Local Journalism Happens With YouSupport

For Assembly District 64, Fatima is the Clear Choice

This school teacher turned assembly candidate is a rarity in state politics, and we are lucky to have her.

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair speaking at a protest outside State Senator Hertzberg’s house after he voted down a bill that would create buffer zones between oil drilling and communities. (Photo by Hannah Benet.)

State Assembly District 64, comprised of Compton, Carson, Wilmington, and Watts, has systematically been underfunded and neglected. In addition to contending with police violence and a lack of funding for public education, the district’s air quality ranks among the state’s poorest, largely due to the destructive presence of local oil refineries.

Current State Assembly Member and former cop Mike Gipson has only made the dire issues facing AD 64 worse. Gipson has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from big business, and his voting record shows he’s all but sold his district to the fossil fuel industry.

First-time candidate Fatima Iqbal-Zubair has already done much more than her opponent to bring resources and care to her community.

A former high school teacher in Watts, Fatima decided to run because she saw firsthand how government policies were failing her students both in and out of the classroom. District 64 contains 25% of the state’s oil refineries, which has directly affected schools in the area. In addition to their severe impact on air quality, local drilling and manufacturing have resulted in unclean drinking water in water fountains and even carcinogenic football fields. After students brought their concerns to her, Fatima decided to take action against the environmental injustice plaguing residents of AD 64.

Over the course of the primary and general election, Fatima has built a robust and formidable campaign, bringing outside energy to her often-ignored district.

She inspires the people around her — particularly her volunteers and her students — to be better. To care. To engage.

Not only is Fatima the best choice for the environment, for healthcare, and for fully funded public education, but she’s also taken a strong stance on campaign finance reform. She has sworn off corporate funding, turning instead to grassroots donations. Considering her district has one of California’s lowest median incomes, the decision proves her dedication to people over profit.

This year, state legislature defunded healthcare, education, and the environment, but Fatima supports cutting money spent on prisons and reinvesting in programs the community actually needs.

If elected, she plans to construct community-controlled affordable housing that is not-for-profit. She wants to repeal Costa Hawkins and the Ellis Act, two policies that prioritize real estate speculation over the rights and dignity of tenants. For our nearly 60,000 unhoused neighbors, Fatima would ensure access to basic sanitation resources — such as waste disposal and bathrooms — and oppose street sweeps, which often confiscate personal property and shelter.

Fatima doesn’t just propose progressive policy, she takes to the streets and demands it. She’s risked arrest outside of refineries in Wilmington and has joined protests against excessive use of force by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.

When the COVID-19 crisis began, Fatima transformed her campaign into a mutual aid network. Tuned into the needs of her community, she personally delivered masks to her neighbors, all while fasting for Ramadan. Notably, if Fatima wins, she’ll be the first Muslim elected to California State Legislature, as well as the first South Asian woman.

State Assembly is a dark place — corporate money looms large, and real change often seems impossible. But Fatima has proven that she will work tirelessly and against all odds to support her community.

It is time we fight with her and do the same.

Want to learn more about your 2020 election ballot? Check out KNOCK.LA’s Voter Guide, which breaks down propositions and candidate platforms for over 120 races in and around LA County.

KNOCK.LA is a project paid for by Ground Game LA. This article was not authorized by a candidate or a committee controlled by a candidate.

Fatima Iqbal-Zubair is one of several candidates endorsed by Ground Game LA.