This is a past event.
CEE Alumni Speaker Series Presented by Civil Engineering MS alumnus Mufazzal Hossain
Engineers are problem solvers by nature. But more importantly, engineers are problem identifiers. A lot of our politics are based on infrastructure accessibility, whether it’s a highway, bridge, housing, or hospital. Our politics is also based on tackling climate change, understanding environmental phenomena, and their risk management.
In New York City, an elected official advocates for land use determination that played a significant role in access to affordable housing, transportation, healthcare, and education. If land-use rezoning is done carelessly, residents are displaced with the risk of becoming homeless. This displacement creates an opportunity for gentrification which allows for an increase in the cost of living, healthcare, and education - and thus creating an imbalance in the economy of the city where there is high demand yet very low supply, especially in minority communities of low income and small businesses.
New York City is a coastal city prone to flood hazards. Hurricane Sandy devastated waterfront communities by breaking down homes, creating unhygienic conditions, and making transportation inaccessible. Climate change is liable for the increase of sea-level rise and it continues to rise at a rate of one-eighth of an inch every year. New York City needs to prepare and upgrade its preparation every day in case another superstorm hit us while hoping that day never comes. That is why policymakers and advocates must call for protected subways systems, elevated housing, a transportation system based on renewable energy, a better drainage system, rainwater, and stormwater harvesting technologies, etc.
An engineer can easily identify these problems and can propose lasting solutions. But for these solutions to be effective, we need to be at the seat of power to lobby for these changes. Changes as such require extensive budget research because such allocation would bring back economic equity to the city. As engineers, we have been trained to budget, design, analyze, identify problems and solve the problems of projects. It’s only fitting that we use our expertise to further better our locale and our country in the field of policymaking.
Mufazzal Hossain (he/him/his) is an alumnus of Michigan Technological University, from where he graduated with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in December 2017. He is currently employed in Tully Construction Co. Inc., a general contractor that focuses on building & maintaining public infrastructure such as bridges, tunnels, highways, airports, etc.
Beyond his realm of a day job, Mufazzal is a political activist in New York City. His involvement in politics started as an aftereffect of the 2016 presidential election. In 2018 he volunteered in former Congress Member Joseph Crowley’s re-election campaign. His dedication earned him the position of chairing the Caucus of Color of Queens County Young Democrats. He used the position to help the executive board of QCYD organize forums that are of most importance in communities of color. In 2019 he was elected treasurer of QCYD, a role he carried out successfully by fundraising, budgeting, and reported costs of the organization. His mindset to distribute funds transparently and strictly caught the eyes of several New York City Council campaigns and he now officially serves as treasurer for Brent O’Leary and David Aronov’s 2021 bid for NYC Council while he serves as a budget advisor for other races. He was also elected to become the VP of Diversity & Outreach of QCYD in 2020. To fuel his new position in QCYD, he decided to run for the Democratic District Leader position in New York’s 38th Assembly District against incumbent Stephen Forte. He was also Jenifer Rajkumar’s senior advisor at the same time because she was running for State Assembly Member position in the same district against then Assembly Member Michael Miller.
These South Asian candidates made history by helping each other to elect the first Indian American woman to NYS Legislature and the first elected Bangladeshi American District Leader in New York City’s political leadership. Because of his dedication to his community during the height of the pandemic, Mufazzal was recognized as a Queens Hero in mid-2020 by City & State NY – one of the most prestigious political magazines on the East Coast. Later that year he was also recognized as a New York City 40 Under 40 Rising Star by the same magazine. Shortly after he was appointed to the Planning Committee of the Transition Team of the new Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, where he advised on infrastructure & land-use policies. He also sits on the South Asian/Indo-Caribbean Advisory Council of the Office of Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, where he uses his position to advocate for criminal justice reform based on values, empathy, culture, education. He is also a member of the Transportation Committee of Queens Community Board 9.
Mufazzal identities as a progressive Democrat. He also believes in building coalitions across the board. While it may seem as though Mufazzal has an extremely busy schedule, he believes that one simply had to prioritize personal health first to balance out schedules to have ample time for family & friends. His hobby includes cooking, fishing, watching movies, shopping, roller skating in Central Park, and swimming. As a proud New Yorker, he loves his dollar pizza and his favorite time of the day is the time of sunset when the sun reflects off of the city skyscrapers.
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Meeting ID: 859 4073 4528