Ruwa Romman, a Georgia Democrat, has become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian American to be elected to the Georgia House. Born in Jordan, Romman moved to Georgia with her family at the age of seven. She is the granddaughter of Palestinian refugees and describes herself as a "Southern Arab". Her childhood in Georgia was a mix of lovely and dark moments, with some peers calling her a "terrorist" and one teacher asking if her family had ties to Hamas. In recent years, Romman has seen progress, such as her younger hijab-wearing sister having other hijab-wearing friends in school. A graduate of Georgetown University, the democrat has a master's degree in public policy. She worked as a field organizer for the Georgia Muslim Voter Project before her election to the Georgia House. She says her biggest priority as a freshman in the minority party is to learn and to stop really bad bills as much as possible and then help make bills better. Her hopes for Georgia's future are for it to become the number one place to live and for infrastructure to be in place for progressive presidential candidates to rise through the ranks.
Romman's election to the Georgia House is significant in light of her being the first Muslim woman and Palestinian American to hold this office in the state. Her achievement is celebrated by Sister District, an organization working to build progressive power in state legislatures. Sister District's Historic Firsts series focuses on uplifting inspiring, historic firsts among recently elected state lawmakers, with a focus on women, people of color, young folks, and folks from nontraditional backgrounds.
Her priorities as a lawmaker are to “learn, stop really bad bills, and help make bills better.” Moreover, Romman’s unique ability to read a piece of legislation and think about its implementation, and her reputation as the "unintended-consequences queen," has quickly made her a valuable asset to the Georgia House. Her hopes for Georgia's future are for it to become the number one place to live and for infrastructure to be in place for progressive presidential candidates to rise through the ranks.
Romman's advice to young people who are disheartened by the state of electoral politics is to start at the state level. She emphasizes the importance of infrastructure and the state level in creating change holistically. Romman's election is an inspiration to other young women of color and a testament to the growing diversity of elected officials in the United States.