Michigan Arab-American legislator to speak in Anaheim


Rashida Tlaib, the current member of the Michigan House of Representatives for the 12th House District, will be in Anaheim next month to speak at the annual gala of ACCESS California Services, a Little Arabia-based social services organization.

Born to Palestinian immigrants, Tlaib is the eldest of 14 children. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Wayne State University in 1998 and her degree in law from Thomas Cooley Law School in 2004.

Tlaib made history in 2008 by becoming the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Michigan legislature.

During the general elections, Tlaib won 90 percent of the vote in a district comprised of 40 percent Hispanic, 25 percent African-American 30 percent White and only 2 percent Arab American.

Prior to being elected, Tlaib was involved with multiple nonprofit organizations such as the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) and the International Institute of Metro Detroit where she advocated for better access to human services, educational and civil rights.

In 2008, she received the Emerging Leader Award at the Double Tree Hotel in Orange during the National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) annual conference. Read more about the conference here.

In 2010, Tlaib faced another landslide victory when she received 92 percent of the vote to second time Republican Challenger Darrin Daigle.

Tlaib will serve another two years in the Michigan House of Representatives.

The gala will be held at the Anaheim Hilton on Saturday, January 29, 2011 and is expected to attract more than 700 supporters.

About Rashad Al-Dabbagh

Arab American community activist based in Anaheim's Little Arabia. Founder/Director of the Arab American Civic Council. Follow him on Twitter at @Happy_Arab.