Aisha Chughtai

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Aisha Chughtai
Member of the
Minneapolis City Council
from Ward 10
Assumed office
January 3, 2022
Preceded byLisa Bender
Vice President of the Minneapolis City Council
Assumed office
January 8, 2024
Preceded byLinea Palmisano
Personal details
Born1996 or 1997 (age 26–27)
Political partyDemocratic (DFL)
Residence(s)Whittier, Minneapolis
WebsiteCampaign website

Aisha Chughtai (born 1997/1998)[1] is an American community organizer and politician serving as the vice president of the Minneapolis City Council, representing the 10th Ward. A member of the DFL, she was elected in 2021 to succeed retiring Council President Lisa Bender. She is the youngest person and first Muslim woman elected to the Council.[2]

Early life and career[edit]

Chughtai's parents are immigrants from Pakistan; her father worked as a mechanic and her mother worked as a Quranic instructor. She grew up in Houston where her family experienced housing instability and moved to Mankato, Minnesota during the 2008 financial crisis.[3][4]

Chughtai has worked on numerous political campaigns including as campaign manager of U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar's 2018 campaign. She later worked as a political organizer for the SEIU Minnesota State Council.[1]

Minneapolis City Council[edit]

Chughtai announced her intention to run for retiring Council President Lisa Bender's seat in Ward 10. Her campaign focused on expanding affordable housing and strengthening local labor laws.[3] The DFL did not issue an endorsement in the ward due to no candidate achieving the necessary vote threshold.[5] She was endorsed by the abortion rights organization #VOTEPROCHOICE.[6]

She won the instant-runoff election on November 3 with 50.3% to her nearest challenger's 33.6% according to unofficial results.[7][8] She took office on January 3, 2022, becoming the first Asian American, Muslim woman, and youngest member of the Council.[9] She took the oath of office on a ceremonial Quran also used by Ilhan Omar, Keith Ellison, Omar Fateh, and numerous other Muslim officials elected in Minneapolis.[10]

After she was re-elected in the 2023 Municipal Election with 60.7% of the first-round vote,[11] Chughtai was appointed to the role of Council Vice President alongside Council President Elliott Payne.[12] Chughtai also chairs the Budget Committee and serves on the Administration & Enterprise Oversight Committee.[13]

Personal life[edit]

A renter, Chughtai lives in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis.[14][15] She is a member of the Twin Cities Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).[16] She advocates for community control over the police.[15]


References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Whalen, Eamon (October 28, 2021). "In Minneapolis, the Movement Heads for the Voting Booth". The Nation. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Birnstengel, Grace; Collins, Jon (November 9, 2021). "Socialism comes to the Minneapolis City Council". MPR. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Gustavo, Solomon (February 4, 2021). "Meet the Minneapolis City Council Candidate: Aisha Chughtai". MinnPost. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  4. ^ Simba, Cynthia (April 23, 2021). "Rep. Ilhan Omar's former campaign manager running for Minneapolis City Council". Mshale. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  5. ^ Mahamud, Faiza (June 10, 2021). "Minneapolis DFL endorses in seven council races, fails to endorse in six". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  6. ^ "Meet Our 2021 Candidates". #VOTEPROCHOICE. Archived from the original on 14 February 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  7. ^ Peters, Joey (November 2, 2021). "Your Minnesota Election Day 2021 results: All the updates on races in Minneapolis and St. Paul". Sahan Journal. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "2021 City Council Ward 10 election results". vote.minneapolismn.gov. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  9. ^ Navratil, Liz (January 3, 2022). "Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, new City Council are sworn in". Star Tribune. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  10. ^ Ansari, Hibah (January 3, 2022). "A special Qur'an holds the signature of almost every Minnesota Muslim elected to office. At a historic swearing-in ceremony, three Minneapolis City Council members added their names to the list". Sahan Journal. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  11. ^ "Minneapolis City Council election results". Minnesota Public Radio. November 7, 2023. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  12. ^ Fischer, Samantha; Croman, John (January 8, 2024). "Payne, Chughtai elected new leadership team at Minneapolis City Hall". Kare 11 News. Retrieved April 4, 2024.
  13. ^ Minneapolis, City of (2024-01-08). "City Council organizes for new term". City of Minneapolis. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  14. ^ "A guide to the 2021 Minneapolis mayor and City Council candidates". Star Tribune. October 1, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  15. ^ a b Rybak, Charlie (December 7, 2021). "An interview with incoming Ward 10 Council Member Aisha Chughtai". Southwest Voices. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  16. ^ Birnstengel, Grace; Collins, Jon (10 November 2021). "Democratic Socialists eager to bring progressive agenda to Minneapolis council". Sahan Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2023.