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Rashida Tlaib: First Palestinian American Woman in Congress

Photo: AP

Rashida Tlaib is the mother of two boys and the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in Detroit. She is a proud graduate of Detroit Public Schools and the daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents. Rashida made history in 2008 by winning her race for State Representative and becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature. Rashida served three terms, rising to the Democratic Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, where she restored and secured millions of dollars for free health clinics, lead abatement, Meals on Wheels programs for seniors, before and after-schoolprograms, and education funding. She authored laws to protect homeowners from fraudulent mortgage bankers and tax preparers and to stop scrap metal thieves from looting Detroit’s abandoned homes and even destroying occupied properties.

Rashida provided transformative constituent services, saving hundreds of families from losing their homes to foreclosure, securing over $1 million in tax refunds by providing her working-class residents with free tax preparation, and connecting seniors to grant money to help weatherize their homes and save on energy bills.

While Democrats are looking for leaders who will stand up to Donald Trump and our nation’s most pressing problems, Rashida has an unparalleled record fighting for her constituents and her values, taking on billionaires and multinational corporations, and winning. Rashida took on the Koch brothers and forced them to remove pollutants from Detroit’s riverfront and she led a We Have the Right to Breathe campaign that led to a comprehensive cancer study in the shadow of Marathon Oil’s refinery expansion. Rashida fought back against Matty Moroun when his Ambassador Bridge Company was illegally routing polluting semi-trucks onto neighborhood streets and forced his company to follow the law.  

When families get to know Rashida, they have no doubt that she will work tirelessly to knock down barriers for real change, and whether by policy or by action, she will roll up her sleeves to make sure her residents are cared for, no matter how big the challenge. This is what sets Rashida apart from the crowd.

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