The South Asian Candidates Running to Represent you in New York City Council

Photo by Mark de Rooij on Unsplash

People may have thought that in 2018 that that would be the last stop for women of color candidates to get to Congress and that's it. But it doesn't stop there and a lot more women are running for public office more than ever. Especially with the City Council in New York City having failed to adequately address the needs of the residence of the city during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's more important than ever that we have a city Council that is ready and active to listen to peoples input and ready and active to give people who need shelter food and other accommodations their due.

In the new wave of candidates seeking office in City Council we have so many South Asian and Indo-Caribbean contenders. This provides our community the opportunity to finally have a say in the way that our city is governed and the policies that we follow. Politicians have historically come to South Asian neighborhoods to ask us for their votes but they haven't really shown any interest in dealing with the issues that our community deals with on a regular basis. On a much to frequent basis "movers and shakers" in our communities sell out our vote to the highest bitter in the interest of keeping the new liberal and capitalist form of governance in play. This is a chance for candidates can actually run on the issues and contrast themselves from their opponents while making sure they are running on a message of action empowerment and involvement. Some candidates are running against the only Republican in the New York city Council who is term limited and has fully endorsed Donald Trump for president like Eric Ulrich.

Some of the issues that are currently facing the City of New York is the fact that police get a larger chunk of the city budget every year leaving out social services that residence routinely need, CUNY ASAP which helps college students graduate with less debt and provides a faster track to graduation and City Council neglects to deal with its own members when they are accused of sexual assault/harassment like CM Andy King. The City Council has also neglected to recognize the union of legislative workers. There are so many city Council members who pride themselves on being progressive champions when the time is right but when it actually comes to taking action on issues that New Yorkers are worried about, they are very slow to make sure that people's concerns are addressed and that there is an adequate amount of investigation and resolution.

According to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, these are the candidates running for NYC Council.

  1. Shahana Hanif (Brooklyn, City Council District 39)
  2. Misba Abdin (Brooklyn, City Council District 37
  3. Moumita Ahmed (Queens, City Council District 24)
  4. Fatima Baryab (Queens, City Council District 25)
  5. Neeta Jain (Queens, City Council District 24)
  6. Suraj Jaswal (Queens, City Council District 25)
  7. Jaslin Kaur (Queens, City Council District 23)
  8. Shekar Krishnan (Queens, City Council District 25)
  9. Mohammed N Mujumder (Bronx, City Council District 18)
  10. Dilip Nath (Queens, City Council District 24)
  11. Deepti Sharma (Queens, City Council District 24)
  12. Felicia Singh* (Queens, City Council District 32)
  13. Mohammed S. Uddin (Queens, City Council District 24)
  14. Soma Syed (Queens, City Council District 24)
  15. Amit Singh Bagga (Queens, City Council District 26)
  16. Sanjeev Jindal (Queens, City Council District 23)
  17. Helal A Sheikh (Queens, City Council District 32)
  18. Mamnunul M Haq (Brooklyn, City Council District 39)
  19. Badrun Khan (Queens, City Council District 26)
  20. Helal A. Sheikh (Queens, City Council District 32)

Not to be too partial to my home borough of Queens, there seems to be the most competition and the fiercest in this part of New York City. For a long time now anyone seeking elected office has always connected to the community through a South Asian member who is politically active. Some of these elected officials have never shown up besides election day and as the borough continues to diversify, we definitely need to make sure that we have not only people that look like is making decisions were power is but we also need to make sure that we can hold them accountable for the promises they make during their campaign season when they get to elected office. Given the COVID-19 pandemic it is also very important that we have leaders an office that are very responsive to leading the city out of its COVID-19 situation and making sure that we can have a city that is welcoming and inclusive of everybody.

One of the candidates, Felicia Singh, is running to replace to the only Republican in Queens County. CM Ulrich* has endorsed President Trump and is term limited.

’21 in ’21 which is a political advocacy group co-founded by former City Council member and Queens Borough President candidate Elizabeth Crowley, is concerned about what would happen if there are lack of women in leadership and especially in City Council to advocate for half the city’s population. The fact of the matter is that City Council, Borough President, Manhattan District Attorney are up for election in 2021.

Women are stepping up to run for political office and to make sure that not only are we represented where it matters but that the city pushes policies that makes the city more equitable for those they are feeling the fallout from the COVID-19 crisis and that haven't been able to recover from it. Many of our small businesses have been facing a crunch because of the federal governments this investment in immigrant and minority on small businesses which are a corner stone in every New York City community across the board.

Keep checking back here for more candidates who join the race for New York City Council. Next year is definitely slated to be very exciting in addition to this very high stakes year. Well the state legislature elections have concluded and most incumbents have lost their seats and ushered in a new era of progressive socialist elected leaders, the same as yet to happen in the city that never sleeps. Elections matter so you need to make sure you get the information from the candidate websites and make sure that you are informed on election day which is in June 2021.



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Navjot Pal Kaur

Navjot Pal Kaur


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