Editor’s Note: In Tuesday’s Bowie city elections, there are four contested races – , , and . Continuing today and through the weekend, Patch is running profiles on the nine candidates in the four contested races. For mayor and District 1, the incumbents are running unopposed. Today, Friday: The two District 3 candidates.
In 1976, Babatunde Alegbeleye was in his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria waiting to catch a bus when he noticed the building for United States Information Agency nearby. Out of curiosity, he walked across the street and through the doors.
He ended up leaving the office that day with a copy of the U.S. Constitution in hand. Alegbeleye said he fell in love with what he read, and it eventually inspired him to come to the United States and become an American citizen.
Now 54 and a resident of Bowie for 16 years with his wife and seven children, what he read 35 years ago is also one of the inspirations that has moved him to run for the District 3 seat on the Bowie City Council in next Tuesday’s election.
“How can you not love the American constitution?” he said. “It is one of the greatest documents in the world.”
Also, Alegbeleye, a U.S. Army veteran, is a triage nurse at the national Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “I help people every day. Being on the council would be more of that.”
Alegbeleye has just begun his second two-year term on the city council’s Diversity Committee, which is an advisory board.
He is running on a platform of diversity and sensitivity training for city police to increase police civility, working to keep property taxes at the current level, pressing BGE to provide better service during times of crisis such as Tropical Storm Irene and seeking the installation of speed bumps in critical areas to decrease speeding.
This may his first run for a municipal elected office, but he said he is no stranger to politics. He said that at work he is president of the employee association.
Alegbeleye also said he has taken a high level course in public policy and has served as an intern during Maryland’s legislative session in Annapolis.
“I am ready to be on the council,’’ he said. “I am ready to serve the citizens of Bowie with integrity, if they will have me.”