Ruwa Romman may be somewhat new to politics, but she understands Georgia voters’ frustrations all too well. The public policy expert and organizer, 29, has spent years thinking about the Peach State’s problems, and now she’s hoping to take her expertise to the state capital as a member of the Georgia House Of Representatives.
State legislatures are more influential now than ever, often proving to be a testing ground for the Republican party’s new, far-right policies. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Georgia, where congressmen have approved draconian voting restrictions and near-total bans on abortion.
“Think about all those laws that made you really, really angry,” Ruwa said to HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE interview ahead of the Nov. 2022 midterm elections. “All of that started in a state legislature somewhere.”
Ready to tackle the issues directly, Ruwa is now running to be the representative of Georgia’s 97th House District, which is located in western Gwinnett County, northeast of Atlanta. If elected, the Democratic newcomer will be the first Muslim woman elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. (Gwinnett went for President Biden by 18 points in 2020, according to Politico, making Ruwa’s win more than likely.)
Like most of the country, Gwinnett is dealing with a range of problems. “Anything and everything you’ve heard of, we’ve seen it in our district,” Ruwa told HL, calling her community a “perfect” reflection of the nation’s diversity.
“[We’re] a perfect microcosm of what we’re seeing around the country,” she explained. “It’s racially diverse, socio-economically diverse. We will knock on doors at homes with values in the seven figures, and then on apartments where the stairs are literally falling apart. But they face a lot of the same issues.”
Detail-driven and kind, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Georgia public policy, the self-professed Taylor Swift die-hard poured over campaign details with HL, talking everything from education boards, to property taxes, to legalizing cannabis. The Georgetown grad also explained how her faith factored into her stance on abortion.
Like Judaism, Islam does not believe that life begins at conception. Prioritizing the health and well-being of the woman, Ruwa compared pro-life beliefs to “cutting down the tree to save a branch.”
She remembers being hurt when fellow Democrats began comparing the U.S. to an “American caliphate” after the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson decision in May 2022. She told HL, “I couldn’t believe I was dealing with all of that Islamophobia while simultaneously having to fight as a woman for my reproductive rights.”
But of course, the bigotry comes from both sides, especially as she faces off with a real MAGA Republican ahead of Nov. 8, 2022. Her opponent John Chan is a businessman who boasts zero political experience and has been two-faced about his political affiliations, calling himself a “moderate” in public while selling shirts that say “MAGA America first Republican” through his website.” Ruwa was clear: “He’s just too extreme for my district, period.”
Ruwa comes with a stellar resume and an impressive roster of endorsements, including support from Her Bold Move, Run For Something, Human Rights Campaign, Emily’s List, Stacey Abrams’ Fair Fight, and the Progressive Turnout Project.
For more information about Ruwa Romman and her race for Georgia’s 97th House District, you can visit her website, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. You can find information about voter registration at Vote.gov. And don’t forget to visit your polling place or send in your ballot by Nov. 8, 2022.