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Chaldean Voters Ready for Michigan Primary Election Tuesday, August 5
By Sam Yousif :: Monday, August 4, 2008 :: 137934 Views :: Article Rating :: Law & Order, Government & Society, Opinion and Editorials, Chaldean Caucus

Michigan, USA - The Chaldean Caucus has sent out over 6,000 e-mails and mailed out over 2,000 letters to likely Chaldean voters reminding them that tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5 are the primary elections.  “We want to keep the Chaldean community informed and excited about local races as much as the upcoming presidential race,” says Lauren George, western district Chaldean Caucus representative. 

Politicians have come to realize the importance of winning the Chaldean vote says George.  “The community values democracy.  Coming from a country that would kill your entire family should you dare consider thinking and acting in democratic ways, we are hungry to participate.  Our community is active in campaigns, involved in running for politics, and we get out the vote.”

The largest population of Chaldeans in the United States lives in Oakland County, Michigan.  George says that political candidates in that county wisely court the Chaldean constituency knowing that Chaldeans can make all the difference. 

“We have great candidates vying for their party representation or to make the ballot list in the primary.  Candidates for Oakland County Prosecutor Attorney, County Commissioners, County Sheriff, district representatives,  6th Circuit Judge, 46th District Judge, Probate Judge, and even a ballot proposal to fund West Bloomfield parks and the Detroit Zoo,” shares George.  District representatives for the 26, 27, 29, 35, 37, 38, 39, and 40 are highly populated Chaldean regions where candidates have to fight through a primary. 

“Voters can not split their ticket,” says George .  “In other words, if you vote for a candidate in a Republican primary, all voting must remain on the Republican side otherwise you spoil your ticket and the vote does not get counted.  You just have to pick one side and stick to all the votes on that side.  The ballot will also reflect the district for representative, county commissioner, and local races.”   

The Chaldean Caucus candidate communication packet encouraged Chaldeans to vote for the following candidates:

CHALDEAN DEMOCRATS

  • 27th District State Representative: Kevin Weeden
  • 35th District State Representative Vincent Gregory
  • 39th District State Representative: John Kuriakuz
  • 45th District State Representative:  Theodore A. Golden
  • 15th Oakland County Commissioner District: Todd White
  • 21st Oakland County Commissioner District: Kyrian Nwagwu
  • 23rd Oakland County Commissioner District: Eric Coleman 
  •  West Bloomfield Township Supervisor: Michele Economou
  • West Bloomfield Township Clerk: Sheryl L. Mitchell
  • West Bloomfield Township Treasurer: Teri Adelberg Weingarden
  • West Bloomfield Township Trustee: Larry Brown, Gene Farber, Howard Rosenberg, Scott J. Winnick
  • West Bloomfield Township Park Commission: Merv Aronoff, Carol Hack, Larry Horowitz, Marc E. Jeffries, Adam S. Littman, J. Andrew O'Connor, Gerald J. Sukenic
  • Oakland County Sheriff: Mark D. Mitchell

CHALDEAN REPUBLICANS

  • 27th District State Representative:  Ochelski, Sr., Norman J.
  • 37th District State Representative: Paul Welday
  • 38th District State Representative: Douglas Curry
  • 39th District State Representative: Donald B. Elliott Jr.
  • 45th District State Reprehensive:  Tom McMillin
  • 9th Oakland County Commissioner District: Lou Csordas
  • 13th Oakland County Commissioner District: Robert Gosselin
  • 15th Oakland County Commissioner District: Daniel Beaubien
  • 16th Oakland County Commissioner District: Shelley Goodman Taub
  • 19th Oakland County Commissioner District: John Witt
  • Oakland County Prosecutor Attorney:  David Law
    Oakland County Sheriff: Michael Bouchard


NON-PARTISAN CANDIDATES:

  • 6th Circuit Judge: Robert H. Giles & Lisa Gorcyca
  • 46th District Judge Of The District Court:  Bill Richards
  • Oakland Probate Judge: Daniel A. O'Brien

BALLOT PROPOSALS:

  • West Bloomfield Township, Renewal Of Existing Parks And Recreation Tax:  NO
  • Oakland County, Oakland County Zoological Authority Tax: NO
  • Oak Park City, Ballot Pproposal no. 08-01 Tax:  NO

The Chaldean Caucus gives Chaldeans interested in politics an opportunity to share their concerns and network with other politically savvy members.  “We are a non-partisian group that helps educate the community on where candidates stand on issues, we hold candidate forums, and we help candidates we feel are best able to understand the challenges of the Chaldean community,” George states.  “Political candidates and Chaldean voters with questions, concerns, or comments can e-mail the Chaldean Caucus at CC@chaldean.org”  

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.