About 40 people attended the meeting, titled “The Federal Outlook: A Community Discussion with Representative Donna Edwards” took place at the Cabana, 14403 Greenview Drive.
Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Prince George), who sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure and the Science and Technology committees, was warmly welcomed with a bouquet of flowers.
The event was aimed at bringing together Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties elected officials and their Muslim constituency and discuss the issues that affect them, explained Prince George’s County Muslim Council President Jameel Aalim-Johnson.
“Our mission is to allow Muslims to become engaged in the political affairs of our county so that we may work to establish our way of life and to improve the quality of all residents, Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” said Aalim-Johnson.
Aalim-Johnson helped arrange this event with the hope that Muslims would “speak out and share their thoughts with [Rep. Edwards] so that she may go to congress with a better understanding of how her constituency feels.”
Rep. Edwards provided a general overview of her role in congress and the direction the United States government is heading in matters of local and foreign policy. She spoke of issues affecting transportation and immigration and urged the people to invest in such matters because “it will contribute to the overall economic growth of the country.”
She emphasized on working to create a more comprehensive immigration policy that “embraces the idea that we are a country made up of different types of people, and that we are not going to make distinctions, because we want to grow the next generation of 21st century Americans.”
Edwards believes an all-inclusive immigration policy is achievable, but congress needs “to hear the voices of the people in this room so that we do not create a more restrictive policy, which is why I appreciate you talking about being engaged politically,” she told the attendees.
After a brief 5-minute intermission for Maghrib prayer, the people proceeded to pose questions on local matters such as government’s role in funding for the Purple line to foreign issues like the United States drone policy, which Edwards explained no “debate or discussion took place in Congress before signing off on it.”
Overall, the discussion with Rep. Edwards was very successful said Anne Arundel’s County Muslim Council President Rudwan Abu-rumman.
Muslims need to be constantly involved in the political arena, said Abu-rumman. “We listened to and discussed issues that are important to the Muslims in the United States. We may not have liked all the answers but we should continue to have an open dialogue with our government,” he said.
“The government is trying,” concluded Rep. Edwards. “We cannot fix everything, but we try.”