I had heard of Nabilah Islam from a friend in Georgia. She was impressed with the millennial’s policy positions. But most importantly she said she knew how to deliver them.
I made arrangements to interview Nabilah Islam with her campaign manager a few weeks prior. Followingly I was made aware of the most apropos NBCNews.com article titled “Atlanta may have its own AOC” which I found very telling. The excerpt that follows the interview encapsulates Ms. Islam well.
Nabilah Islam on Politics Done Right
WASHINGTON — For a woman who grew up in the Gwinnett County suburbs northeast of Atlanta as the daughter of South Asian immigrants, Nabilah Islam isn’t that unusual.
Her parents came to the country from Bangladesh and worked hard … so their children didn’t face the political and economic hardships they left behind.
And like many of her first- and second-generation American neighbors, Islam is struggling to make ends meet: At 29, she has put the remaining $27,849.63 on her student loans into forbearance and just decided to cancel a health insurance plan she described as “bogus.”
What makes her stand out from most of the other residents of Georgia’s hypercompetitive 7th Congressional District is that she’s running to represent them in the House. …
“I don’t have a unique story,” she said in a recent telephone interview with NBC News. “It’s very common. But people like me don’t run for Congress. People have been inspired by the fact that I am running for Congress and giving this district a voice and taking on the risks I have in order to do so.”
It’s also a story that’s now becoming more familiar in Washington, as young progressive women without traditional political pedigrees or deep pockets — like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. — have not only won election to the House but become prominent political forces.
But from the standpoint of national political trends, there is one huge difference. If Islam wins a double-long-shot bid to capture the Democratic nomination and the general election, she’ll have done so in an area that — unlike those represented by “AOC” and Omar — is a true swing district rather than a haven of liberalism.
Nabilah Islam impresses not only with her policy positions but with her lived experience. It allows her an empathy few politicians have with the constituent.
America’s millennials are in dire straits when examining many of their socio-economic metrics. Nabilah Islam’s life story is not detached from that reality. It is time for this generation to take their place politically to address problems imposed on them by previous generations that were at best shortsighted with the decisions they made on economic and fiscal policies. Millennials must now unwind them for a chance to lives many of their parents and grandparents had.