Nabeela Syed, Palatine resident and community organizer, announced over the weekend she will run as a Democrat for the 51st District seat in the Illinois House.

“At a time where state legislatures across the country are moving backwards on critical issues, including health care and reproductive rights, we need strong leadership in our state to keep Illinois on a path of progress,” Syed said in her announcement. “My top priorities are ensuring that we have excellent public education and affordable health care while also reducing our reliance on high property taxes that disproportionately impact working families.”

Under the electoral maps signed off on by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month, the new 51st District will encompass parts of northwest Cook County and southern Lake County, including all or parts of Palatine, Inverness, Hoffman Estates, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Kildeer, Long Grove and Hawthorn Woods.

The 51st District seat currently is held by Lake Zurich Republican Chris Bos.

Syed’s prior political involvement included serving as campaign manager for Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board member Tim McGowan and organizing Asian American voters in the U.S. Senate election in Georgia, according to her announcement.

Syed said she graduated from of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in political science and business administration, and now works for a nonprofit organization in digital strategy.

In the community, she has served as a high school debate coach and is active in her religious community at the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs, she said.

Syed noted that if elected, she would be the first Muslim and South Asian woman in the Illinois legislature.

“I know how important diverse representation is to making policy that works for everyone,” she said. “I’m hoping to use my lived experience as a young woman of color to elevate the voices and concerns of underrepresented communities.”

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October 11, 2021 at 12:41PM