Amani Al-Khatahtbe, Founder Of Muslim Girl, Announces She’s Running For Congress

Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty/Teen Vogue.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could be getting some much-needed help in Congress. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, founder of MuslimGirl.com, announced today that she is running for office. The 27-year-old is seeking to represent New Jersey's 6th Congressional District and will be challenging Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone, a 16-term incumbent and chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Al-Khatahtbeh is the first Muslim woman to run for federal office in the state of New Jersey, and is also, so far, the youngest woman to run for Congress. She is a first-generation American and the daughter of an immigrant and a refugee. 
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"This moment is a stark reminder that we can no longer wait for incremental change. Our leadership can and must put the health and well-being of working families and the most vulnerable among us front and center," Al-Khatahtbeh said in a press release. "I'm proud to represent a coalition of underrepresented communities in what's nothing less than a historic fight for our lives."
Due to New Jersey's statewide shelter-in-place order, Al-Khatahtbeh, a native New Jerseyan and graduate of Rutgers University's school of political science, will be running her campaign entirely digitally. According to the press release, the media mogul is launching a "Campaign Quaran-Tour" that includes a livestream schedule "with issue-based local and national organizations to facilitate conversations to reach as many people as possible." Some of the platforms that Al-Khatahtbeh is supporting include the Green New Deal, Medicare For All, student debt forgiveness, and more.
The New Jersey primary will be taking place on June 2, though the election is now being considered for vote-by-mail only in response to the coronavirus. 
While Al-Khatahtbeh's campaign run is historic, she's also seeking to represent New Jersey during a critical time. Her state now has the second-highest number of coronavirus cases in the U.S., following New York. As of today, New Jersey reports 29,895 cases of the coronavirus and 647 deaths
"In the past 24 hours, my home state of New Jersey recorded its highest single-day increase in #covid-19 cases and deaths since the outbreak started," Al-Khatahtbeh wrote on Instagram. "This is no joke — sh*t hasn't even hit the fan yet and our medical system has already been inundated for weeks. We've BEEN ahead of Italy in cases and their whole country went on lockdown long before they could reach where we're at now. Step-up where our government FAILS to do so and #stayhome."
Al-Khatahtbeh became a public figure when she was 17 years old and a high school senior after launching MuslimGirl.com as a way to engage with young Muslim women. In 2017, her site also proclaimed March 27 as Muslim Women's Day to celebrate Muslim women and amplify their voices.

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