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Dashing Expectations Felicia Singh Loses New York City Council Bid From Queens to Republican Joann Ariola

Dashing Expectations Felicia Singh Loses New York City Council Bid From Queens to Republican Joann Ariola

  • The daughter of an immigrant taxi cab driver, she was expected to flip the district and join Shahana Hanif and Shekar Krishnan in the city council.

Felicia Singh, a Democrat and an educator, lost her bid to the New York City Council from District 32 to GOP candidate Joann Ariola, a longtime civic leader and the chairwoman of the Queens Republican Party.

According to The New York Times, City Council District 32, which has been held by Eric A. Ulrich since 2009, “is a political rarity.” It is the only Republican-held Council seat in Queens, and was “something of a test of the enduring power of the Republican Party in Queens.” While the county has long leaned Democratic, it is still home to roughly 140,000 registered Republicans, the most of any borough, the Times said.

The Queens Eagle Calle the race for the last Republican council district in Queens “one of the most competitive in the city, as Singh vied for votes in the northern, heavy-immigrant and non-white populated portion of the district.” Ariola was among several Republicans who won city council seats in Queens.

Singh, the daughter of an immigrant taxi cab driver, grew up in Ozone Park and has Indo-Caribbean roots. She was among several candidates who could have become the first people of South Asian descent elected to the Council. She would also have been the first nonwhite representative of District 32. She ran on a platform that centers on education equity and environmental justice.

Meanwhile, Shahana Hanif, 30, the daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants and a community organizer, became the first Muslim woman elected to New York City Council, and the first woman of color to represent Brooklyn’s 39th District covering Park Slope, Kensington and parts of central Brooklyn. Similarly, Indian American civil rights lawyer Shekar Krishnan was elected to the city council from District 25.

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According to her website, Singh’s career “has been grounded in her firm commitment to empowering communities, including two years of volunteer work in China with the Peace Corps, spearheading voter registration drives and community service projects as vice president of Our Neighbors Civic Association of Ozone Park.” Additionally, she served as Queens Borough Director of Amplify Her.

Singh was elected to serve as a member of Assembly District 23’s County Committee, and in 2020, she served as a member of the Southeast Queens Complete Count Committee, where she worked alongside local leaders and the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure communities like hers were both fully counted and allocated sufficient funding.

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