Getting To Know Your Michigan Candidates: State Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D) 12th House District

“I believe we need comprehensive immigration reform that reflects our nation’s values and restores the rule of law. Instead we have an immigration system that leaves families in limbo, deports people based on frivolous principles, allows for worker abuse and says to immigrants that you truly will never belong. The lack of action from the federal government is irresponsible and continues to negatively impact local communities.”

Rashida Tlaib, 2007 Michigan Political Leaders Fellow

Don’t let the warm smile of Democrat State Rep. Rashida Tlaib fool you, she is a prototypical Progressive Democrat.

Democrat Rashida Tlaib is a one term State Representative from Michigan’s 12 district and is actively involved with the Progressive States Network (PSN), an organization aggressively working to implement Obama style progressive legislation in state capitals across the country. Mrs. Tlaib one other thing in common with Obama, she is also a former community organizer.

One issue that is very important to Rashida Tlaib is the Environmental Justice movement. It gets top billing on her campaign web page:

Rashida has established a strong track record in holding polluting businesses accountable to state, local, and federal law. Environmental justice has been Rashida’s top priority, and she has recently championed a bill that requires school districts to perform an environmental assessment before acquiring land to build or expand a school building to protect the health and well-being of kids, as well as our natural resources.

Environmental Justice is so important to her, she even took time out from her schedule to protest the expansion of Marathon’s Detroit Refinery to process tar sand from Canada:

On July 9, citizen activists rallied outside the Detroit refinery to also call attention to the effects of tar sands development on water and air. “Tar sands are the dirtiest source of fossil fuels,” said Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), who attended the protest.

Its not like Detroit and Michigan could use the jobs, or the increase in economic activity, the expansion of the refinery would bring. Another Environmental Justice initiative Mrs. Tlaib is involved with is “We Have the Right to Breathe” campaign. Form Rashida Tlaib’s Michigan Democrat web page:

I hope you will join the “We Have the Right to Breathe” campaign – a grassroots, environmental justice movement to improve Detroit’s air quality, hold businesses accountable and help slam the brakes on the thousands of trucks that rumble through our neighborhoods. This is a chance for you to speak up against these companies, tell them that they are destroying our quality of life and ensure they are held accountable for the damage they cause.

Together with the Delray Community Benefits Coalition, Bridgewatch Detroit and community advocates, we can educate our community and increase awareness about air quality issues in our neighborhoods.

Rashida Tlaib is also advocating progressive style immigration reform advocated by the Progressive States Network. She has signed on to the PSN version of Immigration Reform. A few of their ideas are:

  • For America to be a land of opportunity for all, our policies must recognize our common human rights and shared responsibilities. Our focus should be on raising wage standards for all workers and ending illegal economic exploitation across the economy, not punishing a small subset of immigrant workers.
  • Immigrant entrepreneurs and workers pay taxes and create jobs, businesses, and new technologies that propel American innovation. Since those taxes are paid disproportionately to the federal government, the federal government should return those revenues to state and local governments to provide necessary social and technical services including health care, education, and integration.
  • We reject the politics of anger and division and are working together across the states to promote policies that live up to America’s core ideals and community values. Intrusive and unnecessary identification laws designed to divide communities actually hurt American citizens and prevent them from accessing necessary social services and fully participating in our democracy.

Maybe I’m wrong, shouldn’t a State Representative be more concerned with their district and not worrying about national immigration policy?

It appears Democrat Democrat Rashida Tlaib is more interested in implementing a progressive national agenda working through our State Legislature rather than addressing the concerns (i.e. jobs) of her district.

However, there is an opportunity stop the advance of progressivism in our state. If you live in Michigan’s 12th district, vote for Darrin Daigle, Republican.

*h/t John Carey @ The Current for the info about the PSN