By Badees Nouiouat
Abdul Khabeer has been a resident of Irving for 15 years. He was born and raised in India, where he completed school up to his MBA. Abdul’s mission to serve others through public office goes back to his student days where he held several offices in a highly diverse environment.
Upon graduation, he worked in a few different countries before landing in Chicago in 1992. There, he worked for a few big corporations until 2005 when he moved to Dallas. Abdul Khabeer chose to live in Irving due to its proximity to the airport; as a consultant he was constantly traveling. In Irving Abdul Khabeer raised his son Zaid, who graduated from UT Austin and now works in DFW.
Abdul Khabeer’s passion has always been to work for the community. He joined several not-for-profit organizations, became an active member in the community and recently was appointed to the City of Irving’s board for zoning and adjustments.
Abdul Khabeer appreciates the diversity that is apparent in the city of Irving. He is proud of the 75038 zip code, which was the most diverse neighborhood in the United States. Abdul Khabeer would like to represent the diversity of the city of Irving in various functions of the city government.
Abdul would like minorities to have a fair share in jobs at the city level, such as the Irving Fire and Police departments. Once elected, he plans to ensure this goal is achieved within his first term in office.
The second reason he wants to run is to bring jobs to the city. Irving has grown very fast in the last 10-15 years. More recently, South Irving has seen accelerated growth due to efforts from the community. Now there are many jobs and housing developments being brought to the neighborhood. With families moving in, there is also a lot of revenue coming in. Abdul Khabeer wants this revenue to be invested in the development of infrastructure for South Irving.
Abdul Khabeer wants to continue the growth of housing developments in the city and attract businesses to Irving. Accomplishing this would contribute to new jobs that would bring taxes to the city. There are many infrastructure projects that need attention, according to Abdul Khabeer. The public schools, for example, haven’t seen much renovation in many years. The police and fire department are also outdated and could use a facelift. Parks and roads also need a lot of work. Many roads in Irving are in bad shape and need to be repaired. These are a few things that Abdul Khabeer would be interested in making sure to have proper attention.
Abdul Khabeer also wants to provide internships for students to learn about city government and contribute to their city. Internships with the city will equip young students with the skills to identify important problems and find solutions. “Many of the students in our community are going into IT and the medical field because they think it’s their only option,” he says. “If we provide other avenues for students to learn about different fields, it will contribute to their future success.”
Abdul Khabeer is running for Place 3 of the City Council. Early voting begins on April 20th until April 29th, and the final day to vote is May 2nd.
Badees: “What expertise does our community have collectively that can benefit the city?”
Abdul Khabeer: “Our community in Irving is very well-educated, with expertise in different fields such as telecommunication, software, banking, manufacturing, all over the place. The city could definitely benefit from our expertise. We also have highly qualified medical experts in our community. In general, our community has many well-educated members with college degrees and our youth are attending top colleges. Our highschool graduation rates are very high. It’s a matter of giving them the opportunity to be involved.”
Badees: “What experience do you have that would help you oversee city improvements while handling the budget?”
Abdul Khabeer: “I have lots of business experience and continue to work as a business consultant. The budget is very, very important because it needs to be managed well. Unless we have a balanced budget, it’s hard to accomplish what we want to accomplish. As you may know, government budgets are often run at a deficit, and I want to make sure that doesn’t happen. I am a very fiscally responsible person in the way I run my businesses, my household, the HOA, and I would like to bring this mindset to the city. We have to learn to spend within our means as a city. As a businessman I know exactly how to make this happen. I have many creative ideas to bring revenue to the city, such as attracting businesses to the city. Bringing in distribution centers to South Irving is one idea for example.
Badees: “We’ve seen some renovations and new housing projects in South Irving recently. What is your long term vision for South Irving?”
Abdul Khabeer: “I think the infrastructure of South Irving needs to be looked at. We have some very vibrant and new developments in Las Colinas and Valley Ranch which are attracting businesses and consumers. However, in South Irving the infrastructure is very old and buildings are crumbling. We need to apply the model applied to Las Colinas and Valley Ranch to South Irving. I would be a strong advocate to bring that vitality and growth to South Irving. It is a part of Irving and needs to share in the success of the city.”
Badees: “You mention creating internships with the city government; Do you see this as a potential launching pad for a career in government?”
Abdul Khabeer: “Absolutely. Once our students and our youth get an opportunity to be exposed to the inner workings of the city, they will learn what is working right and what isn’t working. If they see that they have a passion for community service, they could take that experience and become more involved in improving the city. Otherwise, they can still use their experience to make a difference in any field they go into. If our young people become more involved in local government, they can use their unique perspectives to find creative solutions to problems we are facing. I would definitely recommend our young people to find a way they can become engaged in the city.”