First Muslim woman in U.S. Congress may give more voice to Windsor-Detroit issues

Some Windsorites are hopeful that with former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib to become part of U.S. Congress in November, cross-border issues with Detroit and Windsor will get more representation in the House.

Rashida Tlaib will replace Rep. John Conyers who held the House seat for more than 50 years

Former Michigan House of Representatives member, Rashida Tlaib, won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for the House seat in November. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

With Michigan's Rashida Tlaib poised to become a U.S. Congresswoman in November's election, does it mean cross-border issues in will have more voice in Washington D.C.? Some Windsorites are hopeful.

Formerly a Michigan state Rep., Tlaib won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for the House seat, which was held by former Rep. John Conyers for more than 50 years.

Tlaib is known for her fights against Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun and the petroleum coke pollution in the Detroit River.

"Although she is in Michigan, she actually has been to Windsor quite a few times," said Remy Boulbol, a Windsor resident who's a former colleague of Tlaib.

"She understands the relationship between Detroit and Windsor and how important that is."

Tlaib's district will cover parts of Detroit and surrounding cities.

Remy Boulbol says Tlaib has been to Windsor and understands the cross-border relationship with Detroit. (Dale Molnar/CBC)

On the other side of the border, University of Michigan-Dearborn's director for the Center for Arab American Studies, Sally Howell, echoes Boulbol's sentiments.

"She's absolutely an advocate for international relations between the US and Canada," said Howell.

"Her district is that border district where the bridge would come into Detroit. So she will champion better relations between the U.S. and Canada."

And when Tlaib takes the seat this November, she will be the first Muslim woman to join U.S. Congress.

Windsor community activist Sarah Mushtaq is excited to see that happen.

"It's really inspiring to see a Muslim woman, the daughter of an immigrant, someone who didn't really have to change her values or who she was be elected to the U.S. Congress," she said.