Meet Shayan H. Modarres: Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives

January 9, 2013, Washington, D.C. – Shayan H. Modarres, a civil rights attorney practicing in Orlando, Florida, recently announced his bid to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

If triumphant, he will become the first Iranian American elected to the U.S. Congress. 

Born and raised in the Washington Metropolitan area, Modarres earned his bachelor’s degree from American University and his JD from Florida A&M University College of Law. After graduating from law school, he opened his own law firm in Orlando as a solo practitioner.

Modarres has been involved with many cases covered by local and national news, most notably Zimmerman v. State. In addition to negotiating a six-figure settlement from Seminole County Sheriff’s Office this summer for civil rights violations, he also organized a peaceful rally which gathered over 2,000 demonstrators in downtown Orlando protesting mandatory minimum laws, disproportionate sentencing of minorities, and racial disparity in the Florida criminal justice system.

“Many people question why I decided to run for U.S. Congress without first running for local office,” Modarres told PAAIA. “The answer is simple. When I was a law student, I was told that I would not survive on my own and that I needed to get experience working for a large firm or the public defender’s office. I do not believe that there is a pre-determined progression or blueprint for achieving things. If you feel passionately about something, you should pursue it and not let anyone discourage you from reaching your goal.”

Asked about the issues facing his district today, Modarres said that there are many critical issues, including jobs, the economy, quality affordable health care, equal social security and Medicare, income inequality, women’s rights, and immigration reform, among many others. “There have been 46 votes to repeal, defund, or delay the Affordable Care Act, while all of these issues that are important to voters have been neglected,” he pointed out.

“Members of Congress have made the conscious decision to put party ahead of people and have proven incapable of negotiating with anyone who does not share their own views or opinions. This must change if any important legislative work is to be done.”

From contributions to volunteering with the campaign, Modarres hopes to receive support from the Iranian American community in his bid to represent Florida’s 10th district. “Iranian Americans have a unique opportunity to make a major statement in the 2014 elections,” he told PAAIA. “[We have] an opportunity to display our power and influence and make all politicians pay attention to us.”

Modarres currently faces Michael Patrick McKenna for the Democratic nomination.  If successful in the primary, he will face incumbent Daniel Webster in the November general election.

Click here to learn more about Shayan H. Modarres’s campaign.

If you have any questions regarding the campaign of Shayan H. Modarres or are interested in volunteering for his campaign, please contact his campaign at info@ShayanForCongress.com.

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