The story of this young African immigrant who is running for city Council in New York City is a very inspiring one. In an exclusive interview with EYEGAMBIA, Abdourahamane Diallo narrated the challenges he went through to survive in the United States, coupled with the unfortunate situation of the people of the Bronx. He believes that the experiences he gathered place him in the right position to understand the needs of the people and better serve them, hence his decision to contest.
When the Guinean born candidate first won a visa lottery to move to America, he thought life abroad was all rosy until he arrived in the country and was faced with the reality. Diallo did many things to fund his education in the US and also work towards his dream. He washed dishes, collected garbage, delivered pizza, and also drove a taxi.
Through this hard work and determination, young Diallo achieved several feats in terms of education, including a Master’s degree which focused on how to lift people out of poverty. His choice at the master’s level and the decision to contest as City Council were both inspired by a very beautiful story.
Diallo saw two different worlds in America, especially in New York City. On his first trip as a taxi driver he dropped a passenger on the gilded streets of Manhattan’s Upper East Side which was as he states, “a perfect specimen of urban riches, manicured trees, elegant streetlamps and beautiful brownstones.” He then headed to his home in South Bronx where he was met with a different New York altogether. He narrated the scene as “an ugly specimen of urban blight, abandoned buildings, broken windows, Garbage on the streets, homeless begging for food”
According to him, “ The Bronx was once a city that thrived with bustling shops, prosperous small businesses, modern housing, great schools, safe streets among others. Today, we are last. The worst schools in New York, the worst housing, the worst crime, the worst health care and the worst poverty
Saddened by the current state of Bronx for the past 50 years, the young immigrant is of the view that, somebody is not doing his/her work well in distributing the national cake; he saw the need to do something to change the narrative, hence his decision to take a high impact-driven step by first
acquiring enough knowledge including the aforementioned Master’s degree in “how to lift people out of poverty” and then contest and make good use of such knowledge to help the people of the Bronx and New York City as a whole when elected.
It is important to note that, aside the theoretical aspect, Diallo practically contributed towards solving the problem at hand. He has volunteered in organizations and individual efforts geared towards feeding the hungry, helping the unemployed find jobs, taking notes for the disabled students, tutoring school children who struggle with remote learning, helping immigrants and minorities go to college, get through college, and secure a job after college. Most fascinating of all is that Diallo turned down a job on
Wall Street to achieve his dream of running for City Council to serve his people.
The Guinean-American has so far announced his candidature in a pre-launch campaign presser with so many expectations. Diallo is not the first person of Guinean descent who contested an election in the US. Charles Fall contested and got elected as the first Muslim and African-American Assemblyman in the New York State assembly ALBANY; a history which could feed into the electoral prospects of the young aspirant. If Diallo wins, he will be the first African ever elected in the history of New York City Hall.
Diallo aims to achieve a lot when given the mandate; he seeks to ensure there is quality housing with affordable rents, better schools and medical facilities in the communities, tax free commercial zones so businesses can prosper, Good paying jobs, a decent neighborhood where people can walk down the streets without the fear of getting mugged, among others.
Starting from his home country, Abdourahamane Diallo was in second year in La Source University Law School – Guinea when his lottery was received making him move to the United States. He studied Political Science at John Jay College, took a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Baruch College where he majored in finance and investment with an attached minor in communication studies which focused on conflict resolution. He won a graduate fellowship to Tsinghua University in Beijing,
China where he earned a master’s degree in Global Affairs. Diallo equally earned two certificates from Columbia Business School in Leadership Foundation and Strategic Impact.
SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY
Abdourahamane has served as Secretary-General of the Bronx Borough President African Advisory Council and a member of the Bronx Community Board 3. He Co-Founded the African Empowerment Project NYC and served as Chairman of Guineans Succeeding in America. He recently got elected as a member of the Bronx Democratic County Committee and serves as a Young Leader of the Forum for World Education. Diallo is equally the founder Guineans Succeeding in America (GSA); an association
with an estimated membership of 10,000 across the US. You can support or follow Diallo through the following platforms: https://abdourahamanediallo.com/