Dear MoveOn member,
Of the 535 members of Congress, I am one of only 38 women of color.1
Sometimes, I am still taken aback by how small that number is. But when I look at the slate of incredible progressive candidates running for office this year, I am so optimistic about what we can accomplish—and soon!
Two of those inspiring candidates, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, have elections coming up in the next few weeks.
There are at least 3 million Muslim Americans across the country, but not a single Muslim woman has ever been elected to Congress. Rashida and Ilhan can change that and would be leaders in the fight against Donald Trump and to build a country that is welcoming for everyone, from day one. But in order to do so, they need your help.
Will you chip in $3 right now to help fuel Rashida and Ilhan's campaigns to victory next month?
Both Rashida and Ilhan have incredible stories, and they are exactly the leaders we need right now.
Rashida is a lifelong Detroit resident and daughter of Palestinian immigrants. She made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim woman ever elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, where she secured funding for free health clinics and education and championed legislation to protect homeowners from fraudulent mortgage bankers.2,3
She's also a fighter. Rashida took on the Koch brothers and forced them to reduce pollution on Detroit's riverfront.4 And when Donald Trump came to speak in Detroit in 2016, she was one of a dozen women who were arrested for protesting his sexism and bigotry.
Ilhan was born in Somalia, and her family fled the country's civil war when she was eight years old. She got her start in politics at age 14 interpreting for her grandfather at local Democratic Party meetings, and she's been an organizer ever since.5
In 2016, Ilhan made history by becoming the first Somali American ever elected to a state legislature after running an inspiring campaign that increased voter turnout by 37% in her district.6 She's already become the assistant minority leader in the Minnesota Legislature.
I would be so proud to serve with these two women in Congress. Click here now to chip in $3 to their campaigns, so they have the resources to win their elections and make history in a few short weeks.
Since Trump was elected, communities across the country have been under attack, from the Muslim Ban to the humanitarian crisis at our border to the rise and increased acceptance of white supremacists by this administration and the Republican Party to attacks on women's rights and the LGBTQ community.
It is absolutely essential that we rise up together not only to protect our communities but to also elect people from the different communities to help lead the fight against these destructive forces. It is only through organizing, visibility, and representation that we can make transformative change.
This year, we have a chance to elect a Congress that more than ever before looks like our diverse, progressive communities—and one that will serve as a true firewall against Trump and his toxic agenda.
Thanks for all you do.
–Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal
1. "Women of Color in Elective Office 2018," Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics, accessed July 22, 2018
2. "About Rashida," Rashida: Democrat for Congress, accessed July 22, 2018
3. "She could be the first Muslim woman in Congress. She has to defeat Detroit's Democratic establishment first," CNN, July 5, 2018
4. "About Rashida," Rashida: Democrat for Congress, accessed July 22, 2018
5. "About Ilhan," Ilhan for Congress, accessed July 22, 2018
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