Young Indian-American Nabeela Syed makes history in Illinois

Nabeela Syed, who just flipped a Republican district in illinois to Democrat, on Nov. 8, 2022. Photo: Twitter @nabeelaforill

Nabeela Syed, candidate for the Illinois State House of Representatives, made history November 8, 2022, winning her seat from the 51st District flipping a Republican holdout.

Not only is she the first Indian American to win a seat in the lower house, she won it by defeating her Republican opponent, first-term Republican state Rep. Chris Bos of Lake Zurich. As the Daily Herald noted, Syed bucked a trend where incumbents were most favored. And to top it all, she is possibly the youngest woman to be elected to the State House, ever in its history!

“My name is Nabeela Syed. I’m a 23-year old Muslim, Indian-American woman. We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district. And in January, I’ll be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly,” Syed tweeted.

District 51 consists of Palatine, Inverness, Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Rolling Meadows, Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Kildeer, Deer Park, Vernon Hills and Long Grove, some of them with a significant Indian American and South Asian population.

“As a Palatine native, Nabeela will be an advocate for the issues most important to us, including healthcare, education, taxes, and equal rights,” says her website.

Syed is quoted in the Daily Herald saying, “I think we laid it all out there. We communicated our message. We wanted to let constituents in this district know what exactly I would fight for in the state legislature, in our suburban district and the place that I’ve called home, and a place that I was born and raised in, and I have a lot of care for this community.”

Bos, her opponent, conceded defeated by congratulating Syed for her victory. However, Ballotpedia had not yet provided the vote counts of the race as of Nov. 9, 2022.

Syed has been involved in grassroots mobilizing, helping Democratic candidates get elected in Schaumburg and Palatine, to organizing Asian American voters flip Senate seats in Georgia.

Syed has worked with a variety of organizations, including EMILY’s List, to raise money to elect Democrats to Congress.

She works for a non-profit in digital strategy supporting a variety of their civic engagement efforts including voter mobilization, ending sexual assault on college campuses, and promoting gender equity, her biography says.

She has been engaged with youth as a high school debate coach. She is also active in her religious community at the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs and is a strong advocate for promoting interfaith dialogue and empowering young Muslim women to lead.

Syed is a graduate in political science and business administration from the University of California, Berkeley.



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