#OneVoteMatters: Safiya Wazir May Be the First Refugee in New Hampshire to Hold Public Office


Safiya Wazir came to the U.S. as a refugee in 2007 from war-torn Afghanistan. At the age of 27 (while pregnant), she soared in the Democratic primaries and is now in the running for state representative of Concord, New Hampshire. According to the Concord Monitor, Wazir defeated opponent, Rep. Dick Patten, who stated that “her lack of experience and status as a refugee” would hinder her campaign and chances of being elected. However, the striking numbers of 329 to 143 prove that her background and the change she can bring to the city of Concord are much appreciated by the residents in her district. Wazir’s amazing journey, strength and dedication makes for a fascinating story and one that may make history in the state of New Hampshire.

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Her campaign and work towards representing the Democratic party has been far from easy. Wazir states in an interview with the New York Times that during her time of canvassing and making calls to local residents, she was in her first trimester making this procedure pretty tough. Her strong effort and dedication to serving her community should not go unnoticed. It requires commitment to go out and encourage citizens to vote so that you can serve them well, but doing this while carrying a child, makes her all the more strong and powerful. In addition, as stated, the candidate received a lot of backlash from her opponent. He made comments during his campaign stating that immigrants are to blame for “getting everything” such as welfare benefits at the expense of those born and raised in New Hampshire. Patten began getting personal. However, Wazir handled this with such grace and class by letting it go and continuing her work and efforts to win.

Via ThinkProgress

Wazir believes New Hampshire needs more diverse representation in public office to adequately provide the support and advocacy that the various communities in the state need. She aims to provide assistance and aid to low-income families and support them with the resources to become independent. As opposed to Patten, her goal is to help those in need rather than strip them of the very resources needed to improve their living conditions. Through her experience working on the Board of Directors for Community Action Program of Belknap-Merrimack Counties and as vice-chair of the Head Start Policy Council, she has shown her commitment to serving families and children in the state of New Hampshire, whom she believes are the foundation for strong education and a successful workforce and economy. Wazir is ready to listen to the issues that local residents face and get to work on providing solutions for them.

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If Wazir wins this election, she will be the first Afghan woman to hold public office in the U.S. In addition, she will also be the first refugee to hold office in New Hampshire. If you’re a constituent in her district, vote for Wazir to see change in your area and make history. She is a wonderful example and figure for all women to look up to. Keep working towards your dreams no matter who says you can’t do it! #OneVoteMatters #VoteSafiyaWazir