Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, now running for Mayor of New York City, has hired an Indian American women’s activist as co-campaign manager.
Sasha Neha Ahuja, member of the NYC Commission on Gender Equity, and a long-time community organizer, joined Yang’s campaign, according to the New York Times Feb. 12, 2021, and Ahuja’s Twitter account.
Ahuja, who was hired by Yang in January, has served as chief of staff at Girls for Gender Equity and Chair of New York City’s Equal Employment Practices Commission according to the NYC Commission on Gender Equity (CGE).
On Feb. 12, Ahuja tweeted, “TY to my village for reaching out & checking in on me. More than anything, I’m honored to be part of the tiny handful of women of color to co-lead a citywide campaign, joining the ranks of NYC strategists who admire. TY @AndrewYang for seeing my leadership. Now let’s go win this!”
The number of candidates running to replace Mayor Bill de Blasio currently runs into double digits. Yang, an entrepreneur, gained national name recognition. through his campaign for President.
The Times article pointed to Ahuja’s earlier critique of Yang when he was running for President, when she indicated that stories of gender discrimination against him could be credible. Yang consistently denied accusations that he fired an employee after she got married.
Ahuja is described on the CGE website as “a community organizer who has worked to lead advocacy efforts and campaigns rooted in racial and gender equity.”
Fifteen years ago, Ahuja worked at the New York Taxi Workers Alliance which today continues to be led by founder and Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.
Since then, Ahuja has “built her career facilitating community-driven policy change in government, in the labor movement and at local and national progressive organizations,” the CGE website says.
She served as Deputy Director of the Policy Division at the New York City Council under former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito where she helped New York City respond to a national call to action to invest in cis and Trans girls of color, the bio says.
She designed and executed the New York City Young Women’s Initiative (YWI), a participatory policy-making process to lift up young women and girls of color, engaging more than 200 advocates, senior officials across City agencies and the Mayor’s Office, her bio says.
Apart from being Chief of Staff at Girls for Gender Equity, a Brooklyn-based organization that led the New York City Young Women’s Initiative as well as chair New York City’s Equal Employment Practices Commission since July 2019, Ahuja is an Adjunct Instructor of Social Policy at several schools of Social Work across New York City.
She holds a BA from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College and a MS in Social Work from Columbia University.