Educator Dilara Sayeed Announces Candidacy for State Representative
Seat to be Vacated by Juliana Stratton

CHICAGO (September 25, 2017)–Educator Dilara Sayeed on Monday announced her candidacy for the
5th District state representative seat that will be vacated by Rep. Juliana Stratton, who is running for
Lieutenant Governor.
Sayeed most recently served as Chief Education Officer at the Golden Apple Foundation. She is the
founder of vPeer, an online virtual mentoring platform that focuses on accessible and effective
professional mentoring for all, especially women, professionals-of-color, and those from low-income
Sayeed started in life as a graduate of the Head Start preschool program for low-income families and the
Chicago Public Schools. She is a former teacher and education policy expert who uses her real world
experience to help people of all backgrounds succeed. “We need public servants, not politicians. There’s
never been a more critical time to have strong leadership in the General Assembly who can fight back
against Gov. Rauner’s agenda that promotes policies that worsen poverty and destroy the social safety
Sayeed has been an educator and community leader for over 20 years. As an eighth grade teacher, she
focused on race and pluralism issues in the United States. At the Golden Apple Foundation, she led her
team in ensuring the best teachers were prepared to go into schools-of-need across Illinois. Over her
career, Sayeed has worked with the Children’s Defense Fund to disrupt cradle-to-prison pipelines, and has
worked with school districts to increase parent and community engagement. She attributes her early CPS
education as fundamental in allowing her to overcome struggles and pursue advanced degrees at
Northwestern and Harvard Universities.
“Success in life requires access to education, to resources, and, most importantly, to systems that will
support us in getting there,” said Sayeed. “Today, that’s not the case for too many residents who grew up
like I did, and they won’t be able to build the life that they always dreamed of. In the General Assembly,
I’ll fight to change that, and change it now.”
“The community needs inclusive leadership that will focus on supporting individual residents in building
a life, as well as collectively building bridges between diverse people so we can all thrive.”
Sayeed said her campaign planned to host a kickoff celebration in the coming weeks.