Terri Sewell

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Terri Sewell

Terrycina Andrea "Terri" Sewell (born January 1, 1965) is the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 7th Congressional District. She is a member of the Democratic Party. She has served as the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 7th Congressional District since 2011.

The 7th Congressional District includes parts of the cities of Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, as well as the counties of Alabama’s Black Belt – the heart of which is Terri Sewell’s hometown of Selma.[1]


Terri Sewell is the daughter of retired Coach Andrew A. Sewell and retired librarian Nancy Gardner Sewell, the first black City Councilwoman in Selma, Alabama.[2]

Sewell was raised in Selma. Her maternal family offered its homestead to travelers on the 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery.

Terri Sewell served as Co-Chair of the Women’s Fund “Voices Against Violence” inaugural campaign, which promoted women helping women to overcome domestic violence. The campaign raised more than $70,000 in four months to fight domestic violence in Birmingham, providing funds to establish the first Domestic Violence Court in Birmingham Municipal Court. Sewell led the effort to have Teach for America select Alabama’s Black Belt region as a new site in 2010.

Sewell has served on numerous boards including: St. Vincent’s Foundation (elected Treasurer of the Board and Chair of its Finance Committee); Girl Scouts of Cahaba Council; the Alabama Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; the Community Advisory Board for the UAB Minority Health and Research Center; the Governing Board of the Alabama Council on Economic Education; and she is a member of the Corporate Partners Council for Birmingham Art Museum.

Sewell was listed in Alabama Super Lawyers for 2008 and 2009 and was honored with the 2007 Minority Business “Rising Star” award by the Birmingham Business Journal (BBJ). She was also selected by the BBJ as one of the “Top Birmingham Women” in 2005. She was a member of the class of 2006-2007 Leadership Birmingham, a member of the YWCA’s Women Leadership MOMENTUM class of 2007-2008. She is currently a member of the class of 2008-2009 Leadership Alabama.

Sewell is a lifetime member of Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma and currently worships at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham. She was also selected to participate on the panel, "From Lincoln to Obama," for the Congressional Black Caucus' Annual Legislative Forum to discuss Southern politics.

She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and The Links, Incorporated.


The first black valedictorian of Selma High School, Terri Sewell attended Princeton University, graduating cum laude in 1986. Terri was awarded a Marshall/Commonwealth Scholarship and received a Master's Degree with first class Honors from Oxford University in 1988.

A lifelong Democrat, during the summers while in college, Sewell worked on Capitol Hill for 7th Congressional District Congressman Richard Shelby, as well as for then Alabama Senator Howell Heflin. She served in various roles including Class Vice-President, Class Representative to the Student Union and spearheading the admission office’s effort to set up a Minority Student Recruitment office to recruit and encourage more minority students to attend the university.[3]

She is a 1992 graduate of Harvard Law School where she served as an editor of the Civil Rights Civil Liberties Law Review.[4]

Early connections

Terri Sewell of Alabama is one of only a handful of people who can say she knew Barack Obama and Michelle Obama before they knew even each other.

Her friendship with Kirsten Gillibrand goes back so far that Sewell calls New York’s junior senator by an old nickname: “Tina.” And nearly 30 years ago, Sewell recruited Susan Rice, the woman who would go on to become National Security Adviser, to join a gospel choir.

Sewell’s youthful encounters with future prominent leaders are notable, even for the standards of the Ivy League schools she attended. But the self-described “little girl from Selma” says a greater force was at work.

“As a Southerner steeped in the church, I do believe in divine intervention,” Sewell told CQ Roll Call.

Sewell grew up in the Deep South in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement. She came from a modest background in an economically poor region. Her mom was the librarian and her dad coached basketball and taught math at the local public high school, where Sewell was selected as the first black valedictorian in 1982.

She describes her freshman year at Princeton University as brutally tough, saying she felt as if she was “playing a fast game of catch-up” among students groomed at Andover and Phillips Exeter.

But she also points to that time as the pivotal moment in her trajectory.

“I got my ticket stamped by going to Princeton,” she said. “That was the ticket that sent me on my way.”

Sewell added, “If I didn’t make it, they would never, ever have another person from Selma into Princeton again.”

To guide students like Sewell through the transition, Princeton matched minority freshmen with upper classmen mentors.

Sewell assumed her “Big Sis” would be another black student she knew from Alabama. Instead, a different woman entered her mentor match meeting.

“In walks my Big Sister, and it’s Michelle Robinson,” Sewell said, laughing as she described her first encounter with the woman who would later become first lady of the United States. “That’s the first thing I thought, ‘Oh, she’s really tall.’ … I can remember it like it’s yesterday.”

Sewell described Robinson as one of the most popular and connected students on campus, thanks to the fact that her older brother, Craig Robinson, was a star basketball player. (He went on to coach college teams.)

After graduating from Princeton in 1986, Sewell earned a Marshall/Commonwealth Scholarship at Oxford University. While there, she struck up a friendship with Rice, then a Rhodes Scholar.

She, Rice, and a handful of black female Oxford students had a standing lunch every Friday at a local restaurant, The Nosebag.

The pair pursued their passions at Oxford. For Sewell, it was performing on stage; for Rice, it was basketball.

Sewell produced, directed and starred in a play titled “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

The play called for a cast of seven African American women. Sewell held auditions over a Monday and Tuesday, but only one person showed up. With her play falling apart, she went to her regular lunch with the Nosebag crew.

“Friday comes and, I walk in, and I’m like, ‘Oh hell, here is the rest of my play,’” she said.

Rice told CQ Roll Call in an interview she still remembers being recruited for the gig, “along with several others of us that she forced into service.”

“It was my first and only acting experience,” Rice said. “It was a heck of a lot of fun.”

Another Rhodes Scholar named Ben Sherwood also chipped in to help with the production. These days he is the co-president of the Disney/ABC Television Group.

Sewell also talked Rice into what she now describes as “probably, the first-ever and maybe the last gospel choir at Oxford.”

After Oxford, Sewell followed Robinson on to Harvard Law School. By the time Sewell arrived in Cambridge, her former Big Sis already had graduated and returned to Chicago.

A photo hangs in Sewell’s congressional office of the black students in her law class. It includes a litany of future administration officials, judges and former “CSI: New York” star Hill Harper. Then there’s the guy who would one day become the nation’s first black president.

The congresswoman sheepishly concedes that the 20-something Barack Obama wasn’t the person from that group she would have imagined would go on to lead the free world. He was the second-most likely.

“If I could say what makes the difference between the person I thought could have been the first black president in this picture, and the one who is, the difference is Michelle Obama,” Sewell said.

She describes Robinson as “truly a people person,” while Obama is “much more of an introvert than people assume he is, because he’s a politician,” adding, “They balance each other.”

Little did Sewell know that her two friends would begin dating, and when she found out they were getting married, “I couldn’t believe it … it was so fortuitous. … Two worlds colliding.”

Sewell began work in 1994 in New York City at Davis Polk & Wardwell, one of the most elite law firms in the country.

She met Tina Rutnik, a young litigator who was enthusiastic about squash, tennis and Hillary Clinton. Sewell describes the woman as having “a lot of balls.” They formed a fast friendship and Sewell joined her new pal as she hosted a young women lawyers event for Clinton at the Russian Tea Room. It was Sewell’s first political contribution.

But both women eventually made their way back to their homes in Alabama and Upstate New York and lost touch. But one fall day, Sewell’s secretary announced a call: “There’s a Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand on the line.”

They chatted, with Sewell confused about why the woman on the other line was talking her up as a possible female congressional recruit while on speakerphone with other female members in the room.

Then Gillibrand took the call off speakerphone and asked, “Terri, you don’t know who this is, do you?”

“Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand … ” Sewell responded.

The rest of the exchange went something like this.

“Terri! It’s Tina!”

“Tina Rutnik? You’re in Congress? Your name is Kirsten? Who is Gillibrand?!”

Sewell shouts for emphasis as she retells the moment from six years ago.

Both Gillibrand and Rice personally donated to Sewell’s campaign, but Rice, then serving as ambassador to the United Nations, was limited because of her role in the executive branch.

As for Gillibrand, the pair often team up for legislation. “We have a certain innate trust for each other,” Gillibrand said. “We know where we both came from. I have a certain level of confidence in her that she knows what she’s talking about.”[5]


After graduation, Terri Sewell served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Chief Judge U.W. Clemon, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, in Birmingham. She began her legal career at the prestigious law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City, where she was a successful securities lawyer for more than a decade. Upon returning home to Alabama in 2004, she "has made a significant impact both professionally and through her community activities."

Prior to her election to Congress, Sewell was a partner in the Birmingham law office of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. where she distinguished herself as one of the only black public finance lawyers in the State of Alabama. Her clients included, among others, City of Selma, Dallas County Water Authority, Alabama State University, Stillman College, Jefferson State and Wallace State-Hanceville.


In 2012, Congresswoman Sewell sat on the House Committee on Agriculture as well as the House Committee on Science, Space & Technology. She is also served as the Democratic Freshman Class President and as both a Regional and Senior Whip. [6]

In 2014, Sewell sits on the House Committee on Financial Services, serving on the subcommittees of Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises and Domestic and International Monetary Policy and Trade. She is also sitting on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, while serving on the subcommittee of Technical and Tactical Intelligence (T&T).[7] She is a also a member in good standing with the Congressional Black Caucus and the New Democrat Coalition. Congresswoman Sewell was selected by Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer to serve as one of his Chief Deputy Whips for the Democratic Party in the 113th Congress.

New Member of the Progressive Caucus After 2010 Elections?

According to David Dayden writing on the leftist blog FireDogLake: "What about the ones who won? Democrats picked up three seats from Republicans, making good on some prior anomalies and realigning correctly. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), Cedric Richmond (LA-02) and John Carney (DE-AL) all won. Of those, I would say Hanabusa and Richmond will join the Progressive Caucus. In AL-07, Terri Sewell replaced Artur Davis. She’s a lot more progressive than he ever was, and she will likely join the caucus. David Cicilline (RI-01), the replacement for Patrick Kennedy and another openly gay member of Congress, is likely to join (Patrick Kennedy never did). The race that a progressive lost in a primary, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI-13), was over ethical issues, and she’ll be replaced by Hansen Clarke, likely to join the caucus.[8]


Since taking office, Sewell has voted with her party 91% of the time and she is an avid supporter of President Obama's policies.[9] Sewell has established herself as a loyal Democrat and Progressive with a focus on job creation. Her viewpoint is redistributionist in nature.


Sewell supported President Obama's plan to extend tax cuts for low and middle-income Americans, but would not take a stance on taxation for high-income Americans. In response to Obama's Framework for Business Tax Reform, Sewell said: "I applaud the President for outlining a bold framework for reforming the U.S. business tax system."

Terri Sewell has also criticized Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's tax returns and effective tax rates, saying "… It should be about shared responsibility. I think that something is fundamentally wrong if a person of his great wealth is only paying 13.9 percent effective tax rate and most of Americans are paying 28, 30 percent and they make far less.”[10]

Foreign Policy

Sewell supported Obama's decisions regarding Afghanistan, citing "trust" for his policies. She also was part of a bi-partisan delegation to accompany Nancy Pelosi on a 2-day trip to Afghanistan in May 2012. While there, they spent time "with American service-members and meeting local officials to discuss security and women’s issues."[11]

Congressional Black Caucus

Terri Sewell is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus for the 113th Congress.[12]

ARA endorsement

Alliance for Retired Americans endorsed Terri Sewell in 2012.[13]

Medicaid expansion

On December 10 2013, Alabama's 7th District Congresswoman Terri Sewell released a press release "Statement from Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Urging the State of Alabama to Expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act".

We are delighted that she has joined with Progressive Democrats of America, Greater Birmingham Ministries, and the Birmingham Metro Chapter of the NAACP to urge Governor Bentley to accept federal Medicaid funds and has herewith shown her convictions on this issue.[14]

PDA contact

In 2013 Progressive Democrats of America assigned activists to deliver their material to almost every US Congressman and Senator, Tracey Cavadal and later Daniel Turner of the Tuscaloosa Democratic Socialists of America Organizing Committee, was assigned as the contact for Rep. Sewell.[15][16]

Nelson Mandela's funeral

In December 2013, the following Democratic legislators traveled to South Africa to attended Nelson Mandela's funeral Democrats Dels. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) and Donna Christensen (V.I.); and Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge, John Conyers (Mich.), Charles Rangel (N.Y.), John Lewis, Jim McDermott (Wash.), Maxine Waters (Calif.), Bobby Scott (Va.), Mel Watt (N.C.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Tex.), Elijah Cummings (Md.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Barbara Lee (Calif.), G.K. Butterfield (N.C.), Gene Green (Tex.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Yvette Clarke (N.Y.), Karen Bass (Calif.), Joyce Beatty (Ohio) and Terri Sewell (Ala.).[17]

2016 Congressional Cuba invitation


Havana, December 20 2016 a visiting delegation from the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus met in Havana with members of the Cuban Parliament's Foreign relations Commission.

The delegation, made up of four U.S. congresspeople, is being headed by U.S. Representative Barbara Lee, a Democrat from California.

The U.S. visitors were also received by the Director for the United States at the Cuban Foreign Ministry Josefina Vidal.[18]

The trip was sponsored and paid for by the Washington Office on Latin America.

Invitees were reps Barbara Lee, Gwen Moore, Terri Sewell, G.K. Butterfield, Stacey Plaskett and Hank Johnson.

Hank Johnson and Barbara Lee definitely attended.

2015 Cuba visit

Nov 10, 2015 Press Release Congresswoman Terri Sewell is joining U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on a Congressional delegation to Cuba to discuss opportunities to expand agricultural trade.

"Access to foreign markets and fair trade policies that benefit American workers are necessary components that will help Alabama exporters to continue to thrive and spur new job creation. President Obama took historic steps to chart a new course for U.S.-Cuba relations when he restored diplomatic relations between our two countries. This will undoubtedly serve as a catalyst for increased trade and investment opportunities in Cuba for Alabama businesses, especially those in our agriculture sector."

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Representative Suzan DelBene of Washington, and Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon are participating in the Cuba trip. The Congressional delegation is leaving Washington, D.C. on Wednesday and will return on Saturday.[19]

South Korea, China, Japan Trip

Four members of Congress traveled to South Korea, Japan and China in September of 2013, during a summer recess, Congressional sources have reported.

They were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY), Terri Sewell (D-AL) and Dan Benishek, a Republican from Michigan.

"All of them are symbolic figures in the 113th Congress in terms of representing minority groups," a source said. "Also, they have a good understanding on Korea."

Gillibrand is said to have the potential to become a political star like Hillary Clinton, one of her close associates.

Hirono, a Buddhist born in Japan, is the first Asian-American woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

Meng, a Chinese-American, is the first Asian-American from New York to be elected to Congress.

Sewell is the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama.

Another source said some of them might have met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, the country's first female president, during their visit.[20]

Ties to the Alabama Left

Campaigning for Hillary

Terri Sewell Nov 5, 2016

US House candidate, AL-7


In Pensacola FL campaigning for Hillary!! So is AL State Senator Hank and Rose Sanders! #SelmaforHillary

Alabama New South Coalition endorsed Terri Sewell

The Alabama New South Coalition endorsed Terri Sewell in the 7th Congressional District Democratic runoff, state Sen. Hank Sanders said June 22, 2010.

Sewell was the favorite by more than 2-to-1 in a Monday night meeting in Tuscaloosa of the New South delegates from around the congressional district, said Sanders.

Sewell, a Birmingham attorney with family roots in Selma, is in the July 13 runoff for the Democratic nomination with Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot. Smoot has been endorsed by the state's other black political organization, the Alabama Democratic Conference.

New South had endorsed state Rep. Earl Hilliard, Jr. of Birmingham in the primary, but he finished third.[21]

2014 endorsement


Dallas County Democratic Party June 2, 2014;

In 2014 Alabama New South Coalition endorsed Parker Griffith for Governor and Rep. Terri Sewell in the 7th Congressional District race.

Bingo bust

In 2014, a group called the Greene County Committee for Civil Rights is hoping their voices will be heard over the recent electronic bingo raids in Eutaw and Knoxville.

"We want attention to the crisis that is going on," Carol Zippert, a committee member said.

The group feels the state violated their voting rights by shutting down the bingo halls they voted for and passed in 2003. Attorney General Luther Strange says illegal gaming was taking place.

"That had gone too far. Our voting rights mean too much to us for folks to just say well yeah you voted for it but it doesn't mean a thing," Zippert said.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell's office requested the U.S. Attorney General's office look into possible voting rights violations. We're told over the past few weeks a representative from Attorney General Eric Holder's office spent time investigating in Greene County.

"I think its really important that the voters of Greene County who voted to have electronic bingo have their voices heard," Sewell said. "And this has been very disturbing to me that we've had repeated raids in Greene County."

The civil rights committee is calling on everyone to stand up for whats's right.

"If they have issue with us then let's go to the court of law. That's part of our democracy in this country. That's all we're asking for," Zippert said.[22]

Federation of Southern Cooperatives


Eleanor Holmes Norton and Terri Sewell with Federation of Southern Cooperatives October 2014.

Alabama Federation of Southern Cooperatives


Terri Sewell with the Alabama Federation of Southern Cooperatives 2014.

Funding Alabama State Association of Cooperatives

Washington DC October 1, 2014, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-AL) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding $200,000 in grant funding to the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives. The funding will be used to expand support to cooperatives in the Black Belt and is part of the Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant (SSDPG) program.

“I am pleased that the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives will receive this funding to continue its initiatives to create new opportunities for disadvantaged farmers in Alabama’s Black Belt Region,” said Rep. Sewell. “The funding will also allow the association to provide continuous support to the farming industry by serving as a means of sustainability and survival for many communities in the Black Belt.

John Zippert of the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives expressed his appreciation for the funding and highlighted the economic impact of assisting socially disadvantaged producers.

“We will work to improve marketing and business practices for participants so we can raise the income of these producers,” Zippert said. “We welcome the producers in the 7th Congressional District to contact us for assistance because the goal is to help as many people as possible.”[23]

Ride to Revive Section 5

A group of sixty community activists from Alabama went to Washington, D. C. in six vans from Sunday to Tuesday (June 24-27, 2017) to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), HR 2948, introduced last week by Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

The bill was introduced on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Shelby vs, Holder decision, which gutted Sections 4 and 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore and advance Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act to include 14 states and other political subdivisions. These areas would again be placed under the protection of Section 5 and be required to have any election changes pre-cleared by the Department of Justice before they could be implanted.

The VRAA updates the criteria and establishes a nationwide coverage formula for states and political subdivisions that would be subject again to the pre-clearance provisions of Section 5. Any state that has had 15 or more voting violations in the last 25-year period; or 10 or more voting violations, at least one of the violations committed by the state itself, would be covered. A political subdivision within a state can be covered if it commits 3 or more voting violations.

The bill also carefully defines what constitutes a voting rights violation and which election changes must be submitted for pre-clearance. Congresswoman Terri Sewell said, “The VRAA is an advancement bill, it advances voting rights throughout the country. Under this bill, all eleven states that were part of the Confederacy, including Alabama, as well as other political subdivisions around the nation and on tribal lands would be covered and subject to the pre-clearance provisions.”

The VRAA would classify voting changes such as strict voter photo identification requirements, and voter registration requirements to be reviewed and possibly overturned if they were deemed to be more stringent than the requirements in Section 303b of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002.The VRAA, HR 2948, has 182 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. They are all Democrats. And the companion legislation S.1490 in the Senate has 46 co-sponsors, also all Democrats, so far.

The grassroots voting activists visited more than 75 Congressional offices, including the membership of the House Judiciary Committee, . The grassroots activists left a package of information including factsheets on the legislation, a Senate Sketches by State Senator Hank Sanders of Selma, which deals with the “power of one vote”, and materials about the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, the first weekend in March each year.

On Tuesday morning, the Alabama group joined by other activists in Washington from the Rural Coalition, Food and Water Watch, National Family Farm Coalition and other groups had a rally and press conference on the Capitol grounds facing the Cannon House Office Building on Independence Avenue and First Street NE.

The rally had many chants supporting the revival of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act along with civil rights freedom songs. Several Congresspersons, including Terri Sewell, G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina, Marc Veasey of Dallas, Texas and Katherine Clark of Massachusetts addressed the rally. Congressman John Lewis drove by the rally on Independence Avenue and saluted the crowd. On Monday night, the group had a meeting at Howard University Law School, which was addressed by several civil rights veterans, including former D. C. Congressman Walter Fauntroy, Viola Bradford, who wrote for the Southern Courier newspaper in Montgomery, Antonio Harrison, a former Alabama State Senator, who lives and works in D. C. Professor Ardua of the Law School spoke on the need for reparations to address the continuing impact of slavery on Black people.

The Ride to Revive Section 5 was sponsored by the SOS Coalition for Justice and Democracy, Alabama New South Coalition and other local groups in Alabama.[24]

Backing Kallon

President Barack Obama announced on February 11 2016 that he was nominating Birmingham-based U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

We made our feelings about that nomination clear in a post titled "Obama nominates Alabama federal judge Abdul Kallon to open seat on U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, proving incompetence still has its rewards."

Since the nomination Obama and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) have misused high-minded rhetoric in an effort to convince the public that nominating Kallon is a wise decision. The public should not fall for it.

Obama said "Judge Kallon has a long and impressive record of service and a history of handing down fair and judicious decisions.” With all due respect to the president, for whom I have voted twice, that is bulls--t.

Rep. Sewell said: "What an awesome nomination! So excited [that] President Obama nominated Judge Kallon for the US Court Of Appeals. Judge Kallon has the integrity, keen legal acumen, and judicial temperament to make him a highly qualified appellate jurist!”

Sewell also said, "This historic nomination could appoint the first African American from Alabama to this appellate bench." [25]

New Democrat Coalition, 113th Congress

In the 113th Congress, 50 members of the House of Representatives belonged to the New Democrat Coalition, including:[26]

  • Terri Sewell (AL-07)

CAIR delegation


Birmingham, AL, 5/4/2017 - CAIR-Alabama, the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), led a delegation of five Alabamian Muslims to meet with Congress members and staff on issues important to American Muslims and other minority communities. The delegation joined over 400 delegates from 30 states who met with some 230 elected officials and congressional staff on Monday and Tuesday, during the record-breaking third annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The largest congressional Muslim advocacy event in the country, Muslim Hill Day was sponsored by the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations of which CAIR is a founding member.

Alabama’s delegation met with Representatives Terri Sewell and Gary Palmer, and with congressional staff from the offices of Senators Richard Shelby and Luther Strange and Representatives Bradley Byrne and Martha Roby. “In this divisive political climate where reaching an agreement on policy appears to be far fetched, Muslim Hill Day was more important than ever. Each person in our delegation had compelling personal stories to tell. We had constructive dialogue that achieved the real goal of having our voices heard. We hope our lawmakers felt better educated about serious issues facing our communities and policies that can assist in bettering the lives of all Alabamians," said CAIR-Alabama Executive Director Khaula Hadeed.

The delegates outlined the domestic priorities of the American Muslim community, advocating for an endorsement of all legislation pushing back against federal policies and programs wrongfully targeting Muslims. They also advocated for legislation supporting DREAMers and protecting the rights of immigrant and minority communities by ending racial and religious profiling. Specifically, delegates promoted a legislative agenda that includes support for:

• The SOLVE Act 2.0 (H.R. 724) – Declares that the Muslim Ban 2.0 is “null and void, shall have no force and effect, and may not be implemented or enforced” and prohibits federal funding of the executive order.

• Freedom of Religion Act of 2017 (H.R. 852) – Amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide that non-American citizens may not be denied admission or entry to the U.S., or other immigration benefits, because of their religion, and for other purposes.

• No Religious Registry Act of 2017 (H.R. 489) – Ensures that individuals of all faiths are protected from the establishment of a national religious registry and prohibits surveilling certain U.S. persons and other individuals based on religious affiliation.

• S.248 – Blocks all federal funding for the Trump Administration’s first “Muslim Ban” executive order.

• Access to Counsel Act (S. 349) – Guarantees legal counsel to those detained on entry to the U.S., and clarifies the rights of all persons who are held or detained at a port of entry or at any detention facility overseen by CBP or ICE.

• Protect American Families Act (S. 54) – Would prohibit the creation of an immigration-related registry program that classifies people based on religion, race, age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, nationality, or citizenship.

• The Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream and Grow our Economy Act (H.R. 496/S.128) – The BRIDGE Act would protect undocumented young people brought to the U.S. as children, commonly referred to as DREAMers, should the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program be discontinued under the Trump Administration.

• The No State Resources for Immigration Enforcement (NSRIE) Act (H.R.1446) – Would amend section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Secure Communities Program, to prohibit state and local law enforcement officers and employees from performing the functions of an immigration officer in relation to “the investigation, apprehension, or detention” of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

• The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017 (S. 411), and its companion bill introduced in the House, the End Racial Profiling Act (H.R. 1498) – These companion bills would effectively eliminate racial, religious, and other forms of discriminatory profiling by law enforcement.

Delegation members were David Gespass, CAIR-Alabama board chair Khaula Hadeed, CAIR-Alabama executive director Mohammad Haq, Anniston Islamic Center Imam Ali Massoud, Ream Shoreibah, CAIR-Alabama communications director.[27][28]


“By embracing its vision and mission, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has helped to strengthen American society and promote our nation’s highest ideals.”

Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) (October 2017)

Backing Doug Jones

Doug Jones, Terri Sewell, Cory Booker

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell joined Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones December 10, 2017 at an historic Selma church as part of a home-stretch push for Tuesday's election.

The Jones campaign made another stop in Montgomery, where U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, spoke to a crowd of more than 100 people at Alabama State University.

Booker, appearing with Jones and Sewell, talked about the plight of Alabama's poorest counties and quoted Martin Luther King, Jr.

"When it comes to the long hard march toward justice, nothing is given," Booker said. "King used to say that change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability. It has to be carried in on the backs of good folk. The opposite of justice is not injustice, it is indifference, it is inaction."

In Selma, Jones, Patrick, Sewell and Selma Mayor Darrio Melton appeared outside the Brown Chapel AME Church, where civil rights marchers gathered in 1965 to begin the trek across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, was scheduled to appear with Jones that afternoon at Alabama State University.[29]

“From Birmingham to Broward; Black Women Rise Up!”

On Sunday, February 25th 2018, New Florida Majority climate justice organizer Nancy Metayer joined a Black History Month panel discussion hosted by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Cultural Community Center in Hallandale Beach. The BHM event, “From Birmingham to Broward; Black Women Rise Up!” centered the stories of black women community leaders and the role that Black women have played and continue to play in shaping our political landscape.

Nancy spoke about the way that climate issues impact communities of color. “Climate issues impact every part of our lives from the water we drink to the air that we breathe. It’s important to connect climate issues to everyday life because it will not only impact our generation but also generations to come,” said Metayer.

Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz opened the event by honoring the Black women in the room including: Dania Beach Mayor Tamara James, the first African-American woman Mayor of Dania Beach – Bobbie Grace, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle P. Rogers and members of the all African-American woman commission of Lauderdale Lakes.

The discussion kicked off with a Q&A session with Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell.

Sewell also voiced the need for people in positions of power to use their influence to break down barriers for others. “It’s not enough to be the first this and the first that, it’s about breaking down the doors so that others can come in behind me.”

The event ended with a short panel discussion led by Rep. Wasserman Schultz where Nancy joined Dania Beach Mayor Tamara James, Lauderdale Lakes Mayor Hazelle P. Rogers and Rep. Terri Sewell in a conversation about issues that impact Black communities. For Nancy, the opportunity to join these trailblazers on a panel was an honor that she’ll never forget. “It was beautiful to see unapologetically black women on stage in the powerful roles that they play. Young girls will look at them and say: I can do that too.”[30]


As of August 2017;

Washington, D.C. Office

Birmingham, Alabama

Montgomery, Alabama

Selma, Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama


  1. Official Congressional Bio, accessed September 6, 2011
  2. Official Congressional Bio, accessed September 6, 2011
  3. Sewell ’86 launches historic campaign for Congress The Daily Princetonian, Apr. 8, 2009
  4. official congressional bio, accessed September 6, 2011
  5. Roll Call, Six Degrees of Terri Sewell By Abby Livingston Posted at 5 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2014
  6. official congressional bio, accessed September 6, 2011
  7. Committees and Caucuses Congresswoman Terri Sewell, accessed Feb. 11, 2014
  8. FDL, Progressive Caucus Will Gain Members After Elections By: David Dayen Wednesday November 3, 2010
  9. Terri A. Sewell (D-Ala.) The Washington Post, January, 2011
  10. Rep. Sewell (D-AL) criticizes Romney tax rate; Rep. West (R-FL) says we need reform CNN, Jan. 24, 2012
  11. Pelosi leads delegation on Afghanistan visit The Hill, May 13, 2012
  12. Congressional Black Caucus: Members (accessed on Feb. 24, 2011)
  13. ARA endorsements 2012
  14. Rep. Terri's Sewell's Press Release on Medicaid/Gov Bentley Tuesday, 10 December 2013
  15. PDA May 2013 Educate Congress Digest Letter drops (191 in total – 105 in April )
  16. PDA June 2013 Educate Congress Digest
  17. The WaPo, Nelson Mandela memorial: Who’s in attendance, By Terri Rupar December 10, 2013
  18. [1]
  19. [2]
  20. Global Post, Four U.S. female lawmakers to visit S. Korea, August 21, 2013
  21. New South Coalition endorses Terri Sewell in 7th District runoff Updated Jun 22, 2010; Posted Jun 22, 2010, By Mary Orndorff Troyan -- Washington Bureau
  22. [http://www.wbtv.com/story/25314944/rep-terri-sewell-asks-us-attorney-general-to-investigate-greene-co-bingo-raids, Rep. Terri Sewell asks U.S. Attorney General to investigate Greene Co. bingo raids By Joshua Gauntt, Reporter]
  23. Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Announces Small Socially Disadvantaged Producer Grant Awarded to the Alabama State Association of Cooperatives Oct 1, 2014
  24. [https://greenecodemocrat.com/tag/alabama-new-south-coalition/Greene County Democrat ‘Ride to Restore Section 5’ grassroots lobbyists push Voting Rights Advancement Act in Washington, D. C. Posted on June 28, 2017 by greenecodemocratcom Special to the Democrat by: John Zippert,]
  25. [3]
  26. NDC Member List
  27. [4]
  28. CAIR: Alabama Muslims Lobby Congress on Record Breaking Muslim Advocacy DayLast Updated: May 05, 2017
  29. [5]
  30. Birmingham to Broward; Black Women Rise Up! BY RENEE MOWATT
  31. [ https://sewell.house.gov/meet-terri/meet-my-staff]