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Arab America Picks a President: From Election to Inauguration

posted on: Nov 30, 2016

BY: Fred Shwaery/Contributing Writer

America, we did it – we elected our 45th president!

Arab Americans were part of the election from beginning to end. We were very much a part of this election as volunteers, delegates, and even candidates on the same ballots.

Now, we are in the transition to the new administration. At noon on January 20, 2017 we will swear in our new vice president and new president, and Arab Americans will be part of the events as we go forward.

The Transition

There are thousands of jobs that the new president will fill. Almost all jobs are in Washington, DC so for those interested, it likely will require a move. That can be hard of families for a few reasons, but mainly, these positions serve at the pleasure of the president. The president needs no reason for hiring and firing. Moving costs to and from Washington, DC are not paid by the government. Moving in January is difficult for those with children in schools and for working spouses. Washington housing costs are higher than most places in the US.

Then again, you will be working in the administration advancing the president’s priorities. You’ll get invited to the events, meetings, and parties that most only read about. What a great opportunity for Arab Americans to be visible in the new administration?

To find a job in the new administration, scan the Plum Book, the source of information on all presidential appointee jobs. Then, apply for jobs online at Great Again.

The Inauguration

How many committees does it take run a presidential inauguration? Three. Really, this is not a joke!

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies conducts the ceremony at the Capitol and hosts the luncheon for the new president and vice president.

The Joint Task Force-National Capital Region is the military component that runs the military transfer from one commander in chief to another. It takes many members of the armed forces to run this. If you are in the armed forces and are between assignments, a detail to the JTF might be an outstanding opportunity.

Finally, the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC) runs everything else, such as the inaugural balls. There’s exciting news about the Trump inauguration for Arab Americans. Lebanese-American businessman Tom Barrack is heading the PIC. Their Web site will be up and running soon. There you’ll find information on celebrations and fun events surrounding the inauguration.

They will sort through thousands of entries for parade performers, official vendors, and more. Every state will be represented so why not give it a go. Your kids’ high school band can play their fight song for the new president!

They will need thousands of volunteers so if you are in the Washington, DC area, check their site and see where you can help.

No matter how involved you want to be, the inauguration in Washington, DC is a very exciting time. Hotel rooms are hard to get so call your friends in the area to see if they can put you up. Be prepared for very long commutes of up to two hours each way. Most of all, be prepared for lots of fun. Regardless of how you voted, this is an exciting time as the outgoing president transfers the power and trappings of the office to the incoming president. Be a part of it if you can and visit Washington, DC at this spectacular time.