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Sahar Fathi: Candidate for State Representative in Washington's 36th district


Sahar Fathi is a candidate for State Representative in Washington's 36th district. If she is elected, she will be the first Iranian American to ever serve in the state's legislature.

Sahar Fathi's Candidacy Announcement:

I am running for this seat because I believe we need new energy, fresh ideas, and more diverse representation in the state legislature to solve the challenges we face today. With my personal background and professional experience, I will bring an unwavering commitment to the progressive values this district holds dear.

As far as I can tell, I would be the first Iranian-American woman in the state legislature in the country. This is not just a significant first for Americans of Middle Eastern descent, it is also a chance put another women of color in our state legislature, something I believe we desperately need if we are going to make policies that will work to benefit everyone in Washington, not just the 1%.

I grew up idolizing people like Shirin Ebadi, the first woman to become a judge in Iran, and Wangari Mathai, the first woman to earn a PhD in all of East and Central Africa. I grew up admiring these women who broke down barriers and stood up for the poor most vulnerable people in their communities. As the next representative from the 36th District, I pledge to do the same.

I also grew up thinking the best way to ensure that every person was treated with dignity and respect was by becoming an attorney, so I became an attorney and worked on the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal. I also started the Middle Eastern Legal Association, the first legal clinic in the country for people primarily of Middle Eastern descent, to help families, immigrants and refugees from the Middle East access and navigate our American legal system.

I am proud of this work, yet I believe the change our communities need must right now must come from our lawmakers. Working at Seattle City Council, I have seen first-hand how progressive policies can make a meaningful difference in the lives of everyone in our communities. We are extending paid sick leave to nearly every employee in the city, we are starting new pilot programs to stop the slide into chronic homelessness by giving people stability and a chance to get back into housing. And we are developing environmental and energy policy that will not only help protect the planet, but can also bring about new innovation that spurs good quality jobs right here in Seattle. I will take the lessons I have learned and leverage the relationships I have built across the city to pass legislation in Olympia that brings about greater economic and social justice.

Republicans in the legislature talk about sustainable budgeting. Sustainability is a progressive value and one I am very familiar with. Sustainability requires a holistic view, an understanding that the decisions we make now have impacts into the future. Cutting billions while taking away people's health care, limiting their ability to keep a roof over the heads or put food on the table is not sustainable. We'll be paying for these short-term fixes for years to come in the form of higher crime rates, more emergency room visits and a greater strain on our already depleted safety net. In Olympia, I will be a champion for true, progressive sustainability.

I will be a bold, creative leader for the 36th. I believe we all prosper when everyone is working, when our schools work for every child and every child graduates. Our economy will be stronger if every family can afford a college education. We are all healthier when everyone can see a doctor and when we all live in safe communities. I will fight for the issues that have the greatest impact on poor and working people because I believe it is the surest way to put everyone in Washington on the path to prosperity.

Follow me on Twitter at @ElectSaharFathi, find my Elect Sahar fan page on Facebook. Go to my website,, to learn more about me or donate today. Please help spread the word by sharing this email with the people in your networks who share our values and who can help us build the campaign we need to reach more people. Together, we can bring positive, progressive change to the 36th and our state.

I sincerely thank you for your support,
Candidate for State Representative, 36th District


Listen to NIAC's interview with Sahar

About Sahar:

Sahar is the child of immigrant parents who fled the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Sahar brings the incredible work ethic she learned from her parents who worked multiple jobs when she was growing up to provide the life for her they never had and so she could pursue her dreams.

Sahar would potentially be the first Iranian-American or Middle Eastern-American woman to serve in any state legislature across the country. She believes we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and Sahar is following in the footsteps of women she grew up idolizing, like Shirin Ebadi, the first woman to become a judge in Iran, and Wangari Mathai, the first woman to earn a PhD in all of East and Central Africa.

Sahar attended the University of Southern California for her undergraduate degree before receiving a law degree and master's in international studies from the University of Washington. She is a member of the New York Bar and spent time working internationally for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. She sits on the board of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and ACLU-Washington.

When she was 26, Sahar started the Middle Eastern Legal Association of Washington, the first legal clinic primarily for people of Middle Eastern descent in the country. For the past three years, she has worked as a legislative aide to Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien where she is lead policy staff on homelessness, immigrant and refugee issues, public safety, civil rights, energy and green jobs, and the city budget.

Sahar Fathi lives in North Downtown with her partner Jordan.

... Payvand News - 07/21/12 ... --

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