Edouard Haba

Dear Neighbors,

Like most of you, I am encouraged by the great number of candidates running for office this election cycle. I’ve no doubt that each candidate brings with them a unique set of strengths. If nothing at all, their decisions to run are testimonies of their love for the City they call home. 

However, it is with great disappointment and sadness that I have read, over the last couple days, some negative and unfounded characterizations of Councilmember and candidate Solomon. Taken out of context such misleading characterizations present Solomon to those who don’t know him and/or have not been following city politics, almost as an untrustworthy and careless person. 

It’s okay to have genuine different political views and ideas. However, it’s not okay to purposefully malign and/or denigrate someone simply because you don’t support them. I want us to uphold the basic values of honesty and civility in our political conversations in Hyattsville. Thus, I humbly urge everyone to stop the negativity and fearmongering!

Without any pretension, I can say that perhaps among all the current and past councilmembers, I am the one who has watched and worked with Councilmember Solomon closely and thus the best positioned to speak to his character. Therefore, I would like to say a few things about the true character and personality of Solomon or “Joe”, as I like to call him.

Joe and I were first elected to the City Council in 2013. He was just 27 years old at that time and the youngest! I saw in him someone who was motivated and passionate about social justice issues and positive change. He also saw in me a brother figure whom he could trust. We quickly developed a good working relationship, not only as councilmembers but a fraternal one as well. Since then, we have mutually and positively challenged one another to improve the quality of life in Hyattsville.

When I started to attend Prince George’s County Municipal Association’s (PGCMA, the local chapter of the Maryland Municipal League) meetings, which are open to all of the county’s municipal elected  officials, I encouraged Joe to join me. I view PGCMA's meetings as great opportunities to network and to learn about challenges/good practices from  other municipalities. We both had the privilege to serve on its Board and thanks to his dedication and the passion he always displayed about various concerns and issues, Joe has subsequently been elected and trusted by the representatives of the 27 municipalities that make up PGCMA to lead the association, in addition to occupying various leadership roles. 

When it comes to Hyattsville and the City Council, Joe has been a critical thinker and a voice and a strong advocate on the dais  for the needs of the residents in Ward 5 and beyond. In carefully reading the negative postings about Joe, one thing stood out for me: he is being criticized for challenging the status quo with his critical thinking and for being a staunch advocate for his constituents. He has consistently taken the time needed to research the issues and graciously taken feedback from other councilmembers, even when they were not constructive. Joe is well aware of the power limits of the City Council. That is exactly why he has worked tirelessly to network and develop strong working relationships  with people at the various levels of government that the City has to work with (i.e. County, School Board, General Assembly, etc.).

The good news is that all City Council meetings, since Solomon was first elected in 2013, are recorded and archived on the city’s website. For those who really want to learn the truth about council dynamic, I encourage to watch what you can in order to draw your own conclusion about who Solomon really is. However, I understand that it might be unrealistic on my part to expect that someone will sit through 8 years of council meetings. Thus, I invite you to at least take the time to watch the ‘council dialogue’ portion of the council meeting of 12/21/2020, where our former Mayor genuinely shared her personal view of each council member. Here’s the link https://hyattsville-md.granicus.com/player/clip/1458?view_id=6&redirect=true (council dialogue starts at the 2:54:45 mark). 

In summary, the true image of Solomon (Joe) is far from the picture that some people are trying to paint of him. I know Joe as a methodical thinker and a compassionate leader, who will go above and beyond to make sure that the needs of his constituents are met. This is why I wholeheartedly support Solomon for Mayor and I humbly invite you to vote for him as well!


Edouard Haba
Ward 4 Councilmember

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