Headline, Newsmakers, Politics

Nabeela Syed makes history as youngest member of Illinois House

23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman also becomes the first South Asian in the state legislature

Nabeela Syed, a 23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman, has made history by becoming the youngest person to win a House seat in Illinois. Syed, a Democrat, also becomes the first South Asian in the state legislature.

In winning the 51st House district in the Nov 8 midterm elections, Syed also flipped Republican-held suburban district defeating incumbent Chris Bos. An elated Syed took to Twitter to shared her happiness over her election.

Read: Two Indian Americans win Democratic primaries for Illinois House (June 30, 2022)

“My name is Nabeela Syed. I’m a 23-year old Muslim, Indian-American woman. We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district,” she tweeted noting, “I will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.”

Syed contended that she won the election because she engaged in a conversation with people – to give them a reason to get involved in our democracy and hope for better leadership that represents their values.

“When I announced for State Representative, I made it a mission to genuinely engage in conversation with people – to give them a reason to get involved in our democracy and hope for better leadership that represents their values.” she wrote on instagram. “We won this race because we engaged in that conversation.”

Read: Raja Krishnamoorthi endorses four AAPI candidates for Illinois State House (April 25, 2022)

“We talked to seniors about the rising cost of prescription drugs. We talked to working families about the growing burden of property taxes. We talked to women, pledging that I would protect their right to reproductive healthcare. We spoke with parents about their desire to strengthen commonsense gun safety laws,” Syed wrote.

“We won this race because the people of the 51st District want a representative who is ready to fight for them and their families. I knocked every door in this district. Tomorrow, I start knocking them again to thank them for placing their trust in me. I’m ready to get to work,” she added.

Born and raised in Illinois, Syed graduated from the University of California with a degree in Political Science and Business and served as the president of a pro-bono consulting organisation that helped local businesses.

Read: Indian-American Nabeela Syed, 23, Scripts History In US Mid-Term Elections (November 10, 2022)

She currently works for a non-profit, helping them in digital strategy and supporting a myriad of civic engagement initiatives such as mobilizing voters, curbing sexual assault on college campuses, and enhancing gender equity, according to her official website.

She is also active in her religious community at the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs and advocates interfaith dialogue and aims to empower young Muslim women to lead, according to her website.

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