Many residents first heard of Hamza Haadoow during this year’s Portland mayoral race. But he’s been a public servant — in the literal sense — for much longer.

Since moving to Portland in 2000, Haadoow has helped members of Portland’s large immigrant community assimilate into the city.

Haadoow, who has an accounting degree, teaches basic bookkeeping and how to file taxes to immigrants who want to start businesses.

He also has helped immigrant families obtain hard-to-find products from their home countries.

According to those who know him, Haadoow has a legendary work ethic. He holds two jobs; in addition to his consulting and accounting work for immigrant businesses, he also works full time as assistant sustainability and recycling manager for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. He is also raising a large family and pursing a master’s degree in organization leadership.

He often works 24 hours straight, and sometimes more if he has a lot of accounting and consulting work.

In December, Haadoow plans to unveil Future Portland Voices, a public forum where residents can meet bimonthly, brainstorm ideas to improve the city, come up with implementation strategies and present them to city leaders. It also will provide basic services such as helping people register to vote and teaching residents how to get their voices heard.

During this year’s mayor’s race, Haadoow said that win or lose, it wouldn’t change his attempt to try to improve the city and help its citizens.

“I will serve the people of Portland no matter what happens,” Haadoow said. “I have to serve. It’s my duty.”


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