Rashida Harbi Tlaib (//; born July 24, 1976) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district since 2019. The district includes the western half of Detroit, along with several of its western suburbs and much of the Downriver area. A member of the Democratic Party, Tlaib represented the 6th and 12th districts of the Michigan House of Representatives before her election to Congress. She was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature.
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Michigan's 13th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Brenda Jones|
|Member of the Michigan House of Representatives|
from the 6th district
12th district (2009–2012)
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2014
|Preceded by||Steve Tobocman|
|Succeeded by||Stephanie Chang|
July 24, 1976
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
|Education||Wayne State University (BA)|
Thomas M. Cooley Law School (JD)
In 2018, Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat from Michigan's 13th congressional district. She ran unopposed in the general election and became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and, with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.
Tlaib is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). She and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the first two DSA members to serve in Congress. Tlaib has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and advocated impeachment of the President. On foreign affairs, she has sharply criticized the Israeli government, called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign.
Early life and educationEdit
The eldest of 14 children, Rashida Harbi was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Her mother was born in Beit Ur El Foka, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Her father was born in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He moved first to Nicaragua, then to Detroit. He worked on an assembly line in a Ford Motor Company plant. As the eldest, Tlaib played a role in raising her siblings while her parents worked, but the family sometimes had to rely on welfare for support.
Rashida Tlaib attended elementary school at Harms, Bennett Elementary, and Phoenix Academy. She graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit in 1994. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1998 from Wayne State University. She earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2004.
Earlier political careerEdit
Michigan House of RepresentativesEdit
In 2008, Tobocman encouraged Tlaib to run for his seat, which he was vacating due to term limits. The urban district is 40% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 30% non-Hispanic white, and 2% Arab American. Tlaib faced a crowded primary that included several Latinos, including former State Representative Belda Garza. Tlaib emerged victorious, carrying 44% of the vote in the eight-way Democratic primary. Tlaib won the general election with over 90% of the vote.
In 2010, Tlaib faced a primary election challenge from Jim Czachorowski in his first bid for office. Tlaib picked up 85% of the vote, to Czachorowski's 15%. Tlaib also won the general election with 92% of the vote against Republican challenger Darrin Daigle.
In 2012, Tlaib won reelection again to the Michigan House in the newly redrawn 6th District against fellow incumbent Maureen Stapleton. She could not run for the Michigan House a fourth time in 2014 because of term limits and ran for the Michigan Senate, losing to incumbent Senator Virgil Smith Jr. in the Democratic primary in August 2014.
During her tenure as a legislator, Tlaib was one of ten Muslims serving in state legislatures across the United States. She is the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives, after James Karoub. Tlaib is the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide, after Jamilah Nasheed of Missouri. She and Justin Amash, a Republican who was also elected in 2008, were the first two Palestinian-American members of the Michigan legislature.
After leaving the state legislature, Tlaib worked at Sugar Law Center, a Detroit nonprofit that provides free legal representation for workers.
U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit
- 2018 Special Election
In 2018, Tlaib announced her intention to run for John Conyers's seat in Congress. She filed in both the Democratic primary in the special election for the balance of Conyers's 27th term, and in the general election for a full two-year term. Both elections were to be held the same day. No Republican qualified for either primary, but the 13th is so heavily Democratic that any Republican would have faced nearly impossible odds. With a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+33, the 13th is the most Democratic district in Michigan and tied for the 20th-most Democratic district in the nation. Conyers held the seat without serious difficulty from 1965 until his resignation in 2017 (it was numbered as the 1st from 1965 to 1993 and as the 14th from 1993 to 2013), and never won with less than 77 percent of the vote.
As of July 16, 2018, Tlaib had raised $893,030 in funds, more than her five opponents in the August 7 Democratic primary.
Tlaib finished second in the Democratic primary for the special election to Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, who received 32,727 votes (37.7% of the total) to Tlaib's 31,084 (35.9%). Bill Wild, mayor of Westland, received 13,152 votes (15.2%) and Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of former Congressman Conyers, took fourth with 9,740 (11.2%). Jones faced no major-party opposition in the special election.
- 2018 general election
In the Democratic primary for the general election, Tlaib defeated Jones and Wild, among others. She received 27,803 votes, or 31.2%. She faced no major-party opposition in November 2018, though Jones mounted an eleventh-hour independent bid.
Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and simultaneously one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, along with fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Tlaib took the congressional oath of office on January 3, 2019, swearing in on an English-language translation of the Quran. She wore a thawb (thobe), a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress, to the swearing-in ceremony. This inspired a number of Palestinian and Palestinian-American women to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.
Tlaib has said she opposed providing aid to a "Netanyahu Israel" and supported the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution. Tlaib is one of the few members of Congress who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In January 2019, she criticized anti-BDS legislation proposed by Senators Marco Rubio and Jim Risch. Tlaib argued that boycotting is a right and said that Rubio and Risch "forgot what country they represent". Tlaib's comments were criticized by several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which said that "Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish Senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism." In response, Tlaib stated that her comments were directed at Rubio and Risch.
Tlaib supports efforts to impeach President Trump. In August 2016, Tlaib protested a speech Trump gave at Cobo Center and was ejected from the venue. On her first day in Congress, January 3, 2019, she called for the impeachment of Trump in an op-ed article co-authored with John Bonifaz for the Detroit Free Press. In the op-ed, Tlaib differs from top Democratic leaders on how to move forward with impeachment: "Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction [referring to Congressional powers of impeachment]."
Later that day, Tlaib attended a reception for the MoveOn campaign and spoke on stage. She ended the speech recounting a conversation she had with her son, him saying: "Look, mama, you won. Bullies don't win." Tlaib replied to him, she recounted "And I said, 'Baby, they don't, because we're gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker." The next day at a White House press conference, Trump said, "Well, you can't impeach somebody that's doing a great job...I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America."
In a radio interview with Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept, Tlaib reiterated her frequent call for Trump's impeachment, saying, "Look, it’s not a waste of time to hold the president of the United States accountable ... We need to understand our duties as members of Congress and I believe looking at even Nixon’s impeachment, or his—literally, his resignation, it was Republicans and Democrats coming together and putting country first, coming together and putting our values first. You’re seeing it now more and more. Even now, they’re standing up to Steve King."
- Democratic party: Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, aligns politically with the left wing of the Democratic Party.
- Domestic policy: She supports domestic reforms, including "Medicare For All" (single-payer healthcare) and a $15 per hour minimum wage.
- Immigration: Tlaib was an early supporter of the movement to abolish the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.
In 1998, at the age of 22, Tlaib married Fayez Tlaib. They have two sons, Adam and Yousif. The couple have since divorced. In 2018, a campaign spokesperson called Tlaib a single mother.
In September 2018, The New York Times reported that Tlaib walked into her family's mosque to express her gratitude for the opportunity to run for Congress by saying "Today I was being thankful, embracing how incredibly blessed I am to grow up here, to have this tremendous opportunity...Sometimes I say ‘Thank her’ because my Allah is She.” The Detroit Free Press reported that, although she recognizes that some in her faith community consider her not "Muslim enough", she believes that "Allah [. . .] understands" and "knows that I am [. . .] giving back and doing things that I think are reflective of Islam”.
- 2008 campaign for State House
- Rashida Tlaib (D), 90%
- Darrin Daigle (R), 10%
- 2008 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
- Rashida Tlaib (D), 44%
- Carl Ramsey (D), 26%
- Belda Garza (D), 9%
- Daniel Solano (D), 7%
- Lisa Randon (D), 7%
- Denise Hearn (D), 5%
- Rochelle Smith (D), 1%
- Nellie Saenz (D), 1%
- 2010 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
- Rashida Tlaib (D), 85%
- Jim Czachorowski (D), 15%
- 2010 campaign for State House
- Rashida Tlaib (D), 92%
- Darrin Daigle (R), 8%
- 2014 campaign for State Senate, Democratic Primary
- Virgil Smith (D), 50%
- Rashida Tlaib (D), 42%
- Howard Worthy (D), 8%
|Democratic||Coleman Young II||11,162||12.5|
- Spangler, Todd (September 9, 2018). "How Detroit's Rashida Tlaib will make history in Washington". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
- "Member Profile". State Bar of Michigan. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- "Six things about Rashida Tlaib, who will likely become first Muslim woman in Congress". USA TODAY.
- Schallhorn, Kaitlyn (August 8, 2018). "Meet Rashida Tlaib, who is poised to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress". Fox News. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- Herndon, Astead W. (August 8, 2018). "Rashida Tlaib, With Primary Win, Is Poised to Become First Muslim Woman in Congress". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- "With primary win, Rashida Tlaib set to become first Palestinian-American congresswoman". Haaretz. August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- "There Will Now Likely Be Two Democratic Socialists of America Members in Congress". The Daily Beast. August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- Warikoo, Niraj (December 14, 2008). "Disparate backgrounds source of bond". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014. — Full version at the blog of Niraj Warikoo
- "Graduates Holding Public Office", Cooley Law School. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "Dem would be first Muslim woman in Congress, if elected". The Detroit News. February 6, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- Holcomb, Anne (November 6, 2008). "Rashida Tlaib is first Muslim woman to be elected to Michigan Legislature". MLive.com. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- "Protected Blog". Feet in 2 Worlds. The New School. August 8, 2008. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- Meyer, Nick (August 6, 2010). "Snyder, Bernero to face off in November". The Arab American News. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- Coats, Christopher (December 28, 2008). "Rashida Tlaib, First Muslim Woman to Become a Michigan State Representative". Findingdulcinea.com. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- O'Brien, Maeve (March 15, 2018). "24 hours with: Rashida Tlaib, potential first Muslim congresswoman". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- Spangler, Todd (July 16, 2018). "Rashida Tlaib, Bill Wild lead fundraising in Detroit's congressional race". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- "Michigan House District 13 Special Primary Election Results". The New York Times. August 7, 2018. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- "Michigan Primary Election Results: 13th House District". Retrieved August 8, 2018.
- Using a Quran to swear in to Congress: A brief history of oaths and texts, Pacific Standard, Jack Herrera, January 4, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
- Two reps were sworn in on the Quran. It's a symbolic moment for Muslim Americans, Public Radio International, Tania Karas, January 3, 2019. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
- Karen Zrarick (January 3, 2018). "As Rashida Tlaib Is Sworn In, Palestinian-Americans Respond With #TweetYourThobe". The New York Times.
- Vande Panne, Valerie (August 14, 2018). "Rashida Tlaib on Democratic Socialism and Why She Supports the Palestinian Right of Return". In These Times. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Fractenberg, Ben (August 17, 2018). "J Street Retracts Endorsement Of Female Muslim". The Forward. Retrieved November 8, 2018.
- Dean, Yvette (August 14, 2018). "Palestinian U.S. Congresswoman-to-be vows to vote against Israel aid". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Siegel, Jacob (August 16, 2018). "Did J Street Get Played? After getting J Street's endorsement, Rashida Tlaib changed her mind about the two-state solution". Tablet. Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Tibon, Amir (January 8, 2019). "U.S. Jewish Groups Strike Back at Rashida Tlaib: 'Tell Us More About Dual-loyalty'". Haaretz. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
- Kampeas, Ron (January 8, 2019). "Rashida Tlaib Responds to anti-Semitism Accusations Tlaib was accused of anti-Semitism for tweet blasting anti-BDS bill supporters, claiming, 'They forgot what country they represent'". Haaretz. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- "ADL Statement Concerning Rep. Rashida Tlaib's Tweet on Pending BDS Bill in Congress" (Press release). New York, NY. The Anti-Defamation League. January 7, 2019. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
- "Marco Rubio calls Rashida Tlaib's jibe on anti-BDS bill 'anti-Semitic'". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Tibon, Amir (January 8, 2019). "U.S. Jewish Groups Strike Back at Rashida Tlaib: 'Tell Us More About Dual-loyalty'". Haaretz. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
- Wilner, Michael (January 8, 2018). "Tlaib Says She Was Accusing Senators, Not Jews, of Dual Loyalties". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- "Saudi Arabia Declares War on America's Muslim Congresswomen". The Foreign Policy. December 11, 2018.
- "Who's afraid of Ilhan Omar? Saudi Arabia, for one". MinnPost. December 18, 2018.
- Protesters forcibly removed after disrupting Donald Trump speech in Detroit, Mlive, Gus Burns, August 8, 2016. Retrieved January 5, 2019.
- Birnbaum, Emily (January 3, 2019). "Rashida Tlaib calls to impeach Trump on her first day in Congress". TheHill. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- AM, Donica Phifer On 1/4/19 at 1:28 (January 4, 2019). "Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib refers to Donald Trump in speech, tells crowd 'we' will 'impeach this motherf---er'". Newsweek. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
- C-SPAN, President Trump on impeachment comments from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (C-SPAN), retrieved January 5, 2019
- Mike DeBonis, John Wagner (January 4, 2019). "'You can't impeach somebody that's doing a great job,' Trump says after Democrat's viral remark". Washington Post.
- Rashida Tlaib Interview: When Do We "Impeach the Motherf*cker?", The Intercept, Mehdi Hasan, January 17, 2019. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
- Robinson, Derek (August 10, 2018). "Rashida Tlaib Is the Left's Way Forward". Politico. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- Kelly, Erin (August 8, 2018). "Six things about Rashida Tlaib, who will likely become first Muslim woman in Congress". USA Today. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
- Diaz, Elizabeth (August 14, 2018). "For Rashida Tlaib, Palestinian Heritage Infuses a Detroit Sense of Community". The New York Times. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
- Prengel, Kate (August 8, 2018). "Rashida Tlaib: Is She Married? Is She Divorced? 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
- Dias, Elizabeth (2018-08-14). "For Rashida Tlaib, Palestinian Heritage Infuses a Detroit Sense of Community". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
- "How Detroit's Rashida Tlaib will make history in Washington". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Rashida Tlaib.|
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
- Palestinian-American Democrat: I Will 'Humanize' the Palestinian People in the U.S. Congress
- Rashida Tlaib wins in Michigan: Now the Arab candidate must mend fences with Latinos
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House Representatives
from Michigan's 13th congressional district
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
| United States Representatives by seniority
Xochitl Torres Small