Michigan Lawmaker Noah Arbit Champions Enhanced Hate Crime Protections

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Michigan Lawmaker Hate Crime Protections

Early Life and Motivation for Public Service

Michigan State Representative Noah Arbit, the youngest LGBTQ+ individual ever elected to the Michigan Legislature at age 27, has been a driving force in politics from a young age. During his college years, he studied Comparative Politics and Jewish Studies and took time off to volunteer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Clinton’s defeat in 2016 inspired Arbit to dedicate himself to public service. Post-college, he worked on Gretchen Whitmer’s successful gubernatorial campaign and later as a fundraiser for Michigan House Democrats.

Founding the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus

Following the tragic Tree of Life Synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh in 2018, Arbit established the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus. His aim was to “elevate Jewish voices” and combat antisemitism and extremism in Michigan. This initiative came from a place of deep personal commitment to his heritage and the broader Jewish community.

Commitment to Justice and Legislative Efforts

Arbit’s dedication to justice is partly rooted in his personal experiences, notably testifying against a sexual predator at the age of 18. He stated, “Sexual predation exists, and I think that it has made me an advocate and an activist and want to be a crusader for justice in every way.” Arbit is actively working on legislation to reform the statute of limitations for sex crimes in Michigan, aiming to provide justice for survivors.

Principles of “Tikkun Olam” in Political Activism

The concept of “tikkun olam,” or repairing the world, is a cornerstone of Arbit’s legislative and activist efforts. Representing the most Jewish district in Michigan, he emphasizes the importance of addressing hate crimes, a top priority for him as a legislator. He seeks to transform Michigan’s hate crime laws to better protect its citizens from targeted violence.

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Achievements and Future Goals

Arbit previously served as the communications director for the Oakland County prosecutor’s office. As a legislator, he balances the importance of both the work and the message about the work. He highlighted his efforts to reform Michigan’s outdated hate crime laws and noted the challenges posed by disinformation campaigns against his legislation.

The Importance of Mental Health and Support for LGBTQ+ Youth

Arbit has been vocal about his own struggles with depression and advocates for accessible mental health resources for all. He stresses the damaging impact of discriminatory legislation on LGBTQ+ youth and emphasizes the need for supportive environments.

Perspectives on Political Unity and National Service

Discussing national service, Arbit reflects on the importance of unity and shared purpose among citizens. He believes that bringing people together from diverse backgrounds is crucial for healing divisions and fostering a sense of community.

Climate Change and Personal Interests

When asked about addressing climate change, Arbit succinctly answered, “heat pumps.” On a lighter note, he shared insights into his personal style, his passion for cerulean blue, and his interests, including being a Madonna fan and a penguin lover.

Fighting Hate and Extremism

Arbit’s most pressing legislative goal is to pass his hate crime bills and tackle far-right militia groups in Michigan. He emphasizes the importance of addressing these threats to ensure the safety and security of his constituents.

Representing Michigan’s District 20

One of the most fulfilling aspects of Arbit’s role is representing the community where he grew up. He cherishes the connection with his constituents, many of whom have known him since childhood, and finds joy in serving the district that shaped him.

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