Cyrus Habib Kicks Off Campaign for Lt. Governor of Washington State

l1i0zbmMay 20, 2016, Washington, DC — On May 16, the highest-ranking Iranian American in political office and the first Iranian American to serve as a State Senator filed paperwork to run for Lieutenant Governor of Washington State. His campaign for Lieutenant Governor, the highest state office after Governor, began with a kick-off event in downtown Seattle, where he was endorsed by California Lt. Governor and Gubernatorial Candidate Gavin Newsom, as well as several Washington State Senators, and the Washington State Attorney General.

In his announcement speech, Washington State Senator Cyrus Habib called for a politics of inclusion, promising to fight discrimination and income inequality in Washington state. His fight for inclusion is personal, he explained, “In our community and our state, and our country, we have to commit to the idea of inclusion…This matters when you are a three-time cancer surviving Iranian American from a mixed religion immigrant family,” he said. “No one should have to feel that sense of exclusion that I did growing up, and I have to advocate for those who are less fortunate than me, and I will work until no one is excluded from our economic, social, and political system,” he continued.

Cyrus Habib was first elected to political office as a representative for Washington’s 48th District in the Washington House of Representatives in 2012.  Two years later, Habib was elected to the Washington State Senate with 65% of the vote and then selected as Senate Democratic Whip.  The blind senator is the first Iranian American to serve in a state legislature and his position as Democratic Whip places him as the highest ranking Iranian American in elected office.  Raised in Bellevue, Washington, Habib attended Columbia University as a Truman Scholar, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School, where he was editor of the The Yale Law Journal.

Habib was recently appointed to the 2016 Democratic National Convention Platform Committee by DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The Platform Committee is responsible for drafting a proposed National Platform, an official declaration of the party’s positions, for approval at the Democratic National Convention.

In the State Senate he serves as the vice chair of the Technology and Economic Development Committee as well as on the Business and Financial Services and Transportation committees. Habib was the prime sponsor of the Washington State Jobs Act, which became law in March of 2014 and enables start-up companies in Washington State to engage in equity crowdfunding.

“I appreciate PAAIA’s support of me since the beginning, PAAIA has been incredible,” said Habib, discussing the role that Iranian American organizations have played in supporting him.

Click Here to learn more about Cyrus Habib’s campaign

Watch Cyrus’ full speech at the event as well as California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s endorsement below:

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