At 17, Tahseen Chowdhury is ready to run for State Senate

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Tahseen Chowdhury (Courtesy: chowdhuryforny.com)

Tahseen Chowdhury, a 17-year-old Indian American from Queens, New York is keen on running for state senate but he actually won’t be old enough to vote until just a few months before the primary election, according to Pix11 News.

“Because I am so young, I have no special interests,” Chowdhury told Pix11 News in an interview.

Born and raised in a working-class family, Chowdhury lives in East Elmhurst, Queens, which is part of the State Senate District 13, covering Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst, and parts of Astoria and Woodside.

He hopes to represent his district in the state senate by running against incumbent Jose Peralta, who is a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, a group of state senators who collaborate with GOP senators.

“He (Peralta) caucuses with Republicans but presents himself as a Democrat, and I found that really problematic,” Chowdhury told Pix11 News.

Pix11 News reports that Peralta may possibly gain the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo after leaving the IDC but Jessica Ramos, a former official of Mayor Bill De Blasio’s Administration is fully expected to win endorsement of the mayor, who is a rival of Gov. Cuomo.

“The fact that I’m a teenager is very key. I have no interest in advocating for anyone other than my community,” Chowdhury told Pix11 News.

Expecting to win, Chowdhury has applied to colleges only in New York City and if accepted, has asked the schools to allow him take every spring semester off in order to be in Albany when the senate is in session, from January through June of each year.

Chowdhury told Pix11 News that he is setting up his schedule in a way that will allow him to be at home, where and when he’s most needed.

“I’ve spent my entire life here, so I know this community in and out, and am very dedicated to it,” he told PIX11 News.

Chowdhury is the president of the student union, or student council at Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan, a highly selective public school and “the Manhattan Borough Student President at the NYC Department of Education, where has done everything from changing different types of school policy through diplomacy to managing and stabilizing a $150,000 budget for the Student Union,” according to his website.

According to his website, the issues Chowdhury is focusing on include senior citizens, affordable housing, street safety, victims of sexual child abuse, immigration, single payer healthcare, education and the environment.

On his website it states that Chowdhury “understands the community. He knows what the community needs and what the community believes. He understands how to accurately represent the values that the voters believe in” and “if elected, will do his best to ensure that progressive democratic ideals and progressive democratic principles are accurately represented in the State Senate.”

Chowdhury will turn 18 in the summer and the district primary election is scheduled for Sept. 11 while the general election will be held on Nov. 6.

New York requires all members of the state legislature to be at least 18 years of age.

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