, New York , United States
|| 00, 1993
May 26, 2022 11:03pm
Union Member - Islam -
|Info||My name is Rana Abdelhamid and I’m running to represent New York’s 12th district in Congress. Our neighbors have been hit hard by COVID-19, losing their small businesses and homes. We need a representative who will show up for our communities just as tirelessly as we show up for each other. |
I’m a New Yorker and a child of working class Egyptian immigrants. My mom arrived in New York City on the 4th of July. My dad told her the fireworks in the sky were just for her. That this was New York’s way of saying “Welcome Home.”
I attended New York City public schools and watched my parents work every day — and most nights — to achieve the American dream for my family. My dad owned and operated a neighborhood deli. I’ve never seen him happier than when he was inside that shop, making a living and a life for us. But over time, rising rent forced him to take on a second job as a cab driver at nights just to pay the bills. And eventually, he just couldn’t keep up with the cost of living and had to close his small business.
It wasn’t just his work that was impacted by gentrification. Home was impacted, too. My family moved six times over the course of my childhood, caught between poor housing conditions and the continued rise of rent.
“My dad owned and operated a neighborhood deli. I’ve never seen him happier than when he was inside that shop, making a living and a life for us.”
And while we were dealing with these economic problems, sometimes it felt like our neighbors were turning on us too. My father and brother were harassed by the police. Our mosques and community centers were surveilled. And when I was sixteen, a man ripped off my hijab and assaulted me on the street.
I escaped and made a commitment to myself that if this ever happened again, I would be prepared. I became a blackbelt, learned self-defense and started a community-centered non-profit organization that has helped train thousands of women around the world in self-defense, anti-hate crime advocacy, and emotional healing work.
With the help of a local college readiness program and many scholarships, I graduated from Middlebury College, became a Truman Scholar and attended Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to pursue a Masters degree in Public Policy. For the last few years, I’ve worked to create economic opportunity and safety for women through technology in my job at Google while running Malikah and organizing in NYC. I am a member of CWA Local 1400.
I’ve spent the last decade organizing across New York City: fighting against gentrification, supporting small businesses, and addressing challenges of food insecurity before and during the pandemic. I’ve rallied for Black lives, against inhumane migration policy and advocated for gender justice. I’ve learned that communities across our diverse district want to build safety and power together.
My opponent has been in Congress for nearly thirty years. And over those thirty years, we’ve seen the cost of housing, child care, health care, and education skyrocket. When nearly half of Congress is made up of millionaires taking donations from other millionaires, we know there’s a problem.
It’s time for true representation that reflects all of us at the bottom, not just those at the top. It’s time for a new generation of leaders to make a difference.