Palestinian American civil rights attorney to run to represent Michigan in US Congress
Huwaida Arraf, a 45-year-old civil rights attorney, is planning on running for US Congress in the 2022 election, according to a report last week by the news site Mlive.com.
Arraf says she wants to reengage working-class voters, many of whom have turned to the Republican Party in recent years - notably in her district, which strongly supported former President Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020.
"I'm the daughter of working-class immigrants and being a mom myself, I really know and understand the challenges facing working-class people," Arraf said, according to Mlive.com. "Democrats, and the Democratic Party as a whole, need to do a little bit more investing in reaching out with our message and what we offer to people in these areas that tend to be more rural or look like they are overwhelmingly Republican."
She cited the North American Free Trade Agreement, initiated by former President Bill Clinton and then renegotiated into a new revised deal under Trump, as an area where Democrats could rethink their policies toward blue-collar workers.
"There are some policies that have been pursued by the Democratic Party that have harmed some people and I don’t think that we recognise that enough," Arraf reportedly said.
She said she wants to focus on issues that affect everyday Americans, such as jobs, schools, infrastructure, and health care. Like most other Democrats, she supports the recently passed infrastructure bill.
In addition to domestic issues, as a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, she is concerned about what she sees as "silence" in Congress on Palestinian human rights.
Though her platform would be focused on her constituents in Michigan, she said she would like to see more members of Congress speaking out and doing what they can to address human rights abuses of Palestinians.
Michigan is home to a significant Arab-American population.
Arab-Americans in the Midwest state have made major political strides. Two Arab-Americans were elected mayors of their Michigan towns earlier this month.