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Zohaib 'Zo' Qadri wins race for District 9 on Austin City Council

A person with his arms crossed wearing a backward baseball cap smiles as he talks to other people
Stone Clemons
Zohaib “Zo” Qadri campaigns door-to-door in the Cherrywood neighborhood last month ahead of the runoff election for the District 9 seat on City Council.

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Zohaib “Zo” Qadri will represent District 9 on the Austin City Council after winning 51% of the vote in Tuesday’s runoff election against Linda Guerrero.

"Representation matters," said Qadri, who becomes the first Muslim elected to the council. "When I saw folks who looked like me — whether it be in the media or on the news — it was always in a negative light ... a villain or the butt of a joke."

District 9 includes downtown Austin, the UT Austin campus area, and portions of Central and South Austin.

During the campaign season, Qadri gained a lot of support among students, and election results showed he polled well in and around UT’s campus.

"We wanted to make sure that every precinct, every neighborhood, every constituency was reached out to," he said Tuesday night. "Whether it be longtime Austinites or young folks who have just moved to the city, I believe everyone deserves to have a voice in City Hall."

Qadri worked on the political campaigns of Beto O’Rourke and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. A local activist and volunteer, he has worked with the Texas Homeless Network, Austin Latino Coalition, and No On Prop B. He also serves on the advisory committee for the Travis County Democratic Party.

Housing has been at the forefront of every City Council race on Austin's ballot this go-round — particularly in Central Austin's District 9. Both Qadri and Guerrero agreed that housing costs are too high, but offered different solutions to address the issue.

Qadri said he wants to accurately represent the majority-renter city, and tackle issues including the climate crisis, housing affordability, and public health and safety.

He will replace Council Member Kathie Tovo, who reached a term limit. Qadri is scheduled to be sworn in on Jan. 6.

Not sure if you live in District 9? To see what City Council district you're in, go here. Click “I Want To …" and "Find My Council District” and type in your address.

Maya Fawaz is KUT's Hays County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @mayagfawaz.
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