‘NYC 2022 Votes’ announces ‘Youth Ambassadors’, includes South Asians

South Asian American voters sue city of Hamtramck, MI for alleged voting rights violations Photo AALDEF Facebook

The NYC Campaign Finance Board announced August 22, that 19 young leaders have been selected for the 2022 NYC Votes Youth Ambassadors program. They include Indian-American and other South Asian youth. The ambassadors will serve as voting experts in their communities and organize voter mobilization events during the 2022 election season. The 2022 class of Youth Ambassadors range in age from 14 to 19 and attend NYC public high schools, a press release from the NYC Campaign Finance Board said.

“This program has been a chance for me to be a part of a larger group dedicated to promoting youth civic engagement,” Tasneem Hussein, 17, of Staten Island, Brooklyn Technical High School, is quoted saying in the press release. “It’s my time to help bring true societal change and bridge the gaps that exist in the political world. Being an ambassador allowed me to embark on an educational experience that’s truly changed me for the better,” she added.

“The young leaders in the NYC Votes Youth Ambassadors program are incredibly motivated to lift up their communities through activism,” Olivia Brady, a youth voter coordinator for NYC Votes is quoted saying in the press release. “The Ambassadors will learn how to help the people in their schools and neighborhoods recognize and use their political power to make a difference,” she added.

The Youth Ambassadors will host get out the vote events in their schools, places of worship, and local libraries throughout the summer and fall. The 2022 NYC Votes Youth Ambassadors hail from all five boroughs and speak seven different languages including South Asian languages like Bengali and Urdu, apart from English, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, and Russian. The Ambassadors will conduct voter outreach in all languages available to them.

The Ambassadors will visit educational sites and hear from guest speakers to learn about how local government works and how to advocate for their communities on key issues. As a capstone to the program, Ambassadors will participate in voter participation research projects for the CFB’s Voter Analysis Report. On August 17, the Ambassadors led 4th annual We the Young People meeting of the Voter Assistance Advisory Committee.
“As an NYC Votes Youth Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to expand my mind on voting and its benefits,” noted Tahira Tariq, 14, of Manhattan’s The Young Women’s Leadership Academy of East Harlem. “It’s such an amazing experience to help increase youth engagement in voting and local elections. Joining this program made me feel that I’m never too young to share my voice and to embrace it. I was able to learn things from a new mindset beyond what would be taught in school. I’m so thankful for this opportunity to learn, change, and grow.”
“As an NYC Votes Youth Ambassador, I am learning so much about civics which helped me inform my family and communities about the importance of voting, said Sara Ismail, 15, Manhattan, NYC Lab High School. “The Ambassador program pushed me to think critically about how systems of oppression are deeply interconnected and how they connect to voting inequities. Most importantly, I’ve learned how youth and communities can build power through a local level to make voting more equitable. I am very grateful for this opportunity!” she added.–

Here is the 2022 class of NYC Votes Youth Ambassadors, listed by their home borough:

NameBoroughAgeHigh School
Princes AhunambaBronx16Manhattan Hunter Science High School
Danny HernandezBronx17Mott Hall Bronx High School
Joseph MoralesBronx15Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy
Victoria NyamekyeBronx16Marble Hill High School for International Studies
Giah CrespoBronx18The Cinema School
Rayliz DeisBronx19Lehman High School
Emely RomanoBrooklyn16East Side Community High School
Shaima AlnadeshBrooklyn15Urban Assembly School of Leadership and Empowerment
Jessica IsiborBrooklyn15Bedford Academy Highschool
Julia D’AlessandroManhattan16High School of American Studies at Lehman College
Tahira TariqManhattan14The Young Women’s Leadership Academy of East Harlem
Sara IsmailManhattan15NYC Lab High School
Sophie Winfield-PustManhattan15Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering
Redwana AhmedQueens14Aviation High School
Sarah MashiatQueens17Hillcrest High School
Tiffany NietoQueens15Bard High School Early College
Elizabeth ShvartsStaten Island17Staten Island Technical High School
Tasneem Hussein Staten Island17Brooklyn Technical High School
Zara KhawajaStaten Island16Tottenville High School

Young voters in NYC turn out at levels comparable to other age cohorts for presidential elections and in high-profile elections like the 2018 midterms, according to the 2019-20 NYC Votes Voter Analysis Report, the press release said. However, young New Yorkers participate at a lower rate in municipal elections.

NYC Votes is the nonpartisan voter engagement initiative of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) and its Voter Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC).



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