- Kayla Mogil
Rashida Tlaib - Michigan’s 13th congressional district representative
The Democratic representative Rashida Tlaib stepped up to run the race for Michigan's 13th congressional district after her precedor accused of sexual harassment. She called President Trump a "bully" and she is not afraid of going against the American-Liberal wave.
Michigan’s 13th congressional district
Rashida Tlaib | Photos: official website
What’s at stake?
Rashida Tlaib, age 42, is an attorney who will represent Michigan’s 13th congressional district in the House of Representatives. In 2008 she won the race for State Representative and did history as the first Muslim women in Michigan Legislature.This past summer she stepped up to run in the race for Michigan’s 13th District after Rep. John Conyers stepped down due to allegations of sexual harassment. Since these allegations, Michigan’s 13th District has not been represented in Congress.
During the race, she went up against five other Democrats in the primary and came out as the leading candidate. She had a major lead against her closest opponent, Brenda Jones, by 29-33%. Jones, the president of Detroit City Council, won the special Democratic primary on August 7th, to compete in the special election, which will be held on Nov. 6th. This election will allow someone to step in the last few months of Conyers term. If Jones is elected, she will serve until Conyers’ term ends, in the beginning of 2019. Tlaib has won the regular-scheduled Democratic elections for Congress, for the term of 2019-2020.
Though Tlaib will not replace Conyer's in his term, she is said to ‘‘...bring forward the legacy of John Conyers in terms of the groundbreaking role he played in Congress and his commitment to civil rights’’ (Associated Press).
After her victory, Tlaib was asked what her goals were with her future position. She referenced that her main goal is to fight against bullies, and that the biggest bully is President Trump (The New York Times). She claims that President Trump has a very un-American agenda and she wishes to change that.
Tlaib’s second major focus is economic justice. She believes in changes such as an increase of minimum wage to $15 per hour and access of high education to all, meaning free college to those who can’t afford it. Medical care access to all, equal rights, and environmental protection are some focuses as well, which is mentioned on her website (https://www.rashidaforcongress.com/).
Although these are her internal focuses, Tlaib has recently been in the public eye after she lost her endorsement from JStreet/JStreetPAC. JStreet is a non-profit organization with the goal of reaching peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with a very left wing approach to it. They endorsed Tlaib when she emphasized her support for American aid to Israel (Haaretz), including military aid. Many were shocked by her support, but these quickly flipped. She announced that her stance changed (Haaretz), and that she was no longer pro a two-state solution, but for a one-state solution, they pulled the endorsement (Haaretz). She continued to state, in multiple interviews, that she neither supports sending aid to Israel. Tlaib has officially announced that she leans towards a one-state solution, that “separate but equal does not work.”
Ramifications for Israel
Tlaib is a Palestinian American, and prides herself on being the daughter of Palestinian refugees. She is the first Palestinian-American to serve in the United States Congress, and plans to push a pro-Palestinian agenda while she sits in Congress. Tlaib has often condemned Israel, stating that there is “unequal treatment in Israel, in the different colored license plates for Palestinians” (Haaretz). She plans to support the idea of withholding of American aid to Israel, and continues to claim that Israel is a state who discriminates and holds “apartheid policies”.