Rashida Tlaib is poised to become the first Muslim woman in US Congress in next November’s elections, after she won the Democratic primary in Michigan.
Tlaib, 42, a mother of two boys, is a Democratic former member of the Michigan House of Representatives, who upon her swearing in January 2009 became the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any state legislature in America.
The eldest of 14 children, Tlaib was born to working class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, Michigan. During her tenure as a legislator, she was one of ten Muslims serving in state legislators in the U.S. and the second Muslim woman to serve in state legislature across the nation and the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives.
Tlaib, in what is considered a “historic victory,” won on Wednesday the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives seat from Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Currently, she is running unopposed in the general election.
In a tweet, Tlaib thanked those who voted for her “for making this unbelievable moment possible,” saying “I cannot wait to serve you in Congress.” In an interview with CNN Thursday marking her victory, Tlaib said that she always tells people “waves come and go. We need to own the ocean.” She added that “what I mean by that is we need to be inspiring just a whole new generation of people that have just not been engaged in our political system, in our government. And I think that’s what’s been really disconnected right now with Congress and the American people.” When elected formally in November, she stressed that her vote as part of the Democratic caucus as to who will be the next Democratic leader will be for “someone that, again, is connected with just the different levels of poverty that’s going on, the fact that there are structures and barriers for working families in my district that need to be dismantled.
“I need somebody that fully understands why I’m so passionate about those issues, why I’m so eager to make sure their voices are heard. And, at this point, even people back here, right here at home in Detroit and the Metro Detroit area, they don’t feel like they’re being heard,” she remarked.
Tlaib is succeeding John Conyers and will run unopposed in November among 183 women fighting for a seat and several women candidates that are from minorities with “little or no representation” in Congress.
In August 2016, Tlaib attended a speech by then-presidential nominee Donald Trump in Detroit and asked him to return a Purple Heart, which is a US military decoration awarded in the name of the president to those wounded or killed while serving, on or after April 5, 1917, with the US military. She had stated that Trump had not earned the medal, which was given to him earlier in the week. She was then kicked out of the venue for heckling Trump.
This article provided by NewsEdge.