About Zainab

As a Raleigh native, first-generation American, and the first-born of six children, I grew up learning the value of community, hard work, and resilience. My parents met in North Carolina after immigrating from Pakistan thirty five years ago, and quickly chose Raleigh as their home. Even though my parents struggled to learn a new culture, they worked hard to ensure we had the opportunities they did not. Not only did they instill the importance of education in us, they reminded us of the blessings we had and the impact of being kind to everyone.

My parents took advantage of all the various programs Raleigh had to offer. I grew up playing basketball, baseball, tennis, and soccer with the City and the neighborhood kids. I began volunteering in middle school and continued throughout my time at Wakefield High School. Out of all the sports I played, basketball remained my strongest passion which was intensified when I attended NC State and cheered at all the great (and not so great) basketball games. During undergrad, I built a long standing foundation of community service through multiple leadership positions, interfaith programs, working with the City of Raleigh’s youth programs, and being dedicated to social justice.

All of this geared me towards bringing my experiences into the government arena to help bridge the gap between the policies created and the people served. I currently work for the North Carolina Division of Mental Health and I am pursuing my Master of Public Administration at UNC-CH to complement my career with the proper education.


My background, my community, and my love for my hometown inspired me to run for Raleigh City Council. I have witnessed the tremendous amount of improvements and changes Raleigh has made over the years. Raleigh has become one of the best cities in the country to live for both personal and professional development. I love my hometown and would like it to be the best place to live not only for newcomers, but also for those who have been here from the beginning, helping to build Raleigh from the ground up.

As public servants, we have a responsibility to hear everyone’s voices whether we share the same beliefs or not. We have a responsibility to do what is right even when it is unpopular. We also have a responsibility to be fiscally conscious with taxpayer dollars.

I want to help take on these responsibilities. I want to be a voice for everyone and help City Council be more representative of the community we serve by being the first woman of color on the council. We have all worked hard towards making Raleigh the greatest city it can be and it has thrived, but I want to make sure that success reaches everyone.

“We the People” is the phrase at the beginning of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, and it is my belief that government is of the people, for the people, and by the people. That is why I need your support and your vote to help transform our local government. Because, “Y’all means ALL”.