Jenifer Rajkumar: First South-Asian woman to be elected to New York State Assembly
Jenifer Rajkumar, a Stanford-educated lawyer and an immigrant rights advocate, will represent the 38th Assembly district of New York City in the New York State Assembly.
The 38-year-old Indian-American lawyer, a Democrat, becomes the first South Asian woman to be elected to the New York State Assembly. She defeated her Republican rival, Giovanni Perna.
The Indian American Impact Fund tweeted on Wednesday, “Congratulations to @JeniferRajkumar on becoming the first South Asian woman elected to NY state office! Jenifer is a longtime public servant and legal advocate, and we know she’ll be a strong advocate for South Asian voices in Albany.”
The New York State Assembly is the lower house of the New York state legislature, the state Senate being the upper house. There are 150 seats in the Assembly, and the Assembly members serve two-year terms without term limits.
Rajkumar is a former New York state government official. She is also a lawyer and a professor at the City University of New York and has a background in public service. Her parents immigrated to the United States from India and settled in the Queens neighbourhood of New York.
She serves on the Legal Advisory Council of Sanctuary for Families, New York City’s leading service provider and an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. She has spoken on public interest law and policy at CUNY Law School, Harvard Law School and Stanford Law School.
Rajkumar was selected to Super Lawyers’ New York-Metro Rising Stars List, a recognition given to no more than 2.5 per cent of the lawyers in New York, in the year 2015 and 2016.
According to her profile, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had appointed her as the Director of Immigration Affairs and Special Counsel for New York State.