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Meet the youngest woman elected in Phoenix City Council history, a first-generation Iranian-American seeking representation

In 2018, 26-year-old Yassamin Ansari was protesting the nomination of soon-to-be Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh when she became agitated with the overt dominance of men in the political sphere. ”We need more women, we need more diverse representation” she said.

Ansari set out to be the representation she wanted to see in her own community, becoming Phoenix’s district 7 Councilwoman in 2021. 

Ansari is the youngest woman elected in Phoenix City Council history. 

Today, Ansari serves as the Vice Mayor of Phoenix and councilmember of District 7. 

Ansari is a 31-year-old woman, a first generation Iranian American, and a Stanford and Cambridge graduate. 

The importance of politics became clear to Ansari when she was young. The way her immigrant parents raised her “made (her) realize politics (matter) even if (they) can be chaotic,” Ansari said.

“The decisions that our electeds make impact everything,” she said. “I very much care about domestic policy but also our foreign policy and that's very much because of the conversations that I had at my dinner table growing up.” 

Ansari is a new face in Arizona politics, but she is trying to make sure her time in Arizona Politics will not be short-lived; she has added her name to the ballot for the democratic primary for the third congressional seat. 

“I think it would be really meaningful and important to have the first millennial from Arizona represented at congress,” Ansari said. 

She isn’t worried about taking on a larger role in Arizona’s government.

“I see the role very much as an extension of my role as a councilwoman,” she said. “I think we need a really effective leader in the seat who can advocate for Phoenix and make sure that we are bringing money back to the district.”

Ansari said she gains political inspiration from not just one politician, but instead the rise of diverse and young politicians like herself. 

“I'm particularly inspired by this young generation of individuals who are younger, more progressive, from different backgrounds that are running for office across the country,” Ansari said. 

Maria Lopez, Ansari’s chief of staff, said she loves working with Ansari because she is so young. 

“I was super excited to get someone young and really dynamic into office,” Lopez said. “It's awesome, we have a really young team.”  

Morgan Beaven, Ansari’s constituent services liaison, said he feels lucky to be working with the vice mayor. 

“I really love working for local government just because I feel the tangible impact you can make in the lives of people,” Beaven said. “Being able to see that immediate impact… in that individualistic way is really fulfilling.”

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