Asian Americans Run for Something: Zahra Suratwala | Candidate for DuPage County Board, IL

Zahra Suratwala

This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Somethinga non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.

What is your full name?
Zahra Suratwala

What office are you seeking?
DuPage County, Illinois — Board Member in District 1 (Democratic Primary)

When is the election date?
Primary election is March 20, 2018. General election is November 6, 2018.

What is your party registration (if any)?
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Asian American Candidates Targeted by Racist Campaign Mailers Win School Board Election

Edison public school board candidates (from left to right) Jerry Shi, Beth Moroney, Falguni Patel, and Paul Distefano. (Photo credit: News India Times)

In a repudiation of racist campaign mailers sent to the residents of Edison, New Jersey, the school board candidates targeted by the flyers have won their races for the Edison public school board.

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Anti-Asian hate is not welcome in politics

An uncredited mailer sent to residents of Edison, New Jersey. (Photo credit:

By Guest Contributor:  Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote (@apiavote)

Edison town council member Sapana Shah realized something was wrong the moment she checked social media, learning that she and her neighbors received the same anti-Asian mailer Wednesday which featured a “deport” stamp on the photos of two Asian school board candidates. The postcard also read, “The Chinese and Indians are taking over our town.”

Targeting candidates based on bias and hate toward various ethnic, racial or religious identity is not new. And Shah is no stranger to it as a candidate. She recounted multiple incidents to me over the phone. Shah, a long-time resident in the Edison township of Middlesex County, New Jersey, was told to go back to her country when she ran for local elected office. She once found her campaign signs inscribed with the words “dot head,” an offensive racial slur. As a town council member, Shah endured insults from residents who shouted her down at the end of a public meeting for voting to include Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, as a school holiday.

When individuals are targets of hate, it not only affects them but also entire communities.

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Canada’s NDP Party Elects Sikh-Canadian Jagmeet Singh as Leader

Jagmeet Singh, at a campaign event in Brampton, Ontario in May 2017. (Photo credit: Nathan Denette / Canadian Press)

In a historic vote, the third largest political party in Canada — the social democrat New Democratic Party (NDP) — has elected Sikh-Canadian Jagmeet Singh as its federal party leader, making Singh the nation’s first non-white leader of any major political party.

Singh won 53.8% of the New Democrat vote on Sunday in the first ballot of the NDP Leadership race, far out-performing the other candidates vying for the position. The position of NDP leader was vacated after Singh’s predecessor — former NDP leader Tom Mulcair — lost a leadership review vote at the party’s convention in April.

Hours after winning the NDP leadership vote, Singh declared he was challenging Justin Trudeau to be the next Prime Minister of Canada in 2019.

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BREAKING: Gold Star Father Says his Travel Privileges are being “Reviewed”?

Khizr Khan in his powerful 2016 Democratic National Convention appearance. (Photo credit: CNN)

Khizr Khan, the Pakistani American and Muslim father of US Army Captain Humayun Khan who was killed in 2004 while deployed during the Iraq War, says he has been forced to cancel a scheduled speaking engagement in Canada after learning that his “traveling privileges are being reviewed.”

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