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Candidate Q&A: Farhan Shamsi

As with my State Rep candidate interviews, I’m just about done with my Q&As with local county candidates. Today i have the last of the Fort Bend Democratic contenders, Farhan Shamsi, who is running for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3.

1. Who are you and what are you running for?

My name is Farhan Shamsi. I am running for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 of Fort Bend County.

2. What kind of cases does this court hear?

The Justice of the Peace court is the “Peoples’ Court” as it deals with the most basic community issues. The cases heard in this court are both civil and criminal. These cases include traffic court, juvenile court (including truancy and alcohol/drug issues), small claims up to $5,000, and landlord/tenant issues, such as evictions. The administrative duties include issuing marriage licenses and performing marriages, as well as serving as the coroner by investigating deaths.

3. What are your qualifications for this job?

I have lived in the western part of the Greater Houston area for more than thirty years, and I have seen this area grow and change with time. I have been involved in community issues since my youth, and continue to work on these issues as an adult both professionally and personally.

I am the executive director of an outpatient substance abuse clinic. My career has been spent intevening in the lives of those afflicted with drug addiction, mental health ailments, and mental retardation; these experiences have led me to work with various law enforcement and criminal justice systems on issues dealing with these populations.

My professional experience with the issues facing the JP court is extensive, but I also have deep ties the community in general: I have been involved with many organizations in the community including the Parent/Teacher Association, School Board forums, and I have been asked to advise various elected officials and candidates on the community issues. With the growth of population and diversity in Fort Bend County, I feel that my unique experiences dealing with minority issues, at-risk youth, and substance abuse can be used to bring a better understanding in the community.

4. Why do you believe you would do a better job than the incumbent?

The current Justice of the Peace has chosen not to run again for this position. I want to build on the achievements she has made in the court by bring a bigger focus on youth. As the youth are the future leaders of our community, I would like to offer juveniles who stay out of trouble an incentive program by rewarding them for good behavior. Our youth need to be recognized for their good behavior and accomplishments. For those juveniles who do end up in trouble, they will get a dose of tough love. The JP court must be a sobering experience for kids, not merely an introduction to a life in and out of the criminal justice system. Along with making sure that the juveniles learn from their mistakes, I want to add a program like the award winning Teen Court that Judge Joel Clouser uses in Precinct 2.

5. Why is this race one we should care about?

Although this race is listed at the bottom of the ballot, I feel that it should be the first item to be voted on in the election. Precinct 3 is the fastest growing Precinct in Fort Bend County and it has the largest number of voters in the county. If we can make our community, Precinct 3, a safer, more secure and friendlier place to live, the whole county can benefit.

6. What else do we need to know?

The time has come for more people to get involved in the community in which they live. Developing the youth into positive role models by being good citizens is the first step in bringing family values back to our county.

Thank you, Farhan Shamsi. Here are all my previous interviews with Harris and Fort Bend countywide candidates:

Richard GarciaInterview
Leora T. KahnInterview
Chuck SilvermanInterview

Bill Connolly – Interview
James Goodwille PierreInterview
Albert HollanInterview
Neeta SaneInterview
Rudy VelasquezInterview
Veronica TorresInterview

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One Comment

  1. Michael Adeeko says:

    I went to high school with a Farhan Shamsi at Northwest Academy in Houston. I would like to know if this is the same person.