A political action group called Urban Empowerment Action announced this week it will spend approximately $1 million in the coming weeks in an effort to unseat controversial Michigan congresswoman Rashia Tlaib.
Tlaib was elected in 2018 and has made headlines as part of “The Squad,” a group of outspoken junior congresswomen also including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Ilhan Omar. The group was frequently targeted by former president Donald Trump during his time in office due to their progressive ideologies and their vocal opposition to Trump’s agenda.
Urban Empowerment Action, endorsed by Democratic television pundit and former South Carolina state representative Bakari Sellers, says it will help fund the effort to get Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey elected to Tlaib’s seat in congress because Winfrey’s platform better aligns with the PAC’s mission.
The group’s official mission, as stated in a release to Politico, is “dedicated to the educational empowerment and economic uplift of Black communities.” Sellers explains the PAC’s support of Winfrey to Politico’s Brakkton Booker simply as a matter of policy and publicity.
“I don’t have a beef with her directly. I just think that there are individuals who will have the interest of their district, first and foremost, and not their brand. And will do things in the interest of uplift of that community,” Seller said. “It’s not as much of a knock on her as it is that somebody else can do the job better because they’re focused on these particular issues.”
Sellers also pointed out that Tlaib’s voting record does not align with the mission of UEA. “Congresswoman Tlaib voted against the infrastructure bill. Coming from South Carolina, I can tell you that I understand in our communities, that the return on that investment is so high,” he said. “And we want someone, particularly in these Black communities, that does not get distracted by shiny things or media opportunities, but is focused on the uplift of our communities and does right by them.”
Winfrey has a small campaign fund compared to Tlaib, who has raised millions. The Michigan primary is scheduled for August 8.
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