Born in Evanston, IL to Indian immigrant parents, Sameena and her family soon moved to the Edgebrook neighborhood, so her parents could work for the City of Chicago. Having lived in the 5th for 30 years, Sameena currently lives in North Center with her husband, Talha F. Basit.
A graduate of Chicago Public Schools, Regina Dominican H.S., and Northwestern University, Sameena has dedicated her life and career to standing up for those unable to stand up for themselves. Having previously managed Planned Parenthood’s Austin area clinic and now as a tenant advocate in commercial real estate, Sameena has spent years advancing the issues and needs of women, children, and marginalized groups.
In her spare time, Sameena serves on the advisory boards for Chicago Public Media (WBEZ/Vocalo) and Chicago Women’s Health Center and has volunteered at Chicago Cares, YWCA, and the Chicago Community Trust. She founded Hand Her the Mic, an organization dedicated to empowering women of color through comedy, and co-founded her own diverse comedy troupe, Simmer Brown.
Sameena was selected as a 2017 National Leadership Academy Fellow by the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies in Washington, D.C.
Our community supports progressive ideals and celebrates diversity. We need bold leaders to truly represent our values and keep our country moving forward.
Reproductive Choice: A woman’s right to choose is non-negotiable and we can’t stop fighting.
Healthcare: We should defend the Affordable Care Act for now, but work toward Medicare for All to ensure access for all Americans.
Living Wage & Pay Equity: We need to increase the minimum wage now and empower workers to achieve wage growth and parity.
Gender & Sexual Orientation: We must ensure everyone has the same rights and protections irrespective of sexual orientation, gender, or gender identity or expression.
Immigration: We should welcome immigrants and refugees and provide a path to citizenship.
Voter Suppression: We should unmask the racial motivations behind these laws and fight gerrymandering, barriers to access, and voter purging.
Criminal Justice: We need to roll back the systemic architecture of mass incarceration.
Taxes: We need to revamp the corporate and individual tax system to make the responsibility of investing in our country more equitable.
Campaign Finance: We need to combat “dark money” and offer public financing to empower the next generation of leaders.
Financial Regulation: The post-financial crisis safeguards are being decimated and we can’t let corporations privatize the gains and socialize the losses again.
Climate Change: We should invest in research and innovation to save the planet for future generations.
Net Neutrality: The open and free internet not only protects free speech, but also supports innovation and job creation.