Faiza Ali


Faiza Ali is the co-director for outreach at the New York City Council, working with the community engagement division. This division focuses on connecting disenfranchised communities to the government. Ali directs the Council’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) Initiative. PB is a democratic process in which community residents decide how to spend part of the public budget (up to $2 million per district) in order to directly impact their playgrounds, schools, and other brick-and-mortar issues. Ali explained, “this is a small aspect of a huge budget and gives the money back to the people. They walk the streets, they know how to spend it.” She was previously employed by the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) NY chapter and has focused on public safety, anti-gun violence, and working with youth since becoming an activist in the post 9/11-era. Ali also worked extensively on the successful campaign for Eid holidays to be recognized as public holidays by New York City public schools. “It was a lesson in many ways. If you organize, you win,” she explained.