Supporters gathered in Bill’s Beer Garden Wednesday afternoon to support Yousef Rabhi’s 2016 campaign launch for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Yousef Rabhi, a Democrat, served on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners since January 2011 and announced his bid to replace term-limited state Rep. Jeff Irwin (D–Ann Arbor) in early September.

During his remarks, Rabhi said he is running to bring Ann Arbor’s values of public education, equity, environmental stability and economic resiliency with him to the state House.

“In Ann Arbor we believe that a quality public education is what builds the foundation of the future of the state of Michigan,” Rabhi said. “In Ann Arbor we believe that a good economy starts with local businesses. We believe that a healthy environment is the foundation of our future, it is our responsibility to protect and clean the air we breathe.”

In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Rabhi said that his involvement in politics began at a young age when he became interested in restoring the Malletts Creek creek watershed ecosystem and became more involved in social causes as a student at the University.

Rabhi, who grew up in Ann Arbor, attended Huron High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University in 2010. He worked in the city of Ann Arbor’s Natural Areas Preservation program before assuming his current role as volunteer coordinator for the University’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.

Irwin said he believes that Rabhi’s commitment to making higher education more accessible and his experience in local government will makes him a good candidate for state representative.

“I am personally honored to share a similar background with Yousef Rabhi having been elected as commissioner while a senior at U-M.” Irwin said.

Barbara Ryan Fuller, vice chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Road Commissioners, said that she supports Rabhi because his values are aligned with hers.

“I think Rabhi is very creative, enthusiastic and is very willing to look for new solutions to old problems, we need that energy in Lansing. It would be a breath of fresh air,” Fuller said.  

The election for the District state House seat will take place in November 2016. The Democratic primaries will be held August 2016. 

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