5 American Muslim Candidates Elected to Local Offices

The election of five American Muslims to local office in the Bay Area on Tuesday is a sign voters are ready for diverse leadership despite troubling increases in hate crimes nationwide, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Before Tuesday, only one elected official among hundreds of representatives on the region's local councils, panels and boards was Muslim, Bay Area representatives of CAIR said today.

"These victories come in the face of CAIR's recent report revealing a 17 percent increase in bias-motivated incidents and a 15 percent increase in hate crimes against American Muslims since Trump took office," said Zahra Billoo, Bay Area executive director of CAIR.

Nationwide, 55 American Muslim candidates won election to offices, 11 of them in California, according to CAIR.

The American Muslim candidates elected Tuesday to Bay Area offices won seats on a variety of local panels.

  • Sabina Zafar, a technology executive, was elected to the San Ramon City Council.
  • Business information technology consultant Aisha Wahab won one of two seats open on the Hayward City Council.
  • Maimona Afzal Berta, a special education teacher, ran successfully for the election to the Franklin-McKinley School Board.
  • Cheryl Suddeth, a molecular biologist, won election to the West County Wastewater District Board.
  • Attorney Javed Ellahie was elected to one of three open seats on the Monte Sereno City Council, in Santa Clara County. That election, however, is subject to an automatic recount.

Before Tuesday, there was only one elected local elected American Muslim representative on a Bay Area board -- Aziz Akbari of the Alameda County Water District board of the directors.

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