NYC Elects First South Asian, Muslim Woman To City Council

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For the first time in New York City history, a South Asian-Muslim woman has been elected to the City Council — becoming the first of both minorities to do so.

On Tuesday, former City Council employee and Bangladeshi American Shahana Hanif won her election in the Brooklyn district she calls home. Her district covers neighborhoods such as Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, the Columbia Waterfront District, Gowanus, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, and Kensington.

Hanif reportedly won with “90 percent of the vote with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to the city's Board of Elections.”

The New York Times noted despite the fact that the city is home to more than 750,000 Muslims, Hanif is the first Muslim woman “elected to the Council in its history.” They also noted that another South Asian candidate also made history alongside Hanif: “Shekar Krishnan won a seat representing Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in Queens.”

Hanif shared that she felt “humbled and proud” to be the first Muslim woman on the Council in a statement after her win.

“Together we are building an anti-racist, feminist city,” she said. “We deserve a city that protects its most vulnerable, a city that has equitable education, a city invested in climate solutions that are local and driven by communities, a city where our immigrant neighbors feel at home and heard and safe. This work requires all of us to keep showing up even though the election is over.”

The 30-year-old also expressed her happiness on Twitter, telling followers that she “was born & raised in Brooklyn” as well as the “daughter of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants, a Lupus survivor, and an activist.”

“I'm humbled to be the first Muslim woman elected to the New York City Council and the first woman to represent my district. WE DID IT,” she wrote.

Congrats, Shahana!

Tags: Pop Culture

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Written By

Rose Low

Rose Low is a writer based in New York, with a background in social media strategy and reporting. She has a Masters from NYU and a love for romantic comedies. See Full Bio

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