Liliana Bakhtiari is a queer Muslim Iranian-American woman looking to make history in Atlanta, GA. A well-traveled, egalitarian community leader, the 29-year-old is looking to the Atlanta City Council seat for District 5, and has been motivating towards that momentous goal.
Bakhtiari’s family has roots in Iran, and stories of her politically-minded parents appear in any online articles written about the candidate. Attending marches with them as a child, Bakhtiari approaches congressional politics with a decidedly ground-level, grassroots, socially-aware approach, one that was shaped by the prejudice she faced in her small town of Gwinnett County. Upon moving to Atlanta for college, her active role and orientation within the urban community expanded her ambitions for change and informed her purpose.
Before completing her undergrad, Bakhtiari traveled the world as a progressive activist, developing her perspective on human rights and basic needs in a global capacity. From infrastructure improvement, working in outreach to victims of genocide, torture, sex-trafficking, limited food and water accessibility, and more, she comes equipped with this worldview and experience to leverage towards the demands of her municipality.
Bakhtiari is a young candidate at 29, but also focused on representing those who need signification and a substantial presence in this political climate. With racist, xenophobic assaults feeding our daily headlines, and Atlanta’s identity as a diverse and booming metropolis in the American South, we need new faces with forward-thinking ideas on its city council. She told Teen Vogue “Running for office under the Trump administration to me is absolutely necessary. This is somebody who goes against everything I believe that this country is supposed to represent.”
In light of Kia Hamadanchy’s campaigning in Orange County against Republican career-politician Mimi Walters, Bakhtiari’s locally-driven and outspoken philosophy seems one and a part. Let 2017 and beyond be the years where Iranian-American progressives take their seats at the table and reinforce the most inclusive and beneficial intentions of this country.
Visit Liliana Bakhtiari’s website for more information at http://www.lilianaforatlanta.com/
Photo credit: Michael A. Schwarz