NATASHA DEL TORO: In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Khader El-Yateem is running to become the first Arab American elected to the City Council.
And they say an Arab cannot win election in this district.
DEL TORO: In a community as diverse as Bay Ridge, the outcome is hard to predict.
MAN: I would rather vote for Adolf Hitler than a Democrat.
(speaking Arabic) DEL TORO: "Brooklyn Inshallah" on America ReFramed.
♪ (woman laughs) EL-YATEEM: How are you?
(murmuring) (bus brakes hissing) (speaking Arabic) Hey, let me... Let me give you one of my cards.
MAN: Uh, no.
(man speaking indistinctly) - Yeah, yeah.
- I thought it was a religious thing.
- No, no, it's not.
(laughs) I like the reaction, though.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
He thought-- he said, "I thought it was a religious thing."
(exclaims) That's the second time today.
(speaking Arabic) LINDA SARSOUR: We were ready to put up a candidate.
And this time, it was very important and so timely, after the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States of America.
And this president has fueled an entire segment of our society who are engaging in anti-Muslim sentiment.
♪ (crowd cheering) My name is Linda Sarsour and I am one of the national co-chairs for the Women's March on Washington.
The Muslim registry programs, the banning of the Muslims, the dehumanization of the community that I come from-- that has been our reality for the past 15 years.
I stand here before you unapologetically Muslim American, unapologetically from Brooklyn, New York.
(cheers and applause) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Yes for him, yes for... (laughs) ♪ (El-Yateem speaks softly) (kiss) Long time no see, eh?
(both laugh) Community leaders are very enthusiastic about this candidacy, and they think this is our time to win and to have a voice in city government.
GRACE EL-YATEEM: I don't know what it means for us as a family, to endure a campaign.
I'll tell you my only worries, though.
You have endured a lot.
Here... (speaks Arabic) You know, imprisonment, coming and starting a whole new life here.
I know, I don't, not, I don't think for a second you're not going to be able to do it.
I have all my faith in you.
My only concern is protecting the kids, because politics is dirty.
(people talking in background) SARSOUR: Father Khader is just the vehicle for our community for once and for all to be heard, because we have not been heard in this district.
We have not been represented in the way that we deserve to be represented.
(applause and cheering) We believe that same energy that we caught from progressives, from young people, from young Muslims, from the Christian community tor a man like Bernie Sanders, who would have been the first Jewish American president, is the same energy we're going to bring to Father Khader's campaign.
So are you guys ready for that?
(applause and cheering) Please help me welcome, with as much love as you can muster in this moment, our next New York City Council member-- the first Palestinian American New York City Council member, the first Arab American New York City Council, and I believe, the first man to walk into the New York City Council proudly with his collar-- Father Khader El-Yateem.
(cheers and applause) EL-YATEEM: I got, just got my first endorsement.
(audience reacts) - From who?
- From my wife.
(all laughing) So, thank you, she... Grace, come here.
Linda goes, "From who?"
Here is my wife, my bride, so... (cheering) SARSOUR: So Arab Americans and Arab American Christians, in particular, have been in the, New York City since the early 1900s.
So we've been almost waiting over 100 years for us to find someone and to run somebody in our community that we know is going to win.
KAYLA SANTOSUOSSO: What I always admired about him is, he is just fearless in the face of conflict and discomfort and even, like, cultural difference.
I mean, the man can, like, navigate his way through any dynamic-- any, any interpersonal dynamic, any social dynamic.
I've seen him step into situations that other people run from.
MAN: Allahu akbar.
MAN: Everybody that is an Arab American, this gentleman right here, Khader El-Yateem, has represented you and your families, whether you know it or not.
And now he is running for City Council.
EL-YATEEM (speaking Arabic): (speaking softly) MAN: EL-YATEEM: (man responds) EL-YATEEM: Ah?
(greeting in Arabic) We want you guys to go out and vote.
Tell your family, your friends, this is our historic opportunity.
(speaking Arabic) EL-YATEEM and MAN: EL-YATEEM: MAN and EL-YATEEM: EL-YATEEM: MAN: EL-YATEEM: Refa'at, you have a lot of people to register today.
MAN: Sixth Avenue?
(men talking in background) EL-YATEEM: Good job, ladies.
WOMAN: Thank you.
(people talking in background) EL-YATEEM: I discovered there's tons of people who have citizenship, but they are not registered.
WOMAN: I know, it's crazy.
EL-YATEEM: Tons of people.
WOMAN: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
WOMAN: Bye, see you.
EL-YATEEM: Was very nice... Let's go this way and we'll go around.
SANTOSUOSSO: Yeah, yeah, no, I mean... And the first couple of times I was asking people, and they're sort of confused, and then after that, women were just coming up and saying, like, "Is this where you register to vote?"
There's still a little bit of confusion about the process, I think, because a lot of people came up to me and said, "Is this where I vote?"
And I said, "No."
And then there was one woman, where I registered her, and then she was, like, "Okay, so that's it?
Did I vote for him?"
And I said, "No, no, you didn't vote for him."
- Yeah, that's what we have to do.
- So they're... You know, they're... One of the battles is, like, you know, talking with people about the process and explaining... - Yeah.
- ...what this all is from start to finish.
(El-Yateem grunts) EL-YATEEM: Oh, God, I'm tired.
SANTOSUOSSO: It was discouraging to see those numbers and to hear people say, like, "Oh, Arabs don't vote."
People weren't running candidates that the community cared about and they weren't running in a way that encouraged participation from the Arab community.
EL-YATEEM: Here is an Arab Christian clergy coming into a mosque, speaking about election, and people are embracing me because of my identity as an Arab American.
I think that's phenomenal.
(vehicle engines revving) (speaking Arabic): (people talking in background) (murmuring) Right here.
Tell me she's a Democrat.
Savana, she's in our district.
Right here, Savana.
- (murmurs) - Oh, see?
I knew it was, something was weird when you only said there was a couple.
ABER QAWAS: Hi, this is Aber, I'm calling from the Father Khader campaign for City Council.
Hi, this is Aber, I'm calling from the Father Khader campaign for City Council.
(speaking Arabic) I'm just calling to remind you that primary day to vote is September 12.
(speaking Arabic) EL-YATEEM: Reverend El-Yateem, I'm running for City Council.
I'm a Christian Lutheran pastor, was born and raised in Bethlehem-- not Pennsylvania.
Remember that guy?
I said, "No, no, the real Bethlehem!"
I've been in this neighborhood for the past 22 years as your neighbor.
12 years I was in Community Board 10.
I'm a clergy liaison to the NYPD.
My wife is a school nurse at PS 204, born and raised in this neighborhood.
We're being priced out, pushed out by developers, so I made a major commitment not to take any money from developers.
Nothing from (bleep), I work outside the establishment.
I don't have any political aspirations.
Either we stay with the status quo, or we can elect a new leadership.
MAN: I'm having dinner and I'm not gonna talk to you.
MAN: New York City Democratic Councilmatic seat?
Give me a break.
MAN: It should probably go Republican.
Let's get rid of de Blasio.
He's another Obama.
I would rather vote for Adolf Hitler than a Democrat.
♪ SANTOSUOSSO: You know, we think of New York City as a particularly progressive place, a deep blue state, a deep blue city, where, like, we... You know, this is where all the most progressive people live, this is where progressive politics exists.
But Southern Brooklyn is actually one of the last Republican and conservative strongholds in the city.
And it's not really because of Bay Ridge.
It's because Bay Ridge's district is tied in with Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach-- all of these places where it's mostly Italians, Irish, conservative communities.
MAN: How do you do the church and be political?
Do two places?
EL-YATEEM: Well, in our tradition, we can run for office-- we can.
MAN: Oh, you can run.
MAN: But I'm just saying, would you have the time?
EL-YATEEM: I'm actually... MAN: Would you... To do the other thing if you're a clergyman.
I'm a little leery, weary, you know... EL-YATEEM: But thank you.
MAN: I'm just saying, how can you do two?
EL-YATEEM: The bishop is going to send another person, take over the church, I'm going to be a volunteer at the church, but I'm going to work at City Council full time.
(El-Yateem murmuring) EL-YATEEM: I was sent to this country in 1992 by the bishop in Jerusalem to serve the Arab and Middle Eastern community.
We did not have a church, so I was the founder of this church.
The families are excited that we have this opportunity to teach the kids our Arabic language, the Christian faith from our Middle Eastern understanding.
(congregation singing) (bell ringing) EL-YATEEM (speaking Arabic): CONGREGATION: EL-YATEEM: We can bring healing, we can bring reconciliation, we can bring justice, and we can bring hope.
The Lord be with you.
CONGREGATION: And also with you.
EL-YATEEM: (speaking Arabic) Let us pray.
(congregation singing in Arabic) (woman speaking Arabic) (people talking in background) EL-YATEEM (in Arabic): (birds chirping) (car alarm beeps softly) (people talking in background) You guys ready to eat?
(murmuring) (television playing in background) (people talking in background) (chuckles) Your eyes look red, like you're... EL-YATEEM: I am tired.
JANNATTE: No, like, it's literally two red dots on your eyes.
- "My dad."
I'm recording a video with my dad because in my school, for my sorority, I am hosting a program called The Hidden Truth.
And we're speaking on the occupation in Palestine, because a lot of people are uneducated about it.
They don't even know that there's an occupation.
So has anything happened in your life growing up in Palestine that affected you or your family?
- What affected me the most growing up in Palestine under the Israeli occupation is when I was arrested at the age of 19.
The Israeli soldiers came to my house and picked me up from my own bed at 3:00 in the morning.
I was taken to prison.
I was never told why I was arrested, where I was going.
And my family never had the chance or the opportunity to come and visit me, or know where I was for the first 18 days.
(speaking Arabic): I was in prison for 57 days in a small, solitary confinement.
I was in a small cell, I was tortured every day, I was questioned every day, I was beaten every day.
I was subjected to different kinds of torture in the Israeli prisons.
For 57 days, I was not allowed to take a shower, shave, cut my nails, or change my clothes.
(speaking Arabic) JANNATTE: So what's your definition of the occupation because you grew up in Palestine?
- Occupation, to me, means that I am not free.
It means I am being controlled and I don't have a right to a citizenship or the right to self-determination.
♪ ♪ (car horns honking) (car horn honks) (power tool running) SARSOUR: I'm just really glad that, honestly, like, of all the things that we've been able to do, like, we've been able to prove to people that we focused on building a truly, like, grassroots campaign focused on getting out the most marginalized votes.
- Versus having to do anything that, like... Like, we didn't have to play dirty at all.
And honestly, like, we could be a, like... A, a model of a campaign.
Nobody ever taught us that politics could be something positive.
It was right after 9/11 when the Arab American Association of New York was just founded.
(door closes) And I was asked to come volunteer by a family relative.
And she said to me, "Look, our community needs us."
MAN: Do you ever rest?
- We can't rest.
We're living under, we're living under fascism, brother.
We cannot rest under fascism.
(speaking Arabic) The things that we're hearing now about Muslims, about Arab, is actually, believe it or not, way worse than the things that we heard about Arab and Muslims after 9/11.
QAWAS: I'm calling from the Father Khader campaign for City Council.
So I'm just calling to remind her to vote on September 12 in the primaries.
(buzzer sounds) MAN (on intercom): Who is it?
- Hi, this is Aber from the Father Khader campaign.
I'm here to talk to you about the election.
MAN: No, thank you.
(Qawas sighs) QAWAS: I'm from Brooklyn, New York.
Born and raised here in Bensonhurst, which is right next to Bay Ridge.
My family's Palestinian.
(knocking) We were pretty okay until post-9/11.
My dad was arrested and deported.
(Aber's mother speaking softly in Arabic) Wow.
- (speaking Arabic) - When is this?
MOTHER: This was Abby's birthday, and we want to buy some, like, gift from Broadway.
Like, some gifts and stuff.
And when we come back, you know, we find that the police wait for us in the subway, down, and they took me to bring my husband.
They put me as a hostage to bring him.
After that, you know, they start the courts and stuff, and he got deported.
(sighs): This very bad memory.
QAWAS: Do you miss Baba?
MOTHER: Yeah, (inaudible).
I miss these days a lot.
Ten years he's away.
QAWAS: This is the hardest-hit community after 9/11 of deportations.
So, most of the families who lived here, almost everybody's friend, like, their dad or their uncle or their cousin or something was picked up, their house got raided.
EL-YATEEM: Bay Ridge was in turmoil.
There was a lot of pain and suffering and crying and fear.
There was a lot of heartache.
But what was surprising, with our senator, Marty Golden, he said that the 9/11 hijackers came from Bay Ridge and from the mosque that lived down the street from us.
♪ Hi, how are you?
I'm running for City Council, the first Arab American to be running for City Council.
(greeting in Arabic) - Look, we're at your, we're at your campaign now.
- We're just getting... (voiceover): It's time for it, it's time.
He's served our community for the past 20 years.
I've known Father Khader for 20 years now, post-9/11, okay?
While I was at the Arab-American Family Support Center.
When they were, when they were rounding up Arabs all around, that post-9/11, and, you know, all kinds of people, you know-- Arabs, they didn't care who the hell you were, what religion, whatever?
Father Khader was on the front lines with us trying to get these people out.
REPORTER: This is CNN breaking news.
President Trump speaking about his controversial executive order, one that bars 134 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States.
(crowd chanting): No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.
No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.
No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.
No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here.
(speaking Arabic) EL-YATEEM: As a father of four children growing up in this country, I fear for my children.
You know, I fear that they can be attacked or victimized or harassed because of their background.
SARSOUR: We do not pay these government officials...
CROWD: We do not pay these government officials... - ...to terrorize and put fear in our communities.
CROWD: ...to terrorize and put fear in our communities.
- We will not stand for it.
CROWD: We will not stand for it.
- Bay Ridge will not stand for it.
CROWD: Bay Ridge will not stand for it.
QAWAS: We waited ten years to be able to reapply for him, and now it's, like, the ban is happening, so it's not, like, you're so hopeful and, like, you are 100% sure it's gonna happen, because even people who legally have the right to bring over their families are not able to do that at the moment.
So what is it going to mean to somebody who was deported ten years ago?
Is that going to be a possibility?
MOTHER: It's look like we're digging in the rocks.
Either the rocks fell on you and kill you, or you can make your way out.
♪ (people talking in background) There's the Statue of Liberty.
(chuckling): It's not so symbolic to me, you know.
Because it's not, like, really related to the immigrant experience that I feel Arab have had in the country.
I think the Statue of Liberty is, like, used against us, because people are, like, "This was a melting pot."
This country is, like, "We used to welcome all these immigrants "and this is what the Statue of Liberty, you know, symbolizes."
But the reality is that this country doesn't really welcome immigrants.
(people laughing and talking) (speaking Arabic) (laughing, talking) (speaking Arabic) I hope you have success for everything, and I... (speaking Arabic) (speaking Arabic): (talking indistinctly) - I can't wait to see you with us, representing us, and I wish... (speaking Arabic): - (speaking Arabic) (man chanting prayer in Arabic) (chanting continues, people talking in background) (chanting continues) MAN: I would like to introduce our father, our Reverend Khader El-Yateem, who is running, a candidate running for a city councilor.
EL-YATEEM (in Arabic): On September 12, we have an opportunity to make history, to elect the first Arab American to City Council to go and fight for us, to protect our civil liberties, and to make sure we have a representation that will bring all our voice to city government.
So please, on September 12, you need to make a commitment that you are going to vote.
You are going to take your family, your friends.
So all of us, on September 12, we can achieve victory that our community deserves.
♪ Eidun Saeed ♪ Let's enjoy this happy day ♪ Eidun Mubarrak ♪ Come on, let's celebrate ♪ Eidun Saeed ♪ Let's enjoy this happy day ♪ Eidun Mubarrak ♪ Come on, let's celebrate ♪ Celebrate ♪ Let's celebrate ♪ Allah, Allah ♪ Thank You for this day ♪ (talking in background) MAN: Yo, congrats.
(talking in background) ♪ ♪ ♪ Feeling so good ♪ Smiles and greetings everywhere ♪ ♪ Eidun Mubarrak ♪ To everyone out there ♪ Whole families, they gather ♪ ♪ And celebrate... (people talking in background) Aren't you a Democratic candidate for the council?
- Yes, I am.
- And you came to the Republican primary... - Sure, why not?
- To do filming?
- No, I'm not-- this is not me doing filming.
- You don't think that's shameless?
To step into where there are other people who are here supporting their candidate, and that you would step in here and you're still here filming on camera?
- No, he's filming, not me.
- I think it's pretty shameless, especially wearing a collar, a man of the cloth.
(speaking Arabic): (chuckles) FILMMAKER: What are they doing here?
- They're doing the Republican debates, and I was invited to come, and I came.
MAN: Gentlemen, where do you see Vincent Gentile's tenure lacking over the past three terms?
How would you be a different and better candidate for the City Council?
Something I would not do that Gentile has done, he has consistently voted for funding for a group led by Linda Sarsour, the executive director of the Arab American Association.
Just this year, that group received $23,750 of our taxpayer funds, led by someone who spews violence.
I think that is wrong.
To me, that's crazy.
She's bad news.
She's a radical leftist hell-bent on ruining this nation.
(cheers and applause) Thank you.
Okay, here's your first hate mail for the day.
I have to be careful, because I might get hurt.
- Hate mail, hate mail.
"To Linda Sarsour, just move out of America "if you are not happy with President Trump, permanently.
"I knew you are trying to brainwash Americans "and try to destroy America.
"If you all keep doing on, you all could get hurt.
"That will be your fault.
"Violence is curse and evil.
"Shame on you all crybabies.
"Easy way to move out of America.
It is not yours."
(people talking in background) They waited for the Women's March on Washington and then the right wing came after me immediately.
For the right wing and for those in the opposition, I am walking controversy.
Like, I breathe controversy just by the simple fact of who I am and how I exist in this world.
I don't even have to open my mouth.
I don't even have to say anything.
Palestinian, Muslim woman, born and raised in Brooklyn?
That's a controversy all in itself.
(people talking in background) EL-YATEEM: We have a broken subway system.
We have our taxes and our water rates are going up.
We have families in this neighborhood who cannot afford to stay in their homes anymore.
MAN: And how are you different than Brannan?
EL-YATEEM: Well, I'm different because I'm not taking any money from developers, where he's taking tons of money from developers.
The second thing, he's been part of the establishment all these years.
We have 51 districts in the city.
Our district came second to last in terms of funding under the Gentile administration.
But also I am different from Brannan because I am engaging everybody in this political process, especially the new immigrants.
I registered over 500 new people.
So there is a lot of differences between me and him.
I think he is the worst thing for us to elect for this area, simply because of his ties to de Blasio and to developers.
This is Justin Brannan.
I'm a candidate for City Council here in the neighborhood.
How are you doing?
My name is Justin Brannan.
Councilman Gentile is termed out.
He can't run for re-election, but he's running for district attorney.
I worked for Councilman Gentile for a number of years, so I really learned how to get things done while I was his staffer.
And, you know, I'm the only guy running who, who grew up here in the district, so I know the neighborhood like the back of my hand.
(device chimes) Care very, very much about our community and the quality of life, transportation, and keeping the neighborhood safe.
WOMAN: This is America in action.
(light applause) Okay, we're ready.
Get on our mark, get set, go.
And make sure no resources are taken away from our public schools and given to charter schools.
CAPANO: I actually have a very different view than Khader El-Yateem.
I happen to think there is a problem with our public schools and maybe the answer is making it easier for parents to send their kids to charter parochial schools.
LIAM MCCABE: Listen to the Democrats' answers, right?
Listen to their answers.
"Build more schools, build more schools, build more schools."
The answer is about overcrowding.
How are we going to stop overcrowding?
I said it already.
We have got to stop illegal home conversions.
How do you think... That's the answer!
Nobody talks about... Why are you selling your houses?
You let everybody take over.
Freaking (bleep) bastards.
MEGAN: What do you think the role of local government should be in combating racism?
When you talk about the violence in the Middle East, Jews versus Arabs, here in Bay Ridge, we have Jews, Arabs, Muslims, Christians, Black, white, Hispanic, and we all get along.
This truly is a city on the hill.
(audience applauding) There is an elephant in the room.
It's called racism and discrimination in this community right here.
MAN: Get the freaking Asians out of here!
(people talking in background) WOMAN: Thank you.
(cheers and applause) EL-YATEEM: And I have been the recipient of so many racial profiling in this campaign from Republicans and Democrats, visibly and under the table.
And they say an Arab cannot win election in this district.
You have an opportunity September 12 to tell, send a message to Trump and to the world... That's Mr. President Trump to you.
...that the people of the 43rd district are not afraid to send the first Arab American city councilor to represent them.
And you have that responsibility.
I don't want people to sympathize with me.
I want people to empower the community, to get more engaged, and to vote.
That is the ability that you have in this election.
(cheers and applause) So the U.F.T.
endorsed Justin Brannan, which was a little surprising.
We thought they were staying out, because a ton of people, a ton of teachers in the district... Like, even though there's only, like, 14 days left, and I don't know how much work they could do, it's still, like, just a bunch of people that were on the fence or that people who weren't planning on voting now, maybe the U.F.T.
is going to call them, and that could be, like, 1,000 people, 1,500 people.
So that's not good for us.
BRANNAN: I have the support of most of the labor unions in the city.
I have, Councilman Gentile is supporting me.
Assemblyman Abbate is supporting me...
Right on, right on.
But look, I'm not... You know, I'm nobody until election day, until I win.
So I'm not taking anything for granted.
You know what I'm saying?
(car horn honks in distance) SANTOSUOSSO: I don't know.
I feel like something...
I don't know why, but I feel like something bad's about to happen.
Some days you feel like you're winning and some days you feel like you're losing.
Today I'm terrified.
Today I feel like we're losing.
♪ If we weren't running an Arab American, and if we weren't running a Palestinian, I highly doubt that people would be, that our opponents would be approaching Jewish communities and saying, "Hey, I'm running against someone, give me money."
(laughs) I don't think this is how it has to be every time.
But we're running a Palestinian.
We kind of knew that was going to happen.
Challenges that I did not expect was the rise of the establishment against me and the organizing the establishment to make sure my candidacy does not go through.
That was really surprising, challenging.
WOMAN: ♪ Everywhere we go - Yes!
(with crowd): ♪ Everywhere we go WOMAN: ♪ People wanna know (with crowd): ♪ People wanna kn WOMAN: ♪ Who we are (cheering) EL-YATEEM: Wow, wow, wow!
WOMAN: ♪ So we tell them (talking in background) ♪ We are the Socialists CROWD: ♪ We are the Socialists ♪ WOMAN: ♪ The mighty, mighty Socialists ♪ (applauding and cheering) ♪ Democratic Socialists (cheering) EL-YATEEM: Reverend El-Yateem stands for social justice and economic justice and racial justice.
Reverend El-Yateem knows this neighborhood is not conservative neighborhood, it's a progressive neighborhood.
And together we can and we will put people above politics.
WOMAN: ♪ Mighty, mighty Socialists CROWD: ♪ Mighty, mighty Socialists ♪ WOMAN: The Democratic Socialists CROWD: ♪ The Democratic Socialists ♪ WOMAN: The Democratic Socialists We need to keep knocking on those doors.
We need to keep talking about the issues.
(voiceover): Khader El-Yateem is from a community that has been more marginalized, especially in the last 15 years, after 9/11, that we feel, as socialists, that it's imperative to support a member of that community.
(people talking in background) MAN: Thank you.
EL-YATEEM: Okay, there's Christ's Church.
SANTOSUOSSO: You got it.
(speaking Arabic): WOMAN: Hi, how are you doing?
How's everybody doing?
WOMAN: We are so excited.
(person whooping) EL-YATEEM: Yeah?
EL-YATEEM: Pumped up?
MAN: Zohan is looking for a... EL-YATEEM: How are you?
WOMAN: Most of the people in this community never even registered to vote until this year, you know?
And now look at them, just, just so many people in this office, just like, ready to... speak up.
EL-YATEEM: How are you doing?
Hey, guys, how are you?
WOMAN: Good morning.
- My name is the last name on the list under City Council.
I hope you will give me your vote.
(speaking Arabic) - He's going to vote.
- Going to vote?
(speaking Arabic) - It's his first, it's his first poll.
- First time?
- First time for Khader.
- (speaking Arabic): Khader El-Yateem, of course.
He's the best.
Excuse me, hi.
Did you vote?
(people talking in background) (speaking Arabic): - (speaking Arabic): (speaking Arabic): Okay, good job.
(speaking Arabic): See how many people are, like, running to go to vote?
MAN (speaking Arabic): ♪ I know, I know.
♪ (exclaiming) (laughing) WOMAN: Are you guys going to vote?
(cheering) ♪ (car horn honks) (honking) (greeting) (honking) (cheering) ♪ (honking) (speaking Arabic): EL-YATEEM (speaking Arabic): - (speaking Arabic): SARSOUR: Let me go find this guy.
Yeah, let me go find this guy and you keep going.
(car door shuts) (speaking Arabic): SARSOUR: - No, no, I can't-- somebody... (speaking Arabic) 'Cause you know... (speaking Arabic) SARSOUR: Right?
- Five, list of five names.
SARSOUR: MAN: SARSOUR: MAN: SARSOUR: He's another one of those people that they put as Reform Party, because the Reform Party only has five.
- On Reform...
The one with five people?
- The five people.
And Khader El-Yateem is nothing, is not in this list.
(bleep) (phone chirping) SANTOSUOSSO: Despite the fact that we have the largest Arab American community on the Eastern Seaboard, there will never be Arabic translation at the polls because there is no census data on Arab Americans.
So they're kicking out our translators and they're proactively looking into other sites to try to kick out our translators.
- So we basically need people to stand outside from 100 feet and, like, start approaching people who are Arab who might be walking in, and saying, "Do you need a translator?"
- That's what, that's what we're going to do at 170.
Why they do that?
Why they do that?
WOMAN: They also have a problem with Hijabi women.
- Oh, yeah.
- Yeah, yeah.
I'm sure, I'm sure.
- They just let didn't let us go inside and help us, our people who can speak Arabic so to interpret it for them.
Like, we just asked them to let us interpret it for them, because they...
They said, like, we don't have the right.
Like, the Arabic language is not in the booklet that we have the right to have people to interpret it for that.
MAN: I'm going to try to help you guys.
Look, you have to get your elected official, right, to petition to get an Arabic-language...
I understand there's a lot of Arabic people.
- So, could I tell... - That's the only way.
- So could I tell you why we're running an Arab guy?
- For that reason, because nobody in this district gives a (bleep) about my people.
Why is there no Arabic speaker in any polling site in this entire district?
♪ ♪ ♪ What's up, Andrew?
(applause) (cheering) (cheers and applause) (people talking in background) Such a great...
Such a great showing, seriously.
MAN (chanting): El-Yateem, El-Yateem...
CROWD: El-Yateem, El-Yateem... (chanting) El-Yateem, El-Yateem!
El-Yateem, El-Yateem, El-Yateem!
(cheering) (chanting continues) SARSOUR: I know a lot of folks who are here who are not children of immigrants, or if you're not Arab American or Muslim, you do not understand what this campaign meant to us and to our communities.
I want to specifically say to those who have been with us for months, who have invested their time to be here to support our community, to help us build the political voice that we knew we always had in this community, to allow people to pay attention to us and our issues, and our children, and our parents is something that we cannot repay you for.
(cheers and applause) EL-YATEEM: ...who sang a very beautiful song.
(leading crowd): ♪ Solidarity forever ♪ Solidarity forever ♪ Solidarity forever ♪ The union makes us strong (cheering and applause) ♪ (people talking in background) MAN: Yallah Brooklyn is an organization that is membership-based and grassroots, and we are working to center support and uplift underrepresented people and voices in South Brooklyn's political landscape.
To do that work, we will be building up leadership capacity, organizing skills, and electoral representation to explicitly empower immigrants, non-English-speaking people, people of color, women, the youth.
And today we're going to create this organization.
♪ BRANNAN: I gave my word that I would fight for this legislation when I got into office, and that's exactly what I'm doing today.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised.
The election earlier this month wasn't the first time that many Arabic-speaking voters in my district were excited and empowered to come vote, some of them for the first time, ultimately did not vote or could not vote.
Why did that happen?
Because not only were translators not provided by the Board of Elections, but interpreters were shut out, as well.
My bill, the bill that we're announcing today, along with my colleague Councilman Treyger, would finally put an end to this insanity by providing Arabic-speaking interpreters at poll sites wherever needed, not just in my district, but across the five boroughs.
I want to thank all the advocates who are standing with me today, who have fought so hard and long to make this happen.
This change is long overdue, and frankly, I'm just happy to be here to help make it happen.
Thank you very much.
(applause) ♪ ♪ ♪