Former State Representative Rashida Tlaib — a progressive warrior known for staring down and defeating corporate special interests — is announcing her candidacy to represent the people of Michigan’s 13thCongressional District.
“Serving in the U.S. Congress is about much more than voting on bills. It is about taking on the corporate bullies that taint our democratic process and pushing back when the system is broken. Voters will never wonder where I stand on an issue or if I will be there when needed. I will be side by side with them as we fight back against the Trump agenda together,” Rashida says. “It’s time to build a new legacy fighting for justice.”
As the eldest of 14 children, growing up in Detroit, and fighting for working families as a public interest lawyer, Rashida is one of the hardest working and strongest advocates in Michigan. Rashida intends to visit tens of thousands of her neighbors across the 13th district with an aggressive grassroots campaign that is about direct connection to the communities she intends to serve.
“You get much more with me in the U.S. Congress,” Rashida says. “Our district deserves a new legacy fighting for justice — one that isn’t dependent on a single leader, but that empowers residents across this district and provides real access to a government that works for us. I will not back down when someone is harmed or when residents need their voices amplified, even when it’s unpopular.”
“My track record is based on a new approach to public service, one that is needed now more than ever. My residents have my cell phone. We work together to prevent scrap metal thieves from destroying our neighborhoods, win injunctions against polluters, and defeat corporate billionaires who flout our laws. We take on the fights for our community that others think are too hard or too controversial. And we win. That’s what I want to bring to this district.”
As a state representative and, most recently, as a public interest lawyer at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, Rashida has been a relentless human rights advocate and — as she calls herself — a “mother working for justice for all.” She has developed a reputation as a committed organizer who puts the interests of people first. From taking on the Koch Brothers and removing toxic “pet coke” from Detroit’s riverfront to securing millions of dollars for free health clinics, lead abatement services, Meals on Wheels programs for seniors, before- and after-school programs, and many other critical community services, Rashida’s agenda is dictated by her residents’ concerns, not lobbyists.
She also has led efforts to create meaningful community benefits requirements on taxpayer-subsidized development deals, and led the national Take On Hate civil rights campaign to fight bigotry and promote understanding. Rashida has a history as a champion for environmental justice and public health and safety, obtaining a Cancer Cluster Study requirement for an area suffering extreme industrial pollution in Southwest Detroit and passing bills cracking down on scrap metal theft and mortgage fraud, in Detroit, Wayne County, and across Michigan.
“I really dislike bullies that take advantage of our families and homeowners, and who corrupt our democratic process,” Rashida says. “And yes, sometimes that means I will block their trucks, or organize campaigns against them, and shame the elected officials who support their lies. I will always go beyond just voting — I will make sure the voice of every resident of my district is heard loud and clear in Washington.”
In fact, Rashida is on record as one of the first to oppose Trump’s hateful rhetoric and agenda. In August 2016, she was removed from Donald Trump’s speech at the Detroit Economic Club for rising in protest and asking the candidate “to read the U.S. Constitution” and demanding that he provide a better example for our children.
On top of raising the bar of what to expect in our public servants, Rashida also made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, and seeks to become the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the U.S. Congress. Rashida is running to replace former Congressman John Conyers, who resigned in 2017.
A graduate of Detroit’s Southwestern High School, Rashida was born and raised in Detroit, and is the proud daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents. Rashida attended Wayne State University, where she received a B.A. in Political Science in 1998. She went on to earn a law degree from Thomas Cooley Law School in 2004. She lives in Detroit and is the proud mother of two boys.