Out in the World: Lesbian from Niger finds her voice in US political campaigns

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03/23/2023

Aicha Tahirou, a lesbian who was born and raised in Niger, came to the United States for a better life. What she discovered is her political voice. In the middle of the COVID pandemic, Tahirou found herself unemployed as a hotel housekeeper in Philadelphia and her unemployment check was delayed. She called her union, UNITE HERE Local 274, for help. The union was searching for campaigners to get out the vote for the Democrats for the 2020 presidential election. She jumped at the opportunity. After a bruising campaign, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won the election and the Democrats were back in the White House, having defeated Republican former President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. UNITE HERE is the hospitality industry’s labor union. The union represents more than 4,000 hospitality industry workers in its Philadelphia chapter. Nationwide, the union has about 300,000 active members. “Oh, my God, we did something. We did a really powerful thing,” Tahirou, 27, said of that presidential election.

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