Maryam Khan won a special election to the 5th House District of Windsor and Hartford in Connecticut early this week. Khan joins the House as the first Muslim elected to the Connecticut legislative body,
Khan won the election as a Democrat over the Republican Charles W. Jackson. Khan is a former special education teacher in Connecticut, underlining the need for equity in education as a driving force behind her campaign. The CT Mirror reports that Khan said, “We’ve attended many vigils or funerals of students that have graduated but then have passed because of other things that they’ve gotten involved in, a lot of the violence that exists in our communities.”
She will also join the General Assembly, being the first Muslim woman elected to the body. House Democrats have said that Khan will serve on the Aging, Children, and Judiciary committees moving forward. They released in a statement, “Rep. Khan is an educator and community activist who will utilize her unique experiences to address a number of community- and state-wide disparities she witnessed, and hopes to offer plans for quality education, funding for community infrastructure, and more inclusionary processes for local decision-making.”
It is important to have representation in order for an equitable government, especially in local and state levels. Brian Schaffner, a Tufts professor, has stated that white, wealthy people are more likely to serve as local officials. These people make decisions that align with concerns of white and wealthy residents rather than people of color or those from low-income backgrounds. With more representation of diverse backgrounds not only in terms of race, but religion and class, we can strive for more equitable governmental work.