Shahana Hanif becomes 1st Muslim woman elected to City Council

New York Elections
Shahana Hanif

City Council member-elect Shahana Hanif stands in front of her home in Kensington, Brooklyn on Aug. 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Emily Leshner)

NEW YORK — New York City voters elected their first Muslim woman to the City Council on Tuesday.

Shahana Hanif won Council District 39 in Brooklyn with 89% of votes and 100% of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Hanif will represent Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Kensington and several other central Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Hanif is the daughter of Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants. 

Earlier this year, Hanif spoke to The Associated Press about her experiences after the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when she was 10 years old. Mere weeks after the World Trade Center fell, Hanif said a driver rolled down his window as he passed on the street and yelled, “Terrorist!” at her and her younger sister while they walked to a mosque near their home. Unsure and afraid, Hanif said they ran.

After her victory Tuesday night, Hanif vowed to help build an “anti-racist, feminist city.” She also thanked the more than 1,100 volunteers and 60 progressive groups who supported her.

“We deserve a city that guarantees equitable education, invests in climate solutions, and makes our immigrant neighbors heard and safe. I’m ready to move our city forward in service of our progressive vision every day,” she tweeted.

Hanif was one of two South Asian candidates to win a City Council seat on Election Day, according to the New York Times. Shekar Krishnan won Council District 25, covering Jackson Heights and Elmhurst in Queens.

The 2022 City Council class also includes the city’s first openly gay Black woman elected to the office, Crystal Hudson, and a historic number of women representatives.

This story comprises reporting from The Associated Press.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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