Shahid Buttar

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Shahid Buttar
File:Shahid Buttar speaking at No War in Iran Protest, January 4, 2020.jpg
Buttar speaking at No War in Iran Protest in 2020
Personal details
Born (1974-07-22) July 22, 1974 (age 48)
London, England
Political partyDemocratic
EducationLoyola University Chicago (BA)
Stanford University (JD)

Shahid Buttar (born July 22, 1974)[1] is an English-American civil rights lawyer and political activist best known for challenging Nancy Pelosi to represent California's 12th congressional district.[2]

Early life and education[edit | edit source]

The son of Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Buttar was born in London, England, and grew up in Rosebud, Missouri.[3] He briefly attended the University of Chicago, but was forced to drop out after his family's home was foreclosed.[4]

He graduated from Loyola University Chicago, in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.[5] In 2003, he earned a Juris Doctor from Stanford Law School.[6]

Career[edit | edit source]

Buttar began his career for the Heller Ehrman law firm, where he helped defend Jason West,[7] the mayor of New Paltz, New York who in 2004 was criminally charged for conducting same-sex marriages ceremonies.

Since then, Buttar has worked in various roles for progressive advocacy groups, including the American Constitution Society,[8] Muslim Advocates,[9] the Bill of Rights Defense Committee (now Defending Rights & Dissent),[10] and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.[11]

Activism[edit | edit source]

Buttar is known for his “track record in advocacy and community organizing,” according to The Intercept.[12]

His campaigns, on issues such as surveillance and encryption, have targeted the National Security Agency,[13][14][15] the Transportation Security Administration,[16] and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[17]

In 2003, Buttar was arrested in San Francisco for blockading the headquarters of Bechtel.[18] In 2005, he served as the spokesman for the D.C. Resistance Media Collective, which coordinated protests against President George W. Bush’s inauguration.[19][20] In 2015, he was arrested in Washington, D.C., for disrupting a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.[21]

2018 and 2020 House elections[edit | edit source]

In 2018, running as a democratic socialist, Buttar challenged Nancy Pelosi for the Democratic nomination to represent California's 12th congressional district.[22]

In 2020, Buttar again ran against Pelosi. He placed second in the primary and thus qualified, under California’s jungle primary rules, for the general election,[23] where Pelosi defeated him.[24]

Buttar was accused of sexual harassment by Elizabeth Croydon in July 2020. Buttar denied those claims, with The Intercept determining that Croydon's allegations could not be corroborated. Several organizations, including The League of Pissed Off Voters in San Francisco and the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, revoked their endorsements of his candidacy.[25][26]

Political positions[edit | edit source]

Shahid supports Medicare For All, the Green New Deal, and increasing the federal minimum wage to $15/hour.[27]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "JoinCalifornia - Shahid Buttar". Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  2. Cooley, Patrick (April 18, 2015). "Experts discuss issues with Cleveland police body cameras at Saturday forum (video)".
  3. "Meet Shahid Buttar, the man who would unseat Nancy Pelosi". Mission Local. 2019-04-04. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  4. "An 'intersectional feminist' challenges Nancy Pelosi". Capitol Weekly. 2019-09-05. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  5. McLaughlin, Lacey (March 11, 2010). "Shahid Buttar". Jackson Free Press.
  6. "Your 15th reunion will take place on October 25-28, 2018". Stanford Law School.
  7. Bajko, Matthew (May 23, 2018). "Political Notebook: Progressive lawyer and DJ aims to take on Pelosi". Bay Area Reporter.
  8. Schatz, Bryan (August 9, 2019). "The Impractical, Unsophisticated, Very Necessary Long-Shot Campaign to Unseat Nancy Pelosi". Mother Jones.
  9. Karlis, Nicole (March 2, 2020). "In democratic socialist Shahid Buttar, a leftist challenger to Nancy Pelosi emerges". Salon.
  10. Brown, Matthew (January 2, 2014). "Howard and NSA reach deal to cool computer center with county's treated wastewater". Washington Post.
  11. Chen, Brian (December 12, 2018). "Yes, You Can Be an Ethical Tech Consumer. Here's How". New York Times.
  12. Fang, Lee (March 4, 2020). "Nancy Pelosi to Receive First Genuine Left-Wing Challenge in 30 Years". The Intercept.
  13. Ackerman, Spencer (February 12, 2014). "Utah lawmaker floats bill to cut off NSA data centre's water supply". The Guardian.
  14. Edwards, Breanna (July 16, 2013). "Lawsuit against NSA expands". Politico.
  15. Nelson, Steven (March 24, 2015). "'Surveillance State Repeal' Push Resumes on Capitol Hill". U.S. News & World Report.
  16. Brownlee, Lisa (January 14, 2016). "Growing List Of Privacy Advocates Condemns TSA's New Body Scan Policy". Forbes.
  17. Falstreau, Nathan (February 24, 2016). "Union Square Rally Protests FBI's Request For Apple To 'Break' iPhones". Hoodline.
  18. Cox, James (February 24, 2016). "Iraq work puts Bechtel in spotlight". USA Today.
  19. Janofsky, Michael (January 13, 2005). "Protest Groups, Too, Prepare for the President's Big Day". New York Times.
  20. Goodman, Amy (January 20, 2005). "Lockdown in DC: Unprecedented Security For Bush Inauguration and Protests". Democracy Now.
  21. Gosztola, Kevin (February 26, 2015). "After Hearing, Capitol Police Arrest Lawyer for Shouting Question at Clapper About NSA Surveillance". Shadowproof.
  22. Gahr, Evan (December 17, 2019). "San Francisco Civil Liberties Lawyer Shahid Buttar Running Against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi". California Globe.
  23. "California's 12th Congressional District election, 2020". Ballotpedia.
  24. "California Election Results: 12th Congressional District". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-04.
  25. LacySeptember 25 2020, Akela LacyAkela; P.m, 7:57. "Progressives Wrestle With How to Address Allegations of Mistreatment in San Francisco Race". The Intercept. Retrieved 2020-11-03.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. "Shahid Buttar, Nancy Pelosi's election opponent, accused of sex harassment". 2020-07-22. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  27. "Shahid Buttar Wants to Take Back San Francisco For the Left". In These Times. Retrieved 2020-11-03.


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