June 20, 2014, Washington, DC – On June 5, 2014, PAAIA members and friends from the Washington, D.C. area gathered at the home of Robert Babayi in honor of State Representative Cyrus Habib and in support of his campaign for Washington State Senate.
Habib is the official Democratic Party nominee for the 48th Senate District. His campaign currently has endorsements from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Governor Jay Inslee, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Congressman Adam Smith and the bi-partisan support of all the city mayors in his district.
In his speech, Habib thanked guests for their support and discussed how much Iranian American support means to his campaign. ““I appreciate your support as an individual, but what I ask even more of you is to stay engaged in a number of ways with PAAIA,” said Habib. “What PAAIA is doing not only is unique and important among Iranian American groups. It’s actually very unique and important among groups of new Americans overall.”
Habib also spoke about his experience working in the Washington State Legislature. He currently 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.
On bipartisanship, Habib said that while it is not easy, it is certainly necessary. “I’ll tell you some of the people who I get along with best, I don’t agree with them on anything, but we actually have a good personal relationship,” he explained. “Some of the ideas that Republicans have, I actually agree with, and obviously many of the ideas that Democrats have, I agree with. There are solutions that come from both parties.”
Even though Habib is a freshman legislator, he is seen as a rising star in Washington’s Democratic Party. In late 2013, he was selected as one of twelve legislators nationwide to watch in 2014. The Washington Post has selected him as one of the top 40 political rising stars who are under 40 years old in the country.
Habib is the first American of Iranian heritage to serve in a state legislature and is the highest ranking Iranian American in elected office. He was raised in Bellevue, Washington, and at the age of eight, he lost his eyesight to a rare form of childhood cancer. He attended Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School, where he was editor of the law review. He currently practices law with the Seattle firm of Perkins Coie.
Click here to learn more about Cyrus Habib’s campaign.
Click here to view pictures of the reception.