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Rashida Tlaib

Rashida’s background

Rashida has been breaking barriers her whole life. She grew up the eldest of 14 children in a working class family in southwest Detroit, the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrants. Rashida has made history as the first Muslim woman ever elected to the Michigan Legislature, one of the first two Muslim women in the U.S. Congress, and the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress.

Throughout her time in office, she’s focused on helping her constituents get through everyday challenges, while holding corporate polluters and billionaires accountable for taking advantage of the communities she represents. A bold, transformative leader and public servant, Rashida is fighting for families of all backgrounds, especially people who’ve been left out and marginalized.

Rooted in community

Rashida is raising her children in her beloved hometown of Detroit, which has birthed powerful social movements. In her community, she was taught to speak truth to power, even if her voice shakes. As a long-time activist, Rashida partners with grassroots groups on the ground to help craft policy and make a difference in her constituents’ lives today.

Rashida and her team created 4 Neighborhood Service Centers in the district, which help people with college debt, veterans’ services, immigration issues, and Social Security benefits, as well as help fight for access to healthcare and housing issues. Rashida understands that supporting constituents through everyday issues is as important as getting a bill passed.

Guided by the belief that everyone—not just the wealthy and privileged—deserves access to opportunity and a better quality of life, Rashida Tlaib has dedicated her life to amplifying and addressing the concerns of everyday people in her district, across Michigan, and around the country.

Serving as State Representative

While serving in Lansing for 6 years as a Michigan State Representative, Rashida was instrumental in restoring and securing millions of dollars for free health clinics, lead abatement programs, Meals on Wheels delivery for seniors, before- and after-school programs, and bilingual education.

She authored laws to protect homeowners from fraudulent mortgage bankers, stop predatory tax preparers, and prevent scrap metal thieves from destroying our communities. And she successfully took on corporate polluters such as the Koch brothers and Marathon Oil, forcing them to remove toxic pollutants from Detroit’s riverfront.

Much of Rashida’s experience has also come from working in nonprofit organizations for over a decade.

In Congress In 2018, Rashida ran for Congress to lift up the voices of people from her community and has been in the U.S. Congress for two terms. Immediately upon taking office in the U.S House of Representatives, Rashida created four Neighborhood Service Centers throughout the district, which have brought millions of dollars back to her district while providing critical services to thousands of her district’s residents.

Rashida has helped raise over $360,000 for U.S.-based nonprofit organizations, including over $126,000 for local community-based organizations providing food and other essential resources to her district’s residents. This includes raising over $21,000 to bail out Michigan mothers on Mothers’ Day—people who were stuck in jail simply because they could not afford to pay cash bail.

Rashida is also beloved by district residents for fighting for clean water and clean air. For example, she helped create a fund totalling $1.1 billion to stop water shutoffs during the pandemic.

Her first bill passed and signed into law in Congress was the Payee Fraud Prevention Act, putting an end to fraudulent scams targeting vulnerable retirees and their pensions. Rashida has secured numerous amendments to bills that have been signed into law, and she has passed bold legislation in the House.

Rashida has always fought for what’s right, even when it’s unpopular. For example, she was one of the first members of Congress to take on President Trump and demand accountability for his lawless and unconstitutional actions. She led successful impeachment efforts against him, twice.

In Congress, she serves on the House Oversight Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Subcommittee on the Environment. She is also a member of the House Financial Services Committee and Natural Resources Committee. In 2020 she became a ranking member on the executive board of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rashida will keep working tirelessly to improve the quality of life for our communities through policy and action. Her commitment to staying rooted in the community is what sets Rashida apart as a public servant who puts people first.

In December 2020, Rashida’s family expanded when they adopted their dog, Tayta. She is full of love, a fan of the Michigan Wolverines, and excited about canvassing and community events where she gets to meet lots of people. You can expect her to be with her mom at upcoming campaign events in the district.

LGBTQI+ Rights and Reproductive Justice

Rashida is fighting for people of all genders and sexualities to have the protection and freedom that we all deserve.

As a lawyer at the nonprofit Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice, Rashida protected civil rights. And since becoming a Congressperson, she’s joined the Equality Caucus and has pushed for all legislation to take into account the experiences and needs of the LGBTQI+ community.

Ongoing discrimination impacts LGBTQI+ people in so many areas of life, including getting a job, finding a place to live, getting served in stores, and more. As Black trans women are murdered and targeted for violence, and as more and more states are targeting transgender youth, it’s especially crucial that we come together in support of trans people and trans rights.

Rashida will not stop fighting for everyone, of all genders and sexualities, to have the protection and freedom to thrive that we all deserve.

Rashida is committed to building a society where every person can live openly as their authentic selves, surrounded by safety and love.

Economic and Housing Justice

From workers’ rights to monthly payments in people’s pockets, Rashida fights for economic & housing justice for all.

Throughout the pandemic, Rashida has led the fight to get stimulus payments directly into people’s pockets every month. One-time relief payments are not enough. She’s also been calling to end student loan debt and to make college free for all.

Her visionary economic legislation includes plans for a near-universal basic income without increasing public debt. Her proposal also includes creating jobs in a new Emergency Response Corps to check in on unhoused people and others in need.

Serving on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, Rashida holds big banks accountable, levels the playing field for credit reporting (which affect people’s ability to get housing, jobs, auto insurance, and more), and keeps pushing for ways to make banking more accessible—especially when it comes to increasing homeownership.

Throughout Rashida’s life she has joined striking workers and has supported workers’ rights, from the perspective of someone who truly understands what it’s like to struggle financially. When Rashida’s father joined a union, her family was able to get healthcare for the first time. She believes that supporting our workers is at the core of fighting against corporate greed. We all deserve to feel safe at work and make a wage that truly values the work we put in for ourselves and our families.

Rashida is also addressing Michigan’s and the nation’s decline in Black homeownership, which is at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years. Rashida has focused on housing justice and investing in home repair—one of the top issues our campaign has encountered from residents as we checked in about their top priorities in 2021. Homeownership is a vital part of economic stability for families across the nation.

Rashida is also an unwavering advocate for tenants, fighting predatory landlords and lenders side-by-side with grassroots housing justice groups, as well as expanding banking opportunities and access to credit. She’s also challenging Detroit’s discriminatory property tax system that taxes the least expensive homes at six times the rate of the most expensive homes.

Healthcare For All

Rashida has been fighting to ensure that we all can access the care that we need to survive and thrive.

Rashida Tlaib knows that healthcare is a human right. But our country’s broken healthcare system prioritizes profits over people, forcing millions of U.S. residents into crippling debt just to afford the care they need.

Research shows that 90% of bankruptcies are due to extreme medical debt. Thousands of Americans die each year just because they can’t afford healthcare. And now the pandemic has made this crisis even more urgent. In addition, the pandemic has exposed even more clearly how racially unjust our healthcare system is.

Long neglected by our government, Black people in America have borne the brunt of the pandemic’s health and economic crises. Black Americans are three times more likely than white Americans to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die from COVID-19 than white Americans. These disparities in healthcare show up over and over, including the rise in Black infant and mortality rates. Rashida is fighting against this unjust status quo.

Rashida is not afraid to go toe-to-toe with billionaire bullies, including health insurance and Big Pharma CEOs who want to keep profiting off our pain, our illnesses, and our deaths. She’s pushing for reproductive justice and to end medical debt.

Racial and Immigration Justice

Rashida takes on institutional discrimination and the racist criminal legal system. She fights for our rights, no matter our backgrounds.

For years, Rashida Tlaib has been fighting alongside Black activists pushing for justice. And while in Congress, she’s solidifying movement demands into policy change.

She’s introduced bold bills that will reverse decades of discriminatory policies, help close the racial wealth gap, end mass incarceration, and address racist policing and surveillance.

Rashida understands that ending systemic racism is also about investing in Black and brown communities who’ve struggled from chronic disinvestment. She’s been working alongside grassroots groups to build a true justice system—where everyone feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive.

Since racism is part of all of our institutions, Rashida is focused on addressing it in every policy—including bills to increase affordable housing, lift people out of poverty, bring about environmental justice, end the modern-day redlining of the auto insurance industry, and more.

As a child of immigrants, Rashida is also pushing for a more just and humane immigration process in our country. She has advocated to defund ICE and to hold the Department of Homeland Security (which includes ICE) accountable for its mistreatment and abuse of migrants.

Environmental Justice

Rashida is fighting for the human right to water, for everyone to be able to breathe clean air, and to hold corporate polluters accountable.

For years as a community activist, Rashida has fought for the human right to clean and safe drinking water. It’s one of her top priorities, especially given her district’s struggles with water quality and water access. Thousands of Detroiters have had their access to water shut off, whether because of lead contamination or inability to pay skyrocketing water bills. Meanwhile, Nestle pays pennies to pump millions of gallons of clean water out of Michigan and into CEOs’ pockets.

Rashida’s district also includes one of the most polluted cities in Michigan, where dozens of industrial facilities are poisoning predominantly Black residents. Communities of color have long been on the front lines of environmental injustices, which has led to more chronic health conditions like asthma—that make people even more susceptible to contracting and dying from COVID-19.

Rashida has seen up-close how corporate polluters dictate our public policy so they can escape accountability. Before serving in Congress, she went up against the Koch brothers and won, forcing them to remove pollutants from Detroit’s riverfront. She’s still taking on corporate polluters and winning, alongside community members most impacted by ongoing pollution.

Human Rights Around the World

Rashida is leading a massive shift in Congress to end oppression everywhere and put a stop to forever wars.

As the only Palestinian-American in Congress and one of the first Muslim women in Congress, Rep. Rashida Tlaib is leading a massive shift in Congress in support of all human rights.

She has raised awareness about the Israeli government’s apartheid and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, fighting for Palestinian liberation and the recognition of Palestinians’ humanity. Polls from the last few years show that Americans’ opinions on Palestine are shifting: Most residents of the U.S. support treating Israelis and Palestinians as equal citizens.

Rashida understands the connections between oppression in the United States and oppression around the world, including countries such as Afghanistan, Haiti, Lebanon, and Yemen. She speaks up for human rights, freedom, and justice for ALL people—no exceptions.

And since taking office, Rashida has supported the long-overdue dismantling of our country’s military-industrial complex so that we can finally put a stop to forever wars and reinvest into providing our communities with the resources they need and deserve.