Hackney elects its youngest ever Speaker
Cllr Humaira Garasia has become the borough’s youngest ever civic representative, after being elected as Speaker of Hackney at the Council’s Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 25 May.
Appointed as Hackney’s Deputy Speaker in April last year, Cllr Garasia now assumes responsibility for the ceremonial duties of the council, chairing council meetings, hosting events, greeting visitors and promoting and supporting the borough through a variety of civic engagements to help raise the profile of the Council and forge links between the private, public and voluntary sector.
Born and raised in Hackney, Cllr Garasia became the youngest ever member of the Council when elected in 2018 at the age of 21. The first Hijabi Speaker of Hackney, Cllr Garasia is a tireless campaigner against hate and religious discrimination and successfully brought in a motion which saw the Council adopt the official definition of Islamophobia and commit to tackling prejudice against Muslims.
Cllr Garasia’s top priorities for the coming year include fundraising for and promoting the vision of her chosen charity, St Mary’s Secret Garden in Haggerston, an open access garden that provides community access and horticultural therapy to people who are socially excluded or experiencing mental health issues, as well as to older residents with long term health needs.
During her time in office, the Speaker will focus on providing support to the most vulnerable members of society and helping young people to feel both empowered and safe, while able to access the best opportunities available to them.
Having lived in Hackney my entire life, I am very proud to be able to represent our amazing, diverse borough as Speaker of Hackney. It’s an honour to continue to represent my ward Haggerston for the second term while continuing to be Hackney’s youngest ever councillor.
I am also delighted to be able to fundraise for my chosen charity, St Mary’s Secret Garden and support the excellent work they do with local communities in promoting a holistic approach to overall well-being and ensuring everyone feels supported and a sense of belonging.
Throughout my time in office, I will be working with leaders, residents and communities from across the borough to address inequalities, whilst also helping to tackle longer-term issues such as racism and discrimination.