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IRANIAN-BORN ELECTED BEVERLY HILLS MAYOR Print E-mail

By Gini Lazar
April 12, 2007


http://www.mginews.com/images/stories/Beverly%20Hills%20Mayor%20Jimmy%20Delshad.jpgBEVERLY HILLS ----- The City of Beverly Hills recently swore in its first Iranian-born Jewish Mayor, Jimmy Delshad. This makes him the highest ranking Iranian-American elected official in the country.
 
With around 25 to 30 percent of the residents of Beverly Hills of Iranian descent, Delshad made sure the voting ballets were printed in Farsi, thus bringing more former Iranian constituents out to vote. And so they did.
 
Delshad has served as vice mayor and a member of the Beverly Hills city council for the past four years.  
 
Under a banner of making Beverly Hills the “smartest city in the U.S.”, Delshad attributes a trip he took to Israel where he visited the city of Ariel, a small town with a completely different infrastructure. He brought back the “Ariel” concept back to the Beverly Hills city council. 

“Everything in Ariel is wireless and wide band communications. One initiative we can take is introduce traffic lights that measure the density of traffic and where lights change according to the traffic patterns, not because they are programmed to change. So, why not do this in Beverly Hills.”
 
Delshad also promised to make this star-studded suburb of Los Angeles the safest city in America, with “smart surveillance cameras” that will protect neighborhoods and by incorporating “smart development” with free internet and enacting a proposed stricter city code of ethics.
 
Like many in this country, Delshad came to America after the fall of the Shah of Iran, in 1979. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Northridge and attended post-graduate classes at USC.  He met his wife, Israeli-born Lonnie Gerstein Delshad, started a family, built a successful business in computer technology and lived the American dream.    
 
Delshad heard that America was the land of opportunity and freedom.
 
“That is why about 50 years ago I came to America with about $100 in my pocket , but with a big American dream, that of making a difference in people’s lives and feeling that my life mattered,” he said.
 
He says he did not seek to serve on the City Council out of a sense of national or ethnic pride. Instead, Delshad felt he owed a debt to the City and the country that welcomed him and that allowed him to use his talents to build, what he considers to have been a successful life.
 
“I wanted to offer my experience as a successful business owner, as a technologist and as a member and leader of many non-profit organizations not only to help our City face new challenges, but to open doors for others who would see me as an example and feel more comfortable about joining us and getting more involved”.
 
As a former Iranian, Delshad feels he has a unique insight into the present tensions between Washington and Tehran. Unlike both Republican and Democrat politicians who say the U.S. should not take the military option off the table, Delshad disagrees. would take the “military” option of dealing with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
 
According to Delshad, who says that knowing the situation and knowing the Iranian culture, he believes “the easier we go, the better”.
 
“The fanatical people become more fanatically aggressive when they are insulted in some way or another. The more careful way would be to negotiate in closed sessions with them”.
 
Although a registered Democrat, Delshad is putting off endorsing any of the candidates running for president in 2008, opting instead to wait a little longer before throwing his support behind anyone.
 
“At some time in the future, I will be endorsing some people. But right now I want to wait”, he stated.
 
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