Former State Representative Rashida Tlaib has officially announced her campaign for the 13th Congressional District, a seat left vacant after John Conyers resigned in December
amid a sexual harassment scandal.
"My track record is based on a new approach to public service, one that is needed now more than ever," Tlaib says in a press release. "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."
After her time as state representative, Tlaib joined the Detroit-based Sugar Law Center after losing a primary race for the Senate against Democrat Virgil Smith. (Smith was later charged
with assaulting his wife.) Throughout her career, Tlaib has been an outspoken opponent of "corporate bullies," fighting for the removal of toxic pet coke from the Detroit riverfront, criticizing tax subsidies for Little Caesars Arena and the Marathon Oil refinery, and taking on
Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun. She also has led efforts to create community benefits agreements for taxpayer-subsidized development deals.
In a press release, Tlaib says her "agenda is dictated by her residents' concerns, not lobbyists."
In 2008, Tlaib became the first Muslim woman elected to the Michigan Legislature, whose district encompassed Southwest Detroit and Dearborn. If elected, she would become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.
When we interviewed
her in 2015 for our People Issue, Tlaib said her roots as a social worker go back to her time growing up the eldest of 14 children in Detroit. "They indirectly made me the social worker in the family," she said.
In August 2016, she was removed
from Donald Trump’s speech at the Detroit Economic Club after demanding that the then-candidate "read the U.S. Constitution."
"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," Tlaib said in a statement. "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. It's time to build a new legacy fighting for justice."