Seema Singh, an Indian American member of Knoxville City Council, has announced she will run as a Democrat to represent District 90, on the north side of Knoxville, in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
That seat is currently held by Rep Gloria Johnson, a fellow Democrat running for the US Senate seat now held by Republican Sen Marsha Blackburn.
“I feel like I will be there (as a) bookmark for sanity,” Singh told Knox News Sep 20. “I will try to bring up the points of view that I think are important and push ahead for a lot of people who are not being represented or listened to.”
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Her platform issues will be the funding of healthcare and education, defending women’s reproductive rights and economic issues.
“The state of Tennessee continues to say how we’re thriving,” she said. “But what I continue to see … is people being unhoused.”
Singh was elected to the city council to represent the 3rd District in 2017, becoming first South Asian American to be elected to any public office in East Tennessee. She was re-elected in 2021 for another four-year term.
“I think I have proven that I have integrity and that I will listen through different ideas,” she said. “Sometimes I change my mind as I get new information, which I think is important.”
While the district is comfortably blue, she isn’t taking anything for granted. “I think my odds are on how hard I work,” Singh told the newspaper. “It’s not going to be just a shoo-in by any means.”
Singh has filed her treasurer appointment forms and will have a formal announcement later this year.
Singh is the Executive Director of Healing the Home, a nonprofit agency serving families to address the abuse and trauma that are the result of generational domestic and intimate partner violence.
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Singh was born in Varanasi, India. Her family moved to Knoxville in the mid ’70s when her father was hired as a professor at the University of Tennessee, according to her official profile.
She became a naturalized American citizen at age 13 and attended West Hills Elementary, Bearden Middle School and Bearden High School. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1996 with a major in Psychology with an emphasis on Clinical, Counseling and Applied Psychology.
Singh has volunteered with various community organizations including Tennessee Healthcare Campaign, Sexual Assault Crisis Center, Community Television of Knoxville, Community Voices, TN State Corrections Day Reporting Center, and Casa of East TN.
Singh is a graduate of Leadership Knoxville 2019, District Attorney’s Citizen Academy 2021, and KPD Citizens Police Academy 2022.
Singh is currently serving on the Knoxville Family Justice Center’s Coordinated Community Response team, Knox County Domestic Assault Death Review Team, The Metropolitan Drug Center Gateway Advisory Board, and The YMCA of East Tennessee Board. She is also City Council Representative and Chair of the Municipal Golf Committee.
Singh attends the Hindu Community Center and the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.