Meet Yassamin

Yassamin Ansari served as the Vice Mayor of Phoenix and was the youngest woman ever elected to the Phoenix City Council, representing one of the most diverse districts in the fifth-largest and fastest growing city in the country.

The proud daughter of immigrants and graduate of Stanford and Cambridge universities, Yassamin led the charge to pass the city’s landmark Climate Action Plan, has fought for the protection of reproductive rights, and secured millions in free tuition for students pursuing community college and good jobs in the trades.

Raised in Arizona, Yassamin is the daughter of immigrants who instilled in her the value of education and hard work at a young age. Thanks in large part to her mother’s dedication to civic engagement, Yassamin began organizing on behalf of Obama for America as a high school student. She then went on to earn her undergraduate degree in international relations with honors from Stanford University and her master’s degree from the University of Cambridge. 

Yassamin began her career in 2014 as an advisor in the Executive Office of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, where she served on the climate team that helped deliver the historic Paris Climate Agreement. Later, she worked directly with the Office of California Governor Jerry Brown as deputy policy director for the Global Climate Action Summit, and as a senior policy advisor to UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres. 

The Trump administration’s attacks on working families, the environment and immigrants, inspired Yassamin to fight back – ultimately energizing her to move back home to Arizona and run for local office. After knocking on over 100,000 doors in 2020, Yassamin became the youngest woman ever elected to the Phoenix City Council and the first Iranian-American elected to public office in Arizona.

As a Councilwoman, Yassamin has championed housing affordability, climate action, reproductive freedom, worker’s rights, and education – with proven results.

She successfully pushed for more than $100 million dollars for new emergency shelter beds, permanent supportive housing, and mental and behavioral health services. More recently, Yassamin helped pass a new city policy that bans landlords from discriminating against renters or buyers based on their source of income, such as housing choice vouchers.

Fighting for working families is central as to why Yassamin ran for city council in the first place – and will remain so as she takes her fight to Congress. This is why she stood alongside airport workers demanding livable wages and benefits, hosted resource and hiring fairs to connect residents to critical city services, and raised wages for thousands of city workers. Yassamin also secured funding to build new parks, libraries, and community centers, and invest in critical roadway safety infrastructure – in Laveen, Estrella, Maryvale, Central and South Phoenix.

As a climate policy expert, Yassamin has led bold efforts to clean up our air and water in Phoenix. She built a coalition on the city council to unanimously pass the city’s first-ever Transportation Electrification Action Plan, ushering in a clean energy future for Phoenix. She also spearheaded a plan to electrify Phoenix’s bus fleet by 2040, reducing our carbon emissions and improving air quality in the city. 

When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Yassamin passed a resolution to direct the Phoenix Police Department to make harsh state abortion laws its lowest priority for enforcement so that doctors, nurses, pharmacists and patients will remain out of jail for practicing and receiving basic healthcare.

As a daughter of immigrants who emphasized access to education as a pathway to personal and generational resiliency, Yassamin worked to provide young people with the opportunity to pursue higher education by establishing the Phoenix Promise – a scholarship program that supports 800 low-income students in pursuing a community college education.

In 2020, Yassamin was recognized by Forbes as ‘30 Under 30’ in Law & Policy, and in 2021, by the Phoenix Business Journal on their ‘40 Under 40’ leader’s list.