Nabeela Syed, a 23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman, has won the election for the 51st House district of the Illinois state legislature in the United States.
The 23-year-old Palatine native became the first Indian American woman and Muslim, along with Abdelnasser Rashid, to be elected to the Illinois General Assembly.
Who is Nabeela Syed?
Syed, who becomes the first South Asian in the Illinois state legislature, will also be the youngest member of the state assembly.
“It is an honour, and I am grateful that people in this community are trusting me,” Syed said.
On Wednesday, Nabeela took to Twitter and shared her happiness of being elected to the General Assembly as a representative of the Democratic party.
“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.
She further wrote, “I will be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.”
Born and raised in Illinois, Syed graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Political Science and Business. She also served as the president of a pro-bono consulting organisation that helped local businesses.
According to her website, Syed is running “to build a better Illinois for residents today and tomorrow – an Illinois with a strong economy, sustainable infrastructure, and affordable healthcare, and higher education.”
Syed currently works for a non-profit, helping them with digital strategy and supporting a myriad of civic engagement initiatives, for example, mobilising voters, curbing sexual assault on college campuses, and enhancing gender equity, according to her official website.
In her election manifesto, Syed has promised to consider and address public issues such as equal rights, health care, education and taxation.
“It is so important for us to have a seat at the table, for us to have a voice in the legislative process,” Syed told to ABC Chicago.
In Springfield, Syed plans to focus her legislative efforts on maintaining reproductive rights and promoting gun safety.