Michigan voters will head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, for the 2022 midterm elections. One of the races on the ballot is Michigan’s redrawn 12th Congressional District. Democrat Rashida Tlaib faces Republican Steven Elliott in this district.
Keep reading to learn the candidates’ answers to the questionnaire they received from WDET.
Rashida Tlaib – Democrat (incumbent)
Name: Rashida Tlaib
Current occupation: U.S. Congresswoman
Education: JD, Cooley Law School
Tell us about yourself in 200 words or less.
As someone who grew up the eldest of 14 children, I have been taking care of people all my life. Being born and raised in Detroit, it has been embedded in me: not to ever stand on the sidelines, always speak truth even if your voice shakes, and show up for your neighbor in need. I am running for re-election to represent working-class people, immigrants, women, seniors, veterans, children, and many more who are tired of the sellouts. They deserve a strong advocate and someone rooted in community and fighting for them, so their lives don’t have to endure so much hardship. They deserve a representative in Congress that puts the people first.
Why are you running for Michigan’s 12th Congressional District?
I’m running because I cannot and will not sit on the sidelines while the community that raised me is under assault by corporate greed, structural racism, and oppression that prevents opportunity for the most vulnerable. I’m running for re-election in the newly-drawn 12th Congressional District because I want to continue the amazing work my team and I have done on issues most important to my residents; around economic, racial, environmental, and social justice. I’m running to continue to deliver exceptional constituent services and to be the fighter in Washington, D.C. that gets things done and pushes for the results that our neighbors deserve.
What are the top 3 priority issues that the 12th congressional district faces and what actions would you, as its representative, take regarding each of them?
It should not be this hard for people to thrive in our country. I’ve heard from residents who are struggling to make ends meet while corporations make record profits. I will continue to fight for higher wages, better jobs, workplace rights and protections. I will also continue to fight for policies that would reduce poverty, especially among children.
We have a right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and grow food in clean soil. I have been a leader when it comes to environmental justice in Congress and I will continue to take on this critical work.
From housing to voting rights and public safety – racial justice is essential for our country to move forward in an equitable way that lifts everyone up. I’ve introduced legislation that would give residents a key tool to fight discrimination in policies, schools, and in the workplace. I’ve authored legislation that would make it easier to vote, and I’ve introduced legislation to end discrimination in auto insurance.
What is your stance on gun reform in the U.S.?
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act of 2022, which I voted for in the House, is the first step to ensuring safe communities in the US. But, we can’t stop there. We must bring legislation up for a vote that will provide more resources to support mental health, require safe storage of firearms, make gun owners report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours, close loopholes and require background checks for gun shows and online sales, repeal legal immunity for gun manufacturers,, and ban assault weapons like AR-15s that have no place in our communities.
What is your stance on abortion rights?
I fully support access to safe and legal abortions. The unhinged, extreme-right U.S. Supreme Court Justices that overturned Roe v. Wade have put women and those who can become pregnant in grave danger. I fully endorse Proposal 3 to repeal the 1931 law that criminalizes abortions and returns Michigan to how things were before Roe was repealed. Congress must also act. I cosponsored and voted for the Protect Women’s Health Act which would codify Roe and protect abortion access nationally, and now it’s time for the Senate to abolish the filibuster and pass this life-saving legislation without delay.
What is your solution to fight the current inflation crisis in the U.S. and how it affects Michigan?
One step Congress can take right away is the Senate passing Build Back Better, which I already voted for in the House. The Inflation Reduction Act was a good start and I voted for it. However, BBB includes massive investments in affordable housing and public transportation that will help tame inflation and bring down prices. If, as I feared, we have lost our leverage to pass the full BBB package, Congress should pursue legislation that funds as many of BBB’s original priorities as can get the votes to pass the Senate. Congress should also pass legislation to strengthen antitrust enforcement and break up market consolidation that is driving the price of goods up exponentially. Only a handful of multinational corporations control the vast majority of the products we buy, and they’ve shown time and again that their allegiance is to maximizing shareholder profits, not delivering good jobs and affordable prices to the American people.
Steven Elliott – Republican
Steven Elliott did not respond to our questionnaire. He appeared on Detroit Today to tell host Stephen Henderson why he’s running for office. You can view more information at Elliott’s official campaign website.