Iranian American Poised to Become the Next Mayor of Beverly Hills
Los Angeles, CA - A successful entrepreneur and business owner, Jimmy Delshad was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in March of 2003 and is currently serving as Vice Mayor. Delshad is seeking his second and final term on the council in the March 2007 election. His campaign is backed by a coalition of community activists, law enforcement officials, serving council members, former Mayors, and current and former City Commissioners. If reelected, Delshad is poised to make history by becoming the first Iranian American Mayor of Beverly Hills.
As a general law city, Beverly Hills is governed by a five-member City Council, which includes the Mayor and Vice Mayor. Every odd-numbered year two to three members are elected to serve a four-year term on the City Council. After the elections, the council convenes to choose one of its members as Mayor and one as Vice Mayor. Mayors are traditionally picked by their fellow council members based on seniority. Delshad will be the next in-line to become the Mayor if reelected to the council in March.
Born in Shiraz, Delshad immigrated to the U.S. when he was nineteen years old. He worked his way through Cal State University and the University of Southern California playing music with his two brothers at weddings, Christmas parties, and Bar Mitzvahs. After obtaining his degree in electrical engineering, Delshad embarked on a career in Computer Technology, going into business for himself in 1978 in the then-new field of Computer Storage Technology. His company's products were marketed and sold throughout the world.
A strong believer in public service and community engagement, Delshad is actively involved in several Southern California and Beverly Hills humanitarian, cultural, educational, and civic and social organizations and groups. He is the President of Magbit Education Foundation, which raises funds and distributes interest-free loans to college students. From 1999 through 2001, Delshad served as the President of the Sinai Temple, marking the first time an Iranian American was selected to head one of the largest synagogues in the U.S.
Before running for the City Council in 2003, Delshad spent countless hours attending council meetings and studying city ordinances. “I decided to run for City Council because I wanted to give back to the Beverly Hills community and set an example for others to follow. As an Iranian American, I wanted the City Council to have the benefit of my business background and understanding of cultural issues,” says Delshad.
Delshad’s landmark election in 2003 was also a testament to the growing influence of the Iranian American community in Beverly Hills. By most estimates, the Persian community comprises as much as a 1/5 of the city’s population. “Iranian Americans played an important role in my 2003 campaign,” says Delshad. “They helped spread my message to voters by hosting campaign events, participating as volunteers, and serving on various committees on my campaign.” In his office in City Hall, Delshad proudly exhibits campaign pins and election flyers written in Farsi. In 2004, Delshad introduced and helped pass a city ordinance making Beverly Hills the only city in the country to publish voter guides in both English and Farsi.
Since his election, Delshad has encouraged Iranian Americans to actively participate in the American civic and political process. “Iranian Americans have made significant contributions to American society, and they should not be ignored nor taken for granted,” Delshad explains.
As a council member, Delshad has worked to make Beverly Hills a safer and more secure community for all. With his background in computer technology, he was instrumental in bringing forward “Smart City” initiatives for wireless technology, security camera technology for traffic control, and security for businesses and schools. Delshad believes that it is important to emphasize growth that benefits the city directly. As Mayor, his priorities will include expanding “Smart City” safety and traffic improvements, improving traffic flows through Santa Monica and Wilshire Boulevards, and enacting a City Code of ethics to restrict undue influence on behalf of special interests.
Delshad and wife, Lonnie, have resided in Beverly Hills for the past 18 years. They have two children, Debra and Daniel, who are graduates of Beverly Hills schools and the University of Southern California.