Sahar Fathi
Sahar Fathi, legislative aid to Councilmember Mike O'Brien, has declared she will seek the open seat for State Representative in the 36th Legislative District.

28-year-old Sahar Fathi seeks open seat for State Representative in the 36th District

Wants to become the first Iranian-American woman in the state legislature

Sahar Fathi, legislative aid to Councilmember Mike O'Brien, has declared she will seek the open seat for State Representative in the 36th Legislative District.

“I am running to be the next State Representative in the 36th District because we need new energy, fresh ideas and more diverse representation in the State Legislature to solve the challenges we face today," said the 28-year-old in her statement. "With my personal background and professional experience, I will bring an unwavering commitment to the progressive values this district holds dear.”

Fathi announced that she 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. Now she wants to become the first Iranian-American woman in a state legislature.

"I grew up admiring these women who broke down barriers and stood up for the poor and most vulnerable people in their communities. As the next representative from the 36th District, I pledge to do the same,” she said.

Fathi is the child of immigrant parents who fled the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Fathi states that in Olympia, she will bring the hard work ethic instilled from her parents who worked multiple jobs when she was growing up so she could go to college, law school and graduate school.

“I will be a bold, creative leader for the 36th and for our state. I believe we all prosper when everyone is working, when our schools teach to 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,” she said.
Fathi received a B.A. from University of Southern California and a J.D. and M.A. 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. At age 26 she started the Middle Eastern Legal Association, 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.

“Growing up, I thought the best way to ensure that every person was treated with dignity and respect was by becoming a civil rights attorney, yet I believe the solutions our communities need 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,” said Fathi.

“These past few weeks we have seen Republicans in the legislature talk about sustainable budgeting, but sustainability is a progressive value and one I am very familiar with. Sustainability requires an understanding that the decisions we make today 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.”

For more information, visit Sahar Fathi's Facebook page.

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