Far from home, Nigerian-born prep star pursues academic and basketball dreams in Michigan - MLive.com

When Peter Nwoke remembers the last hug he shared with his mother, a smile spreads across his face. It was a hug 10 months in the making and it remains one of his favorite memories. “It was the best feeling ever,” Nwoke said. The hug happened back in 2018 when Nwoke was just 15 years old. He had just completed the long 14-hour flight home from Detroit Metro Airport to his home Lagos, Nigeria, where his sister, Roselyne, was waiting to pick him up and take him home for a three-week stay. When Nwoke’s mother, Adamma, laid eyes on her son, she rushed to him before he made it to the front door. “My mom hugged me for five-straight minutes,” Nwoke said. “I wasn’t even in the house yet.” It was the first time he had returned to his hometown since moving to the United States in 2017 to fulfill an academic scholarship he obtained at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Preparatory, a Catholic boarding school in southeast Michigan. Up until that point, it was the longest Nwoke had ever been away from ho

Tarik Lucas announces run for Ward 2 City Council seat - village14.com

Tarik Lucas announces run for Ward 2 City Council seat - village14.com

Tarik Lucas announces run for Ward 2 City Council seat - village14.com

Posted: 04 Dec 2020 05:39 AM PST

 | Newton MA News and Politics Blog

 | Newton MA News and Politics Blog

Newtonville resident Tarik Lucas, who would be the only Black member of the City Council if he wins, announced that he's running for the Ward 2 City Council at-large seat that is open following Jake Auchincloss' election to Congress.

Here's the press release:

Tarik Lucas Announces Candidacy for Ward 2 Newton City Council: 

Special Election Date in Early 2021. Announces campaign with endorsement of 8 city councilors, and elected, would be the only Black member.

Newtonville resident Tarik Lucas announced his candidacy for the Newton City Council today. He is running in the special election for the Ward 2 At-Large seat to replace Jake Auchincloss who was elected to the US Congress last month. The date for the special election has not been set, but is expected to take place before April 2021.

"I am running for City Council because I love Newton and want to ensure it continues to be welcoming and affordable to people at all income levels — just as it was to me," said Lucas. "As Newton faces significant development pressure and considers zoning changes, I want to help guide this change while maintaining what we love about "the Garden City." 

Lucas holds a BA in Business Administration from Springfield College, and works as a royalty specialist at Harvard University Press. He also serves as a youth referee for soccer and basketball. "As a referee I am trained to know the rules, to be fair, and to keep my cool when parents get heated," he says. "I think those are good skills to have as a City Councilor!"

Having grown up in Boston and Brookline, Lucas moved to Newton in 2009, attracted, he says, to the network of village centers, to the ample parks and green spaces, and because he was able to find an apartment he could afford to rent. "There is a lot of discussion about the need for more affordable housing, but the devil is in the details," says Lucas. "Simply rezoning the whole city to allow more market rate housing won't help moderate income individuals like myself, or families. Low to moderate income people need housing that is actually affordable." 

Lucas says the issue of housing stability is personal for him. In 1968, his mother was evicted from her home in Lower Roxbury to make way for a highway project. When he was twelve, his family was evicted so their landlord could convert their building to luxury apartments. "I support progress, but not at the expense of the powerless," says Lucas. "I will always listen to all sides and be a voice for the people over profit-seeking development interests." In terms of housing solutions, Lucas says he would like to see the City partner with non-profit affordable housing developers to help create more truly affordable housing. He says he would also like to see more opportunities for homeownership, rather than the rental-only developments that are more commonly built. 

Lucas believes his background as a young working professional, union member, moderate income resident and renter, and person of color, will add a valuable voice not currently represented on the Newton City Council. "At times when I have been knocking on doors to campaign in Newton, people have asked me, "Are you running for the Boston City Council?" I guess they are not expecting someone who looks like me to be running for office in Newton. I am excited to be able to offer my unique perspective and lived experience to make this great city even better." When it comes to issues of police reform and race, Lucas says that as a Black man he has had only positive experiences with the Newton Police. But he is pleased the Newton City Council voted unanimously to create a police reform task force, and looks forward to their recommendations. "We know we can be better. We know we need a more diverse workforce – not only in the Police Department, but every city department, as well as the schools. We know we can do more to make Newton a truly welcoming city." 

Lucas said he looks forward to a vigorous citywide campaign and has already begun outreach to listen to Newton voters and make his case for why they should vote for him. His campaign has raised more than $20,000 to date. "I am pleased to already have the endorsement of eight City Councilors and numerous former Councilors, School Committee members and community leaders," says Lucas. "But the most important endorsement will come from the voters of Newton, and I plan to work my heart out to earn their vote." 

For more information about Tarik Lucas or to volunteer, visit his website at TarikLucas.org


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