Arab Americans in Michigan have much at stake in Aug. 7 vote

Arab Americans in Michigan have much at stake in Aug. 7 vote

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Arab Americans in Michigan have much at stake in Aug. 7 vote

Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab American populations, will vote on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in primary elections. Many Arab Americans are on the ballot including Abdul El-Sayed for Governor on the Democratic ticket, and Rashida Tlaib for Congress, also on the Democratic ticket. There are several others, too. The Michigan elections on Tuesday is a good opportunity for Arab Americans to express themselves about the issues we face in America

By Ray Hanania

Michigan, which has one of the largest Arab American populations, will vote on Tuesday, August 7, 2018, in primary elections. Many Arab Americans are on the ballot including Abdul El-Sayed for Governor on the Democratic ticket, and Rashida Tlaib for Congress, also on the Democratic ticket.

There are several others, too. The Michigan elections on Tuesday is a good opportunity for Arab Americans to express themselves about the issues we face in America.

Polling and pundits show that El-Sayed has a tough fight as a newcomer in the election contest but he is doing well having received strong backing from high profile political activists including U.S. Senator an former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and filmmaker Michael Moore.

Many traditional Democrats, hoping to have a Democrat take over the governor’s mansion in the November 6, 2018 General Elections and strengthen the state’s Democratic voter base in anticipation of the 2020 Presidential elections, have given their support to Gretchen Whitmer, a much better known and longtime Democrat who served in the Michigan House and currently is the Michigan State Senator from the 23rd District.

Abdul El-Sayed with Congressman John Conyers. Photo courtesy of El-Sayed's Facebook Page

Abdul El-Sayed with Congressman John Conyers. Photo courtesy of El-Sayed’s Facebook Page

Rashida Tlaib has the best odds, however, of winning the Democratic nomination to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of longtime Congressman John Conyers.

Tlaib has extensive experience having served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2008 to 2014. She is in a large field of candidates which increases her chances.

I will be joined on live radio in Michigan on Friday, August 10, 2018, on WNZK AM 690 at 8 am (EST Detroit time) to discuss the election results in Michigan by Dennis Denno, a longtime political consultant, pollster and Michigan activist. Denno is the director of Denno Research.

(You can listen to the radio show live in Michigan and also online by clicking one of these links:

https://arabradio.us/live/      …..    https://tunein.com/radio/WNZK-690-s21615/

(The radio show is broadcast at 7 am in Chicago online, and 3 pm in occupied Jerusalem online.)

Rashida Tlaib

Overview of Arabs running for Congress in Michigan:

In Michigan, four Arab Americans, including one incumbent and two retired former state legislators are running for Congress in the 3rd, 11th and 13th districts in Michigan’s August 7 primary.

Republican Palestinian American Congressman Justin Amash is seeking re-election in Michigan’s 3rd District, where he has held office since 2011. Amash is expected to easily win.

West of Detroit in the heavily Republican 11th Congressional, incumbent Republican Congressman Dave Trott announced he will not seek re-election creating a vacancy. Two Arab Americans, one Republican and one Democrat, have entered the race.

Elected in 2013, Republican Klint Kesto is the first Christian Chaldean with Assyrian roots to serve in Michigan’s state legislature. He faces five other challengers.

Lebanese American Fayrouz Saad is also running in the 11th District Democratic Primary. She faces four other challengers.

Conceivably, Kesto and Fayrouz could face-off in the General Election in November, if they each win their party primaries, and one could win.

Palestinian American Democrat Rashida Tlaib, who retired after 12 years the Michigan legislature because of term limits, is one of 10 candidates vying to succeed the “Dean” of the U.S. House, Democrat John Conyers in the predominantly Democratic 13th District.

Conyers, an African American, has served in his seat 52 years since 1965 but was forced to step down last year in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Tlaib faces a tough field that includes Conyers’ son John Conyers III, and Conyers’ nephew, State Senator Ian Conyers. The district is 56.3 percent Black. Also running is another African American with an iconic name, Coleman Young II whose father was a former Detroit mayor.

The American Human Rights Council, which is active in Arab American and Muslim American human rights issues, release this statement urging Arabs and Muslims to vote.

AHRC urges all citizens to vote  this Tuesday, August 7, 2018:
The Michigan’s primary elections are tomorrow and the American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA)  urges all citizens to turn out to vote.  Voting polls open at 7:00 AM and close at 8:00 PM.
Voting smart and casting an informed vote is key. The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA)  urges all voters to vote for candidates that reflect their values and their vision for the state and the country.
So many of us do not realize that the outcome of these upcoming primary elections could be the final results of the November general elections by default. Unfortunately, many realize such reality too late.   This is why people should take voting very seriously as many elections are decided by the narrowest of margins.
Voting is the people’s power.  Giving up such power will weaken our ability to make a difference and render the change that serves our interests and address our concerns as citizens. Active participation in elections will help shape the future of our state and our nation. Those who are registered to vote should not only vote, but should get others to vote breaking the routine that causes low turnouts and low participation.
It is the responsibility of each of us to overcome the low turnout rate in elections especially in the primaries by voting and making sure others vote as well. Voting is a civic duty and the right to vote is a precious right. If you don’t vote, you are not part of the democratic process.
These are extraordinary political times. And this primary has promising candidates that offer different visions for the state and the country. We should spare no effort in seeing that the best people are elected.  We urge all citizens who are registered and eligible to vote in Michigan to make their voices heard this Tuesday, August 7, 2018.
“In a democracy, voting makes all the difference in the world,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “Given the lineup of candidates we have, indeed the eyes of the world are on Michigan,” added Hamad. “We urge all citizens to turn out to vote and to make sure their friends, neighbors and family members vote as well,” concluded Hamad.
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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

Click here to send Ray Hanania and email.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Visit this link to read Ray's column archive at the ArabNews,com ArabNews.com/taxonomy/term/10906
Ray Hanania