Arab Americans rally for Congressional Democrat Marie Newman
Arab and Muslim Americans will organize a rally Sept. 4, Friday for Marie Newman who is the democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in the 3rd Congressional District. The event is hosted by the American Arab Chamber of Commerce and the American Palestinian Club
By Ray Hanania
A coalition of Arab American organizations will host a community rally for Marie Newman who easily won the Democratic Party nomination for Congress this past March to represent the 3rd District.
The gathering will be held on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 at the Palestinian American Club, 7701 W. 87th Street in Bridgeview, Illinois, beginning at 5 PM. The public is invited to attend.
Newman easily defeated longtime incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski, who held the seat since being appointed in 2005 to succeed his father, Bill Lipinski, one of the Midwest’s most popular congressional members. The Lipinski’s together held the seat for more than 37 years until this year.
“We need to show our support for Marie Newman. Her predecessor was a good person but he failed to listen to all the people of the district,” said American Arab Chamber of Commerce President Hassan Nijem.
“Newman not only listened but wanted the support of our community and worked hard to get it in this last election and two years before. The majority of Arab and Muslim Americans in the district supported Marie Newman who has promised to listen to our concerns, make us a priority in her term of office, and support many of our priorities here in the district.”
Nijem said Newman promised that Arab and Muslim Americans would have a voice in bringing funding, jobs, and political respect.
“The key to our community is who will listen to us and be honest about supporting us,” Nijem said.
“Marie Newman was sincere in her support of our community and we are proud to stand with her.”
Newman won the March Democratic Primary election with 47.3 percent or 52,384 votes over Dan Lipinski who received 44.7 percent or 49,568 votes. Newman’s victory is rare in that entrenched incumbents are rarely unseated.
Marie Newman’s vote total would have been stronger except for two other candidates who ran in the election contest, siphoning off votes. Rush Darwish received 5.7 percent of the vote or only 6,351 votes after raising more than $530,000. Charles Hughes received 2.3 percent of the vote or 2,549 votes with barely a budget.
“We need to support Marie Newman because she supports our cause and our community,” said American Palestinian Club President Mazen Dola.
“She has promised to support our community here in the district and has a progressive agenda to confront racism and discrimination against our community.”
Nijem and Dola said that Newman will speak with community representatives at the rally and discuss her platform of issues to strengthen all of the district’s ethnic, racial and religious groups including Arab and Muslim Americans.
Newman’s Campaign Chairwoman is Palestinian American small business owner and activist Shadin Maali. Newman and Maali met while protesting a bigoted leader that targeted the Arab American and Muslim community during the 2018 election. Maali and Newman stayed connected and worked hard to ensure that the Palestinian/pro-justice perspective was represented in the district that holds the largest Palestinian American community in the country.
“We have some of the most brilliant, hardworking and resilient constituents in the country – we are organized, principled and mobilized to act on all injustices both within our district and abroad,” Shadin Maali said.
“We have deep roots in the southwest suburbs – since the early 1900’s. We as Palestinian immigrants built educational institutions, mosques, churches, businesses, and non-profits that serve the entire Chicagoland area. It is time to show that we are a powerful voting bloc and that we can swing elections for candidates that advocate for us in congress.”
Newman faces Republican Mike Fricilone, a newcomer to the district politics. Fricilone won the Republican nomination winning with 9,804 votes and defeating two challengers, Catherine O’Shea and Neo-Nazi extremist Arthur Jones.
The General Election is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.