Javed and Sabina narrated their experience of running campaigns for public office. Both faced and overcame challenges as outsiders because of their lack of experience and name recognition.
|View of Dinner Attendees at APPAC Dinner|
Javed Ellahie talked about how candidates' names affect their ability to win votes. In his case, people with familiar western names won votes in spite of lack of effort. One white candidate dropped out and still got many votes. Javed ran in a small city where he could knock on doors to do a lot of one-on-one campaigning to ask for votes personally. His efforts paid off. He thanked several Pakistani-American families living in Monte Sereno who contributed both time and money to his campaign.
|L to R: Javed Ellahie, Yasmeen Haq, Riaz Haq, Sabina Zafar|
The event drew hundreds of Pakistani-American residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, I saw several Pakistani attendees who had traveled from various cities in Pakistan to attend 7th Annual StartUp Grind Global Conference being held in Silicon Valley. Among the Pakistani delegates to the conference is Rehan Allahwala from Karachi. He showed me a plan for building a cyber city for which he has acquired several hundred acres of land near Karachi. I also met Naeem Asghar, a journalist working for Express News and covering Pakistani participation in StartUp Grind. Earlier in the week, I met Shahjhan Chaudhry, Director of National Incubation Center located on NED University Campus grounds in Karachi, who is also attending StartUp Grind Conference.
|L to R: Riaz Haq, Faraz Darvesh, Javed Ellahie, Sabahat Ashraf|
They told me there are about 40 delegates from Pakistan attending the StartUp Grind global technology conference as part of Pak-US Technology Exchange Program. The delegates will get an opportunity to have first hand visits of tech giants like Google, Facebook, Apple and Uber; technology incubators/accelerators like Y-Combinator, TechStars, StartX and Founder Institute; prestigious organizations like Stanford University, Draper University and more. They will participate in exclusive events organized by partner organizations inducing meetups, workshops and office hours with Pakistani diaspora in Silicon Valley.
|Javed Ellahie and Sabina Zafar|
|Javed Ellahie and Sabina Zafar with Stand-up Comedian Faraz Ozel|
Overall, US-born Muslims make up the largest percentage at 34% of all Muslims in the Bay Area, followed by 14% born in Pakistan, 11% in Afghanistan, 10% in India, 3% in Egypt and 2% each in Iran, Jordan, Palestine and Yemen.
There are 35,000 Pakistani-born Muslims in San Francisco Bay Area, or 14% of the 250,000 Muslims who call the Bay Area home, according to the 2013 study. Bay Area Muslim community constitutes 3.5 percent of the area’s total population and is one of the highest concentrations of Muslims in the country.
As of 2013, South Asian Muslims, including Pakistanis, have the highest income levels, with nearly half (49%) of them having a household income above $100,000. In comparison, those groups with the lowest proportion of household incomes above $100,000 were Hispanic Muslims (15%), Afghans (10%), and African American Muslims (10%).
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Thanks for highlighting the rising threat to our community. Good to see all the community leaders coming together to help us be safe.
#Pakistani-American Saud Anwar elected state senator in #American state of #Connecticut. Saud Anwar won easily in what could have been a much closer election. https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/Election-Results-Special-Elections-in-5-Districts-After-Lamont--506413071.html via @nbcconnecticut
Senate Democrats in Connecticut declared victory in two out of three state Senate races Tuesday night, with an upset in the 6th District giving Republicans another voice in the assembly.
The Special Election was held to fill three vacant state Senate seats and two vacant House of Representatives seats after those lawmakers resigned in order to accept jobs in the new Lamont administration.
Democrats Derek Slap won the 5th District seat and Saud Anwar the 3rd District, while Rick Lopes lost to Gennaro Bizzarro in New Britain. Democrats still control the Senate with a comfortable 22-14 majority.
While the Bizzarro victory was a huge upset, the Saud Anwar victory was a romp in what could have been a much closer election. A source told NBC Connecticut’s Max Reiss the margin was 58 percent to 41 percent.
Democrat Anthony Nolan claimed victory in the race for the 39th House District, with Republican Joseph Zullo taking East Haven's 99th District seat.
Two #Pakistani #American #Muslim #women elected to city councils in #WashingtonState. Varsha Khan in #Redmond City Council and Zahra Roach in #Pasco City Council. https://crosscut.com/2019/11/washington-state-might-have-just-elected-its-first-two-muslim-women-office
Two very different communities in Washington state are on the verge of making history following this year's general election.
Across Lake Washington from Seattle, in the suburb of Redmond, Varisha Khan is holding on to a narrow lead in her race for a seat on the Redmond City Council. Across the state, in the Tri-Cities town of Pasco, meanwhile, Zahra Roach has clinched a seat on that city’s council.
According to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington, while a Muslim man has been elected before — Zak Idan in 2017 to the Tukwila City Council — Khan and Roach are, if current results hold, believed to be the first two Muslim women elected to public office in the state. Another Muslim woman, Amina Ahmed, who tragically died in a car crash last year, had been appointed, but not elected, to the SeaTac City Council.
“I think both races have shown the power of communities of color becoming more and more civically engaged,” said Masih Fouladi, executive director of CAIR Washington.
According to a report on American Muslims in public office, from 2016 to 2019 approximately 138 Muslims have been elected to office nationwide. Last year, U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women elected to Congress. This year alone, at least 33 Muslim candidates won elections in local and statewide races across the country, said Jessica Schreindl, communications coordinator for CAIR-WA.
Khan, 24, who trailed her opponent in early returns, took the lead over three-term incumbent Hank Myers late last week. She currently leads him by 47 votes. Khan would need to lead by 65 votes or more by Nov. 26, when the votes are certified, to be out of recount range, said King County Elections communications officer Halei Watkins. Khan graduated from the University of Washington in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. If elected, she would also be the youngest member serving on the Redmond City Council.
When asked about her decision to run at such a young age, Khan said she hoped to help start building a bench of diverse candidates to serve locally and thought, “Why not here, why not now?”
While others warned her that Redmond was not ready for its first female Muslim candidate, Khan said she “felt like this is the year that we have a chance to really step up.”
Khan admits she also “knew it would be an uphill battle.”
“I knew it would be a challenge,” Khan said in a telephone interview while noting that her aim was to work three times harder than her opponent, who benefited from more name recognition.
With regard to faith, Khan, who wears a hijab, said questions about Islam were a bigger factor at the beginning of her race.
Khan said she also attracted media attention from conservative blogs and radio programs like the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH in Seattle and John Carlson’s show on KVI (Carlson is a Crosscut contributor). The conservative blog “Shift” attempted to disparage Khan by comparing her to Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant and other socialists, like U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. The blog referred to Khan as an extremist and anti-Semite. The conservative media outlets also called out Khan for her association with Linda Sarsour, a Muslim and former leader of the Women’s March on Washington, who along with two others, stepped down after charges of anti-Semitism.
(Pakistani-American) Amna Nawaz and Geoff Bennett Named Co-Anchors of PBS NewsHour
Nawaz and Bennett to Succeed Judy Woodruff on Monday, January 2, 2023
"Today is a day I never could’ve imagined when I began my journalism career years ago, or while growing up as a first-generation, Muslim, Pakistani-American. I’m grateful, humbled, and excited for what’s ahead.”
Sharon Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA and President of NewsHour Productions, today named PBS NewsHour chief correspondent Amna Nawaz and chief Washington correspondent and PBS News Weekend anchor Geoff Bennett co-anchors of the nightly newscast. The PBS NewsHour, co-anchored by Nawaz and Bennett, will launch on Monday, January 2, 2023. Nawaz and Bennett succeed Judy Woodruff, who has solo-anchored PBS’s nightly news broadcast since 2016, prior to which she co-anchored it alongside the late Gwen Ifill.
Bennett has reported from the White House under three presidents and has covered five presidential elections. He joined NewsHour in 2022 from NBC News, where he was a White House correspondent and substitute anchor for MSNBC. In his prior experience, he worked for NPR — beginning as an editor for Weekend Edition and later as a reporter covering Congress and the White House. An Edward R. Murrow Award recipient, Bennett began his journalism career at ABC News’ World News Tonight.
On being named co-anchor of PBS NewsHour, Geoff Bennett said, “I’m proud to work with such a stellar group of journalists in pursuit of a shared mission — providing reliable reporting, solid storytelling and sharp analysis of the most important issues of the day. It’s why PBS NewsHour is one of television’s most trusted and respected news programs and why I’m honored and excited to partner with Amna in building on its rich legacy.”
Nawaz, who has received Peabody Awards for her reporting at NewsHour on January 6, 2021 and global plastic pollution, has served as NewsHour’s primary substitute anchor since she joined the NewsHour in 2018. She previously was an anchor and correspondent at ABC News, anchoring breaking news coverage and leading the network’s livestream coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Before that, she served as foreign correspondent and Islamabad Bureau Chief at NBC News. She is also the founder and former managing editor of NBC’s Asian America platform, and began her journalism career at ABC News Nightline just weeks before the attacks of September 11, 2001.
On being named co-anchor, Amna Nawaz added, “It’s never been more important for people to have access to news and information they trust, and the entire NewsHour team strives relentlessly towards that goal every day. I am honored to be part of this mission, to work with colleagues I admire and adore, and to take on this new role alongside Geoff as we help write the next chapter in NewsHour’s story. Today is a day I never could’ve imagined when I began my journalism career years ago, or while growing up as a first-generation, Muslim, Pakistani-American. I’m grateful, humbled, and excited for what’s ahead.”
In making the announcement, Rockefeller noted, “PBS NewsHour continues to be dedicated to excellence in journalism. Amna and Geoff bring to their new positions three essential qualities for the role – accomplished careers in substantive reporting, dedication to the purpose of journalism to illuminate and inform, and a deep respect for our audiences and the mission of public media.”
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