Wednesday, 15 January, 2020

First Iranian-American Muslim elected to Democratic National Committee

Yasmine Taeb has became the first Iranian-American Muslim to be elected to serve on the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The election took place at the Democratic Party of Virginia convention on June 18 in Richmond, where more than 1,700 delegates voted.

“Yesterday, I was incredibly honored and proud to be elected as the first Iranian and Muslim-American from Virginia to serve on the Democratic National Committee!”, Taeb said in a Facebook post on June 20.

“I can’t begin to express how humbled and thankful I am for the support I received not only from my Sanders family but my dear friends in the Hillary caucus. We did this together — I’m amazed that our campaign garnered more votes (1,070!) than any other candidate, including the incumbents.” She continued.

As an experienced human rights and civil liberties lobbyist, Taeb currently works at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), a Quaker lobby in the public interest.

She has also worked for the Center for American Progress, Arab American Institute and serves as a Commissioner on the Arlington County Human Rights Commission.

“I’m excited to be able to work the next four years on behalf of Virginians on the Democratic National Committee and prepared to take our message and fight for progressive policies to the DNC!” Taeb wrote in Facebook.

Yasmine Taeb being interviewed on Virginia television

According to Taeb, “The DNC is a vital institution that deeply affects the future of the country and the lives of all Americans. The more diverse and inclusive the DNC is, the more the Democratic Party will be representative of all communities.”

Strengthening the voice of the Iranian-American community is particularly important to Taeb. “I want Iranian-Americans to have a voice politically and to be a key constituency group, and having a presence in the DNC is critical to that cause.” she said.

Enhancing Iranian Americans’ presence in politics would help address issues like the recent changes to the Visa Waiver Program, which Taeb says have greatly disturbed her.

“It is outrageous that the U.S. government now requires visas from citizens of the countries the U.S. had a visa-free travel with who are dual nationals of Iran or who have traveled to Iran,” she said. “This is explicitly discriminatory and I personally have done significant work in my capacity as a lobbyist for FCNL to repeal this law.”

For much of her professional life, Taeb has worked on civil and human rights issues. Taeb believes that equality is critical to advancing prosperity. “I think everyone deserves a shot at becoming the best version of themselves they can be, and for that we need a more just and egalitarian society,” she said.

Taeb has championed immigrant rights and has actively worked to include communities of color in the political process.

“As a country, we should strive to set an example in the international community and welcome immigrants and displaced people … It’s what America was founded on and what helped make this country what it is,” Taeb said.

“My own background as an immigrant who for years was undocumented is what ingrained an interest in me on these issues. I strive to be a voice for the people whose shoes I was once in and for marginalized people in general whose voices are often ignored by those in power,” she added. contributed to this report




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