By: Melissa Azadeh
Washington, D.C., October 21, 2003 - Goli Ameri is an Iranian-American telecommunications consulting firm owner and Republican candidate for Congress (OR-01). Ameri’s highly organized team, backed by an extensive coalition of entrepreneurs who support her pro-growth economic positions, have a real opportunity to win the first district which has been dominated by Democrats for twenty-eight years. Previously, the Republicans held the seat for ninety-four years, but have lost every election since 1975. Ameri hopes to attract moderates in the district with her realistic positions on critical issues such as the economy, jobs, education, and healthcare.
Ms. Ameri is the founder and President of eTinium, a consulting and market research firm specializing in the telecommunications industry and advising such firms as Lucent Technologies and Nortel Networks, amongst others. She writes frequently for Telephony magazine and is often quoted in such publications as Internet Week, The National Business Journals, The San Hose Mercury News, The Oregonian, and The Seattle Times. Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Ameri was a Director in U.S. Leasing, former division of Ford Motor Company and Fleet Bank.
Born in Iran in September 1956, Goli Ameri moved to the U.S. at the age of seventeen to pursue her studies. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree, double majoring in Communications and French Literature, followed by a Master’s degree in Communications and Marketing, both from Stanford University. After completing her studies in 1979, she married Jim Ameri, also a graduate of Stanford University and a real estate investor in the Pacific Northwest, and has two sons, Darius, 18, and Sherwin, 14.
Ms. Ameri’s deep understanding of American politics is largely a result of her broad experience over the years. Currently, she is on the Advisory board of the Center for American Women in Politics at Portland State University. In addition, she is a member of Senator Gordon Smith’s (R-OR) Finance Committee, and is one of the largest fundraisers for him in Oregon. She is also a past member of the Executive Committee of the San Francisco and Oregon Republican Parties, and was the Oregon delegate to the National Republican Women’s conference. She is fluent in both Persian and French, with a working knowledge of Spanish.
Ms. Ameri’s fundraising activities include serving as a member of the Oregon Steering Committee on the Campaign for Undergraduate Education for Stanford University, as well as a member of the Special Gifts Committee. She is a past trustee and Vice Chair for Development for the Catlin Gabel School, and has been a continuous supporter of charitable organizations such as the Providence Child Center, the OHSU Women’s Health Center, Oregon Alzheimer’s Association, Portland Firefighters Association and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Ms. Ameri sees jobs, the economy, and education as the major issues in Oregon. Oregon’s unemployment rate has been consistently above national levels, making jobs a decisive issue in the 2004 elections. “I am so impressed with Goli Ameri’s deep commitment to strengthen our economy,” said Tom Szambelan, President of Employers Overload and Finance Committee member, “the plans she is putting forward will help our company grow and create more jobs.”
Goli Ameri has hired the Washington D.C. based firm of Marsh Copsey & Scott (MCS) to guide her campaign. The firm has helped elect over two hundred Republicans over the past thirty years. Tony Marsh, the founding partner of MCS, will serve as her strategy and media consultant. Ms. Amilyn Davidson, former Legislative Assistant to House Speaker Karen Minnis and State representative Susan Morgan, has been recruited as Ameri’s Campaign Manager.
In addition, Ameri has assembled a Strategic Advisory and Finance Committee which consists of over forty business leaders and continues to grow, demonstrating the increasing impetus behind her campaign which began in August. Joseph Graziano, president of Rivergate Farms and Finance Committee Co-Chair said “Goli’s strong points personally are her tremendous experience in business, in politics, in life, and international affairs, as well as being well grounded. She is just a hands-on person, and brings experiences because of the world she lived in. She’s so educated and tuned in to Oregon’s economy and critical needs. That’s what makes her so easy to support. She is a candidate all Oregonians, all Americans could get behind because she does work to understand the needs of the community.”
Ameri’s High-Tech Advisory Council is designed to emphasize the importance of the high tech sector in Oregon and to advise Goli on issues relevant to the industry, which pays 28% of the state’s corporate taxes and high-tech employees pay 13% of personal income taxes. President of InFocus John V. Harker said “Goli Ameri knows what high-tech companies need in order to grow and create more jobs. She brings a unique understanding of the needs of the high-tech sector because she is one of us. Goli stands solidly on the side of economic prosperity and good, high-paying jobs for Oregonians. That’s why I am endorsing her today.”
According to voter registration records, Oregon’s first district is split between 38% Democrats and 37% Republicans; however, Independents represent 22% of voters. Congressman David Wu who has been reelected twice already has not yet been presented with a viable opponent, until now. Ameri provides a viable alternative to voters who may be frustrated with the distressed economy and high unemployment rate in Oregon, and are looking for fresh leadership.
Raising over $375,890 in her first quarter as a candidate, Ameri has outpaced Democratic Congressman David Wu, making her the second challenger candidate in the country to raise this amount in the third quarter of the year. Contributions were mostly from families and individuals. Ameri has also broken records for raising more money this quarter than any incumbent member of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation.
Ameri plans to raise $2 million by the primary election which will be held next May, making the race in Oregon one of the most competitive House races next year. The Portland Tribune called Ameri’s campaign “aggressive, well-organized” and “well-financed.” Clearly she has the passion and the practice to run a successful campaign for 2004. Her background and experience makes her the sort of well rounded candidate who appeals to moderates and undecided voters.