Mariam Sayeed
Mariam Sayeed

Mariam Sayeed served as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs based in Pittsburgh.

Q. Tell us about a person who inspired you in the ideals of public service.

I grew up in a society where people who looked like me either didn’t exist or did so under less than ideal connotations.

I had the privilege, however, to have those role models to look up to within my own family. My mother filled that void for me as I grew up watching her live her life constantly at service to others while being an intelligent, selfless, beautiful, unapologetic Indian American woman of faith. Her latest feat was running for state representative in Chicago. She didn’t win, but the campaign was inspiring nonetheless. She ran on a platform of uniting people amongst differences. She continues to guide and inspire me to use my perspective and outlook to help create change.

Q. What’s one thing that worries you about how democracy is working?

The recent rhetoric around using differences as a means to create a schism in the community, instead of using differences to build bridges.

Q. Why did you decide to get involved with Draw the Lines PA?

Before working at DTL, I never really understood the implications of gerrymandering within communities. After looking more into just how redistricting affects statewide decisions, especially in Pennsylvania, I realized that the work DTL does is vital to creating change within the system.

Who we elect into office to represent our communities is crucial when it comes to decisions on education and safety and health care. These decisions are indirectly affected by gerrymandering. DTL brings awareness to this issue and tries to ensure that all voices are heard when voting.  

Q. Tell us one thing you hope Draw the Lines PA accomplishes.

To lead in engaging and educating voters across the state about redistricting by showing the potential of what could happen when this decision making power is left to the community.