Call me crazy here, but I was under the impression a Council member was supposed to live in their district or they had to give up the seat? According to the Council's latest public list of addresses, Abdullah has lived on Warman since June of 2007. So what does this mean, you might ask? District 15 is heavily Democratic and there is no Republican on the ballot, so Democrats would keep that seat. That's right. But depending on when Patrice moved to 1144 Warman, his votes on the council subsequent to that time could be considered illegal and therefore invalid as he did not lawfully reside in his district.
One vote that comes to mind immediately is the public safety tax vote that was held on July 23. If 1144 Warman was Abdullah's home address at the time of the vote, and there is no reason to think it wasn't, an argument could be made the tax increase was not properly passed because the vote (15-13-1) did not have a majority because Patrice should not have voted. And this goes for any measure that Patrice has voted on.
Friday, August 10, 2007
"Safe, Clean And Liveable Neighborhoods"
"He understands that safe, clean and liveable neighborhoods are vital to our quality of life, and is dedicated to making our neighborhoods world-class." At least according to City County Councilor Patrice Abdullah's self-written biography on the IndyGov website that's what he supports. Yet, he refuses to remove this abandoned car in the back yard he claims as his residence, which the city has been continuously prodding him to dispose of for more than a year, he has been ordered to cut tall grass and weeds and clean up trash on the property. An ongoing renovation project on the residence has been the subject of numerous building and zoning code violations. And serious doubt remains as to whether he now occupies or has occupied this residence any time recently in his 15th district or otherwise resides in the district within which he must legally reside to hold his council seat and seek another term this November.
I understand Councilor Abduallah sees it quite differently from what several sources tell me. He complains he is being targeted because he's black and because he's Muslim. Most of the people who have contacted me about Abduallah's residency are in fact Democrats and are not in the least bit racist or bigoted towards his religion. And this isn't a partisan effort. If Abduallah resigns his seat tomorrow, he will be replaced by a Democrat of his party's choosing. The Republican Party fielded no candidate in the 15th District so a Democrat will represent the district the next 4 years, with or without Abduallah. His departure will not affect which party controls the council after this November's election.
It is also Democrats who tell me Abduallah does not live at the residence on Sheffield Avenue or the one on Warman Avenue he lists on the IndyGov website, which is located in Councilor Marilyn Pfisterer's district according to the district finder on the city's website. They insist he lives in a residence near Washington Park in Councilor William Oliver's district on the city's northeastside.
On the issue of his Muslim faith, it is Councilor Abduallah who originally misrepresented the source of some of his campaign contributions in his election four years ago to hide funds he received from Muslim sources. Why? If his opponent, Brad Klopfenstein, hadn't bothered to file a complaint with the Marion Co. Election Board, we would have never known about Abduallah's misrepresentations. After significant prodding and foot-dragging by the election board, Abduallah finally amended his campaign finance reports to more accurately report the source of his contributions and was given a mere slap on the hand with a $100 fine by the election board. Klopfenstein complained that the numbers on his campaign finance reports still didn't add up even after he amended them.
As to the lousy condition of Abduallah's residence on Sheffield Avenue, if you're going to use a taxpayer-funded website to boast that you are working on their behalf to build "safe, clean and liveable neigbhorhoods", you better be prepared to live up to those standards. Clearly, Councilor Abduallah believes in "doing what I say, not what I do". Drawing attention to his blatant hypocrisy has nothing to do with the color of his skin or his religion.
It's time for Councilor Abduallah to go. Members of your own party believe that time has come. Now it's time for Mayor Bart Peterson (D) and Marion Co. Democratic Chairman Mike O'Connor to do the right thing and tell Abduallah he must go. The people of the 15th District deserve better than this.
UPDATE: Abdul Hakim-Shabazz reports that, according to city records, Abduallah has listed the Warman Ave. address, which is not in his district, since June, 2007. He questions whether Abduallah's vote for the tax increase, which passed by one vote, should be invalidated, thereby calling into question the legality of the tax increase vote. He writes: