This post was originally published on the Arab American Institute newsblog on July 10, 2012, and on the Yalla Change blog on July 11, 2012.
A group of Arab American women in Dearborn, Michigan are mobilizing get out the vote efforts in preparation for November’s presidential election. Founded by Jumana Judeh, Arab American Women for Obama (AAWO) has formed a committee of 20 members and is currently planning strategies and programs to increase voter participation amongst Arab American women this fall, including phone banking, canvassing, and outreach at community events. Judeh is serving as a delegate to the Democratic Convention in Charlotte this summer, and is also the founder of the Arab American Women’s Business Council.
Arab Americans comprise a substantial percentage of the population in southeast Michigan, which is expected to be a highly contested swing state. Judeh criticized Romney’s dismissal of bailouts for the automotive industry, saying that he does not understand the economy in Michigan. Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s father served as Governor of the state from 1963-1969. While they acknowledged the importance of foreign policy, Judeh noted, ““the issues for us as Arab American women are jobs, our kids, education and opportunity.” She also highlighted immigration and health care reform, as well as the rising cost of higher education, as being key issues for members of AAWO.
AAWO’s efforts are intended to encourage the civic participation of its members as women, and as members of an immigrant community. Judeh believes the organization will provide agency for its members, while counteracting negative portrayals of Arab women as represented by the media.
To join or get more information about Arab Women for Obama, contact Jumana Judeh (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call:(313) 277-1986.