The choice is clear! Community Leaders are lining up behind Nureed and her campaign for the Board of Trustees with their endorsement.
Many more to come.....
Endorsement from Suki Shikiar
I’ve known Nureed Saeed since she moved into her house in Newstead in 2013. I’m supporting her for Board of Trustees because I know that she will bring the same hard work, dedication, and attention to detail that she brings to her business to the Board of Trustees. We need some new energy, new perspectives, and new ideas to help make sure our town develops in a way that is helpful to all. We need someone with vision and with experience in retail licensing and retail development who can see how bringing in flagship businesses stabilize the whole town. We need someone who asks questions, not just for the sake of asking them, but because she’s pushing us to become better, to not settle, and to be our best selves. We need someone with the courage to stand up to a group and the intelligence to know that speaking out, while uncomfortable, is often called for.
Nureed Saeed is not the “same old thing.” She hasn’t run in the same circles as most of our elected leaders in town. She’s tapped into parts of our communities that we need to bring to the table. Our town has seen the growth of young families moving in who want a town that is diverse. We owe them a government that not only sees the value in that diversity, but actually represents it. We have a chance to elect a woman with passion, with experience, with intelligence and with genuine roll up your sleeves and get down to it work ethic. A young woman who chose this town to raise her family, start her business, and build her own community. Nureed Saeed has my vote. She should have yours too.
Endorsement from Susan Hyon
Have I learned anything from November 8th, 2016? The answer – as devastating as the the election was – is a resounding Yes.
I have learned that to be engaged in the world does not mean to passively wear the badge of “bleeding-heart liberal.”
I have also learned that I do not have a high tolerance for a constant stream of reactivity and vitriol. And by inversion, cultivating joy and inducing bellyaching laughter are necessary skills for engaging with the world.
Most importantly, I have learned that process matters. How things happen, in terms of coalition and community building, and the sustainability of programs, is just as important as the final result (says the former goal-oriented project manager).
Integrating these insights, I am announcing my support of Nureed Saeed for Board of Trustee of South Orange.
What does my internalization of post-presidential election noise have to do with our town’s elections? Like many you, I was galvanized into action and started getting my butt out of my house to meet my representatives and show up.
I kept running into Nureed at activist meetings and appreciated her rigorous listening skills and her honesty and credibility as she shared her perspective in response to the various triggers from the new administration, such as the
Some community leaders may build their reputation as being political firebrands. Nureed, with her expansive vision for our town, doesn’t act radically. She is thoughtful, methodical, and insists on hearing and seeing all sides of a problem. Her smart, all-inclusive approach to consensus building quickly churns into a unique, penetrating diagnosis, and solid, incremental, positive change.
I stand behind Nureed Saeed – her trustworthiness of character, and her ability to relate to diverse audiences on both an emotional and intellectual level. This is who I want representing me. Won’t you join me?
Endorsement from Muzamil Huq
My name is Muzamil Huq and I'm endorsing Nureed Saeed for South Orange Board of Trustees. Full disclosure -- Nureed is my wife, but that's not why I'm supporting her. I'm endorsing Nureed because I know she has the qualities and experience necessary to guide our Village through the challenges ahead.
Nureed is an incredibly determined individual, who has the ability to successfully see through every challenge she confronts. I’ve seen firsthand her ability to get the job done on numerous occasions, whether it’s with the business she started when we moved to South Orange or in her past positions as an executive in retail and branding. I serve as outside counsel to one of the companies she’s worked for, and once had to meet with her to discuss an agreement we were negotiating. I took it for granted that she was my wife and showed up not as prepared as I should have been. Nureed took me to task and gave me no quarter, despite being her husband. She takes every responsibility very seriously, and will do the same as Trustee.
Nureed also truly cares about our Village. Since we moved to South Orange, we’ve fallen for the town and its residents. South Orange will be the place our children grow up, and where Nureed and I grow old. As a result, Nureed is wholeheartedly invested in the well-being and advancement of our Village. I’ve seen her dedication to the things she loves – her children, family, and work – and know she will bring the same devotion to her duties as Trustee.
I’m fortunate to have Nureed as my partner, South Orange would be fortunate to have her on the Board of Trustees.
Endorsement from Ritu Pancholy
I am excited to endorse Nureed Saeed as candidate for the South Orange Board of Trustees. Nureed and I met through mutual friends. We are both raising young children in the town and plan on calling South Orange our home forever.
As a community activist, I often repeat the adage that “all politics is local.” The local concerns facing South Orange are critical because issues such as retail and residential development, or parking and traffic concerns affect our quality of life. We need a candidate on the Board who is committed to understanding and unraveling the complexity surrounding retail and residential development in South Orange and will take actionable steps in a transparent manner. Nureed is best poised to take on this challenge because she brings to the table 15 years of private sector experience in retail development, negotiating, and branding which is an essential component of stabilizing downtown. She is focused on the long term vision for this community and will be adept at tying together discrete projects into a more comprehensive vision for South Orange.
I admire Nureed because she is willing to build consensus while respectfully challenging others, asking the tough questions, and demanding answers. Like her interior design style, which is innovative and modern, Nureed instinctively asks the unobvious questions because she is always thinking about the future (i.e., she recently asked a real estate developer if an uber/lyft pull off area would be located in a highly trafficked and congested area without sufficient parking; the answer was no).
Finally, Nureed represents the future of our community; a community that is built on trust, empathy, and diversity of thought. I am so proud to call Nureed my neighbor and friend and can’t wait to call her Trustee.
Endorsement from Annemarie Maini
On Tuesday, May 9th, we have the privilege of voting for Village Trustees to serve our community. There are four candidates running for three seats. I encourage you to research each candidate and make an informed decision.
In particular I encourage you to get to know Nureed Saeed. I have known Nureed for two years as the mom of three children that attend my preschool. You can learn a lot about a person’s disposition and commitment to humanity in how they interact with their own children, as well as the other children they greet each morning. Nureed is thoughtful and attentive, and she is also willing to correct children with the intention to help them learn.
This spring I experienced her passion and commitment to our community and her willingness to stand up for what she believes. Her poignant speech at the SOMA Action rally speaking against the “travel ban” and for the sanctuary city status. She succinctly outlined why it is important to make all residents feel welcome in their community. “An American citizen’s fear that America is not safe for them is why South Orange’s status as a sanctuary city is so important.” The gentle reminder that all politics is local and we need thoughtful people to work for the betterment of us all.
Nureed and I have had many conversations about development, public safety and the revitalization of our downtown area. She approaches issues with first asking a ton of questions. This is critical. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she asks lots of questions and then uses that information to creatively problem solve. This is a great skill necessary for solving complex issues as well as building consensus amongst other trustees.
I encourage you to vote on Tuesday, May 9th and stay engaged.
Endorsement from Karen Hamberlin
It is with great enthusiasm that I write to support Nureed Saeed for Board of Trustees. I moved to South Orange three years ago seeking a diverse and progressive community to raise my multi ethnic and multi religious daughter. It is time for our community to embrace diversity and inclusion not only in our political philosophies, but in representation in our most important government positions. Nureed' s vision for South Orange as well as her activism on social issues is an excellent and much needed combination. Our diversity is our strength and by diversifying our Board with strong, smart, capable people like Nureed, we can only get stronger.
Endorsement from James Davis
I first became aware of Nureed Saeed when I read an article she wrote for the Village Green back in February 2017, regarding the immigration travel ban. Her thoughtful story about her family’s background caught my attention. Specifically, her article was not about her and how she felt, more than it was about her parents’ experiences and what this country meant to them.
Just a few months later, I realized what a special candidate for South Orange Trustee she is. Nureed has worked in corporate America and she has created local businesses as an entrepreneur. While she has only been in town for a couple of years, it is clear that she is determined to make positive changes here.
I recently heard Nureed give an interview. What struck me most was her ability to hear a question and quickly provide a thoughtful answer without sounding inauthentic. Her ability to respond so thoughtfully to multiple questions meant to me that she has been thinking about South Orange Township-related topics for some time and not just when she decided to run as a candidate a month ago. She understands that positive changes oftentimes require some uncomfortable moments to get to the end result. Her realistic perspective is not only refreshing, but it is needed in a town that needs to continue to push the envelope on innovation in governance.
I am voting for Nureed Saeed on May 9th because I believe she embodies the traits and qualities that we, in South Orange, love to declare makes us different. Her business experience is diverse. She understands how government works. She is assertive, yet diplomatic. She is exacting, yet flexible. But most important, she is willing to lead not for purposes of improving her resume or as a stepping stone to other political aspirations, but because she cares about South Orange.
Endorsement from Emily Hynes
I'm voting for Nureed Saeed and I think you should too. I had coffee with Nureed the other day. We talked about our kids - I have two, she has three. She is a great mom, and because of that she is a good listener. We talked about the things that make South Orange a wonderful place to live - the people who live here, our diversity, the incredible neighbors. We talked about having aging parents who want to stay close to their grandchildren and communities. We also talked about why she is running for Board of Trustees in the May municipal election on Tuesday, May 9.
Nureed is a local business owner, a parent, and a homeowner. She is the kind of person who really understands how to ask hard questions, and look at things from a fresh perspective. She is an asset to our community and we should not pass up this opportunity to add her voice and talent to our Village governance. Nureed is our neighbor, and by all accounts, she is a good neighbor to have. In talking with Nureed you immediately see that she is an organized thinker who can see a problem from all angles. Perhaps it's something she learned from her experience in the business world, tackling tough negotiations. She is smart, capable, and dedicated to this community.
South Orange needs new voices and new ideas in village government. We need expertise in establishing a strong retail base in our community. We need organized thinkers and good listeners who aren't going to go with the consensus because it's easier. We need to elect Nureed Saeed to our Board of Trustees on May 9.
Endorsement from Virginia Lazala
Nureed is a seasoned retail executive. She is also an experienced designer who knows how to listen so that her designs fully align with her client’s aesthetics to create beautiful surroundings. With her experience, she can help revitalize downtown South Orange and still keep the appeal of the village that its residents hold dear. A revitalized downtown will go far to help curb the rapid increase in taxes that each property owner in South Orange has experienced.
Nureed will bring a voice to the Board that reflects the community. Her diverse background will serve to enhance the discussion of the myriad of issues that come before the Board. Nureed shares my belief in transparency in government and with her ideas, such as quarterly reporting, the Village residents will finally understand where their tax dollars are going.
We need an independent voice on the Board that will represent the interest of the town’s residents. Nureed is that voice. On May 9th, Vote Row “A”!
Endorsement from Kelly Quirk
Nureed Saeed is witty, smart, poignant, and committed. She’s a mother of three young children, and runs her own business after years as a successful “ladyboss” in corporate America. As another “young ladyboss” with two kids, I could relate to drive and desire to help her community. When she asked me to be her campaign manager, I said yes. She is that impressive. She had a clear vision for how to enhance downtown’s retail corridor, and why diversity of thought matters. So two women, with 5 children under 5 between them, took off running a grassroots campaign.
We did this on our lunch breaks, on the train, and after our kids went to bed. We did this with the help of other moms of young kids. We did this because it matters. I did this, because the standard way into politics for women, especially women of color is too long and cumbersome. South Orange’s vacant retail spaces could wait 2 years, or 4 years for someone to deem Nureed ready to help tackle that problem. Or we can say, “enough with politely waiting your turn, we need some new energy here.”
Nureed has been endorsed by a diverse group of constituents. You might not even want them in the same room at a dinner party because of their differences of opinion! Yet, Nureed brought them together. They heard Nureed’s pointed, clear, timely plan and could see a difference of opinion is not a bad thing, but a launching point for innovation. My only regret is living in Maplewood and being unable to cast a vote. Please vote for Nureed Saeed on May 9th for South Orange Board of Trustees, and help us push the door open further for other equally qualified candidates who don’t follow a traditional path to office.
Endorsement from Michael Goldberg
For the South Orange Board of Trustees (BOT) election on May 9, I am happily endorsing Nureed Saeed for Trustee.
Nureed reached out to me a couple of months ago to understand what it takes to run for and serve on the BOT and I was immediately impressed by her passion and ideas for our Village. Her extensive experience in retail development would be hugely beneficial to bring results to our struggling downtown. Her commitment to real transparency is critical to ensure that we all know what is actually going on with our Village. Her global life experiences have exposed her to innovative solutions that would be a welcome addition to the Board. Lastly, she will provide strong leadership by asking the tough questions, just as I tried to do during my six years as a Trustee, to ensure the best possible decision is made for the taxpaying residents. This is an even more vital issue with the loss of Trustee Dubowy from the Board in May, who, like myself and former Trustees Eric DeVaris and Patrick Joyce, were able to provide an independent voice and a fresh perspective to examine issues from all sides without simply following the herd because that was the “easy” thing to do.
As her campaign has evolved, I have seen Nureed’s ability to easily connect with people from all different backgrounds, genuinely listening to varying viewpoints and finding common ground. She has worked incredibly hard to get out her message, all while juggling her own business and her family, including her three young children. When I look at candidates, I look for someone who has delivered results, not just promises, and for someone who is authentic and willing to question the status quo and speak the hard truth. Nureed rates higher on all of these criteria than I have seen in a candidate in a very long time.
I know she would be a great addition to the Board and I hope you will join me in supporting Nureed Saeed for Village Trustee on May 9.
Endorsement from the News Record
Saeed for BOT
While Saeed has only lived in South Orange for a few years, we see great potential and know that she brings a different viewpoint to the BOT — one that is currently lacking. She is a youngish mother of three with her own business. She is a go-getter, who can accomplish most things she puts her mind to, despite how busy she may be. She has great ideas for South Orange, such as creating a standard form for committees to record their minutes to post online, instituting diagonal crossings at certain intersections to increase pedestrian safety and creating a child day care center within a senior living residence, just to name a few.
As an entrepreneur in this village, Saeed understands the needs of business owners and can ensure they are receiving what they need while enhancing the village’s downtown areas. Saeed wants to create a unique downtown South Orange “feel” so that the village has a stronger sense of identity. Her business background also gives her a boost when it comes to crafting budgets.
Endorsement from Barbara Santoro
Like many Americans, I have been extremely focused on national politics during the past few months. Then I had a conversation with Nureed Saeed. Within minutes of our conversation, I realized that I’ve forgotten our local government is just as important as our national government. The decisions that our local government makes directly affect our town, our lives, and our children’s lives. We need to select leaders in our town who have the skills, passion, and experience needed to make impactful contributions to our town.
This is why I am voting for Nureed. While I was immediately struck by her intelligence, warmth, and thoughtful vision for South Orange, three aspects about Nureed convinced me that, as a Trustee on the board, she would help make our amazing town even better.
Nureed has Retail Development Experience. While our downtown has many flourishing and exciting retail stores, many of us have lamented about the empty retail spaces and lack of an overall “community feel” downtown. Nureed is not only passionate about enhancing our downtown she has years of professional Retail Development experience. She knows how to enhance retail space because she has create such retail environments in her previous career. We need Nureed’s retail expertise so that our downtown can achieve it’s potential and will reflect and support our vibrant community.
Nureed is a thoughtful listener. As we talked, Nureed outlined her vision for South Orange and shared her experience and ideas, but most of all, she truly listened. She heard the concerns I raised, considered my questions carefully, and responded with specifics and sometimes, with more questions. It is clear to me that Nureed isn’t interested in impressing people with answers that sound good: She is interested in exploring ideas and finding solutions. I am confident that if she is elected on May 9, she will listen carefully to South Orange residents – to all of our concerns, questions, and suggestions,- and provide thoughtful, tempered leadership based on our values and our voices.
Nureed is an independent thinker. She is also an entrepreneur with young children who is interested in investing in South Orange for the longterm. She will provide a unique perspective for the families of South Orange. Her voice will be her own.
I enthusiastically support Nureed’s campaign for Board of Trustees. She has done her homework and has deep knowledge of, and commitment to, our town. She is a thoughtful listener and independent thinker who will work hard to ensure that downtown South Orange will flourish, and that our voices will be heard. I hope that you will vote for her on May 9.
Endorsement from Devyani Guha
The first time I heard Nureed Saeed speak was at the SOMA Action rally for declaring South Orange a sanctuary town, where she spoke about her experience as a first generation Muslim American. I was uplifted by her eloquent words and her courage for speaking out at a time when most immigrants and people of color were still trying to figure out what their public stance should be in the face of the various travel bans and other executive orders.
I happened to meet Nureed by chance. SOMA Masala, a Facebook based group of South Asians in SOMA had planned their first face to face meeting at a local restaurant on a day that turned out to be “Day without Immigrants.” In solidarity with the immigrant action, the group decided not to go to a restaurant. However, we also knew that organizing another date for a large group would be difficult. As group members grappled with the dilemma, Nureed stepped in and offered her home for the meeting. This was the first time that group members and I met Nureed and it is a testament to her openness and generosity, even to strangers.
When I heard that Nureed was running for South Orange Board of Trustees, I met with her to hear her thoughts about our town’s future. As a long-time resident of South Orange and a former member of the Planning Board, I was curious to hear why a three-year resident would run for office. Nureed’s thoughtful responses to my questions about downtown development, taxes, schools and the town gown relationship were very impressive. She does not shy away from asking or answering difficult questions and listening to varied opinions. I found her perspective on issues such as retail development, creating a range of housing options for all residents and PILOTs to be innovative and refreshing. I especially appreciate her ideas for engaging the community in building an identity for our town and using it to drive a short term vision and implementation strategy for our downtown. I believe that Nureed Saeed’s fresh ideas, unique perspective as an entrepreneur, a woman of color and an activist, and her inclusiveness make her perfectly suited for the position of member of Board of Trustees of South Orange, and I am honored to endorse her.
Endorsement from Newstead Neighbors
We represent a cross section of South Orange: some of us have lived here since childhood, some for nearly a decade and some recently arrived. We were drawn here by the uniqueness that South Orange has always possessed, but we also see the amazing potential it still has to give. We are Nureed’s neighbors and she has our vote.
Some of us have known Nureed and her beautiful family since the summer weekend they moved in 3 years ago. We immediately invited her to the neighborhood BBQ and the friendship has continued since. Other of us are the ones who she invited to her home when we moved in after her, welcoming us the way she was. Nureed is the neighbor everyone hopes to have. She knows us all, not just by our names but truly knows us, our children, our parents, and our kitchen tables.
When Nureed moved in we all watched in awe as she poured her design talents and hard work into renovating her home. Since then we have watched, not only her family and her business grow, but also her community activism. In addition to her natural talent Nureed brings a retail and branding experience, a relentless drive and a work ethic that sets her apart from the others. Nureed brings truly innovative ideas to a downtown that has been undergoing a lot of change and needs a push to truly make it a destination. Nureed has the talent and experience to make that vision a reality. We need her on our Board of Trustees.
Jill Wasserman Wechsler