger. Becoming part of the IATSE Local 52 mirrored what his father did decades earlier, he noted. After coming to the U.S. in the early 1970s on a student visa, the elder Vaid gained citizenship and became one of the first Indian American union workers at Light Metals Factory in Grand Rapids, Mich.
“I believe in a free-market system, regulated to protect the average citizen from corporate overreach and abuse,” Omar says. “It is no secret that today in America the top .1% own as much as the bottom 90%. To make matters worse, 99% of new income goes to the .1%. People rightfully feel the economy is rigged, jobs don’t pay what they used to and unionizing efforts are in decline. It’s time for the billionaires to pay their fair share.
“We have the power to change all of this. Will you join me in taking on the most powerful people in the world in an effort to reduce their influence on Washington? I don’t believe there is any other way forward. We must recalibrate our economy, so the pie begins to grow for everyone. Unity is our way forward. America is the greatest nation on Earth. I’m asking you to join me in the fight to make our democracy serve everyone equally.”