The Fullerton City Council officially swore in Jesus Silva and Ahmad Zahra into office on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a month after city elections were held. In addition, Silva was appointed as mayor of Fullerton in a unanimous decision by the council.
“I never envisioned myself being up here 28 years ago,” Silva said. “When my family first came over here in 1970 I had no idea what was going to happen, and when I moved into Fullerton I immediately took a liking to the town.”
The November election marked the first time in Fullerton’s history that council members were elected by district after Measure II was enacted on Dec. 13, 2016. The measure established elections in Districts 3 and 5 this year and for the remaining three districts in the November 2020 election.
Silva earned 53.5 percent of the vote in District 3, edging out former Mayor Pro Tem Greg Sebourn, while Zahra received 33.1 percent of the vote in District 5, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.
With former Mayor Doug Chaffee moving on to serve as the Orange County supervisor, the council appointed a representative among themselves to serve as mayor.
Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald nominated Silva as mayor with all other council members in agreement. Silva then nominated Fitzgerald as mayor pro tem with the approval of the council.
Mayor Pro Tem Fitzgerald has been a council member since 2012 and served as the Fullerton mayor in 2016.
Curtis Gamble, an activist for the homeless, said he was happy with the change in the Fullerton City Council because he feels they will be more lenient to the transient population.
“Now we can build a new city council on the reality of the truth. All people want shelter, safety, security, all people want that, not just regular residents. Any time you get a fresh new start it’s good. This time I can get it right, I’m excited about the opportunity that we can get it right this time,” Gamble said.
Councilman Bruce Whitaker welcomed Zahra to the council and said, “Where it’s clear that there are interests that have been underserved, you will find an ally in me on those issues.”
Zahra, a Syrian immigrant who came to pursue the American dream, said that many people told him he couldn’t win an election in Fullerton because of his name.
He said he will do his best to not disappoint the “sacred trust” the community has bestowed on him and that District 5 now has a voice.
“I know that we have a lot of challenges and what I’d like to do is really work together so that we can overcome these challenges, not by putting each other down for our differences, but by uplifting each other for the common values of goodness that we share,” Zahra said.
The post Silva and Zahra were officially sworn into the Fullerton City Council appeared first on Daily Titan.
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