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Tuesday November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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Special District

Duplicate - Formerly City of Santa Clara CouncilCandidate for City Council

Photo of Ahmad Rafah

Ahmad Rafah

Educator/Policy Advisor
4,100 votes (11.93%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Easing traffic congestion
  • Making housing more affordable
  • Ensuring the city works for all residents



Profession:Education/Congressional Policy Advisor
Substitute Teacher, Santa Clara Unified School District (2016–current)
Member, United States Selective Service Commission — Appointed position (2015–current)
Deputy Communications Director, U.S. House of Representatives (2014–2016)
Committee Member, City of Santa Clara Charter Review Committee — Appointed position (2016–2016)
Regional Field Director, Mike Honda for Congress (2013–2014)
Voter Coordinator, California Vote Project (2012–2012)
Math & Science Teacher, Bakersfield City School District (2011–2012)


California State University, Bakersfield Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry (2011)

Community Activities

Founder & President, City of Santa Clara Democratic Club (2015–current)
Member, Santa Clara Rotary Club (2015–current)
Delegate, California Democratic Party (2015–current)


Ahmad Rafah was born in a refugee camp during his parents' escape from war-torn Afghanistan. They were fortunately resettled to the United States. His father became a doctor, his mother a teacher, his sister a social worker for the homeless, his brother an anti-bullying advocate, and Ahmad an educator.

Surviving as refugees in a poor neighborhood was tough. Because of their experiences with violence and poverty, he and his family learned the value of hard work, education, and community. He could not have succeeded without his neighbors, government, and schools -- and because of that, he has dedicated his life to putting community first.

Ahmad knows what it means to put people, especially kids, first. He has done this for Santa Clara. He taught math and science to Santa Clara students, advocated for the creation of a greener and healthier Santa Clara, championed a higher minimum wage for Santa Clara workers, and fought for a more inclusive and diverse Santa Clara government.

Most recently, he served as Congressman Mike Honda's tech and business policy advisor and liaison to the City of Santa Clara. He helped bring together Santa Clara leaders, high-level government officials, CEOs, and residents to solve the region's most important issues, such as the historic drought, using more green and solar energy, creating more advanced manufacturing jobs, building more affordable housing, and fixing transportation in Santa Clara.

In his effort to make Santa Clara the best place to live, he founded the City of Santa Clara Democratic Club; was appointed to the city's Charter Review Commission; is an active member of the Santa Clara Rotary; connected the city to First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" program; and organized the community to raise the minimum wage.

The people of Santa Clara can count on Ahmad to put their needs above outside interests, because he knows what it means to have to stand up for the right to live, prosper, and raise your family in a safe, inclusive, and successful community.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Santa Clara County Democratic Party
  • City of Santa Clara Democratic Club
  • U.S. Representative Mike Honda

Organizations (4)

  • Democratic Activists for Women Now (DAWN)
  • Silicon Valley Asian Pacific American Democratic Club
  • Silicon Valley Young Democrats
  • Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley

Elected Officials (4)

  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Pete McHugh (former)
  • Santa Clara City Councilmember Pat Kolstad
  • Chair of the State Board of Equalization Fiona Ma
  • East Side Union High School District Board Member Pattie Cortese

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


Ahmad has been a lifelong champion for working families. He knows what it's like to be part of the unheard minority - that's why his entire career, he has always put working people first. During college, he fought for his fellow students as president, joining protests with DREAMers and advocating for students' financial and educational rights. While working for Congress, he had the opportunity to help Santa Clara veterans, seniors, and other residents solve their life-altering issues. Before coming to Congress, he was an organizer fighting on behalf of working families, encouraging new Americans to register to vote. He was also a math and science teacher for students in lower-income neighborhoods. He also serves as one of President Obama's Appointees to the U.S, Selective Service System Board, where he is tasked with making important decisions regarding national security and our men and women in combat.

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