Welcome to our ongoing interview series highlighting young elected officials and young candidates. This month we spoke with Yousef Rahbi, who has been serving as County Comissioner for Washtenaw County for the past four years. He is currently running for the State House of Representatives for Michigan’s 55th district. The district covers the majority of the city of Ann Arbor, where Yousef was raised.
We are excited to announce that we have endorsed Yousef Rabhi for State Representative in Ann Arbor, Michigan!
Since 2011, Yousef Rabhi has served as Washtenaw County Commissioner. Now in his third term, Commissioner Rabhi is currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Board of Commissioners. Yousef formerly served as Chair of the Board, a term characterized by a deep commitment to process and community engagement. With a life long passion for the environment, Yousef has devoted his career to nurturing diverse and healthy ecosystems in Michigan. In his current role as Volunteer Coordinator at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, Yousef continues to engage the community in building a healthier environment and restoring local ecosystems.
On August 26th, 1920, the 19th amendment became the law of the land, giving women the right to vote after 70 years of struggle. Today, we celebrate the suffragettes’ hard-fought victory by observing National Women’s Equality Day.
But in 2015, almost a century later, women are still far from equal participants in politics. While we certainly vote (consistently and at higher rates than men), we are vastly underrepresented in political office. As a result, politicians pass laws that don’t reflect our needs, priorities, and perspectives.
We have endorsed two additional young, progressive candidates in North Carolina:
- Jamal Fox (Greensboro, NC) is running for another term on Greensboro's City Council
- Jillian Johnson (Durham, NC) is running for Durham City Council
Jamal Fox is a former North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University Political Science Adjunct Professor, as well as a community advocate, youth mentor, and political leader. In November 2013, he was elected to represent District 2 in the Greensboro City Council, and became the youngest person ever elected to office in the city.
Jillian Johnson is a long-time community organizer and activist. She is currently the Director of Operations for the Southern Vision Alliance, a NC-based grassroots nonprofit that works with youth across the state on leadership development and civic engagement. She is active in the labor movement and was one of nearly 1,000 people arrested in 2013 as part of North Carolina's Moral Monday movement. She lives in Durham’s West End neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
On Friday, June 26, our free society became more equal. The Obergefell v. Hodges case marked the high point of an empowered LGBTQ community’s fight toward full equality. In a 5-4 split Supreme Court decision, love became the law of the land and gay couples’ right to marry was affirmed after more than 40 years of agitation. But in a rather vociferous dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Roberts maintained that gay couples’ right to marry was essentially a “policy issue” to be considered on a state-by-state basis through the democratic process, and not to be determined by the federal courts.
By now we should all be familiar with the conservative impulse to revert back to state authority on pressing federal questions. The difference this time, however, is that the position may actually have some credence to it.
We’re excited to announce our first endorsements of 2015 and 2016! We have endorsed three young, progressive candidates in Michigan, North Carolina, and Ohio:
- Andrew Barnhill (Wilmington, NC) is running for State Senate in North Carolina’s 9th District
- Josh Cartee (Chillicothe, OH) is running for Chillicothe City Council in Ohio
- Brian Stone (Dearborn, MI) is running for State Assembly in Michigan’s 15th District