I am currently serving my first term as a Cambridge City Councillor.
My leadership in City Hall is informed by my experience in community advocacy, my work as a public interest attorney, and my perspective as a Cambridge native. My family immigrated to the United States from Karachi, Pakistan when I was two. We were fortunate to win a lottery to enter the Cambridge affordable housing system. We were placed in Rindge Towers in North Cambridge and later moved to Roosevelt Towers in East Cambridge. I attended Cambridge Public Schools throughout my childhood.
In high school, I developed a passion for civic and community engagement. I served as Student Body President at Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. I wanted youth to have a voice in Cambridge, so I co-founded the Cambridge Youth Involvement Subcommittee, now the Cambridge Youth Council. The Youth Council has been active for 17 years and continues to be a platform for youth to advocate on issues that concern them.
I pursued an educational path that would empower me to advocate for and improve the vital public programs and social services that shaped my life and provided my family with the stability we needed to thrive, such as Headstart and public housing. I attended Brown University where I studied public policy. After college, I served as an AmeriCorps fellow at New Profit, a Boston non-profit organization dedicated to improving social mobility for children, families, and their communities. I obtained a law degree at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, which enabled me to more effectively pursue the economic, policy, and social interests of low-income and working class people in my community.
After law school, I returned home to Cambridge to serve my community. My first commitment is to my work as a Cambridge City Councillor. I also work once a week as an attorney at Northeast Legal Aid, where I represent low-income entrepreneurs and small business owners. I’m proud to help individuals achieve self-sufficiency and get closer to their version of the American dream while promoting positive, community-based, economic growth. I am a member of the South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston, the Women’s Bar Association, and the National Organization of Legal Services Workers - UAW Local 2320.
As an active member in the Cambridge community, I am currently a board member of the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School Alumni Association. I am a former board member of the Cambridge School Volunteers, Inc., and a former Commissioner on the Cambridge Human Services Commission.
Shaping the Future of Cambridge Together
I am honored to advocate for you and our community by representing your interests in City Hall. As a city, we must reflect upon where we have come from to shape our way forward in the future. I am aware of our city’s amazing resources – I benefited from affordable housing, public education, and the thriving, diverse community of which I am proud to be a product.
At the same time, I am aware of the challenges that prevent Cambridge from being an inclusive place for all.The issues that matter most to me—affordable housing, the health of small businesses, civic engagement and government accountability, the sustainability of our city, and the health and safety of our neighbors— demand our best efforts. It is an honor and a privilege to give mine.