When I was first elected in 2018, I promised to serve with integrity and a desire to compromise and find solutions to address our city’s most difficult issues. My common-sense approach on council has been to be a critical thinker in deliberations and to represent all members of our broad community who were missing from council discussions. At every council meeting, these are the principles that have guided my votes.
I am running for re-election because I continue to believe that an independent voice on council is vital for our community’s interests and goals.
Open discussion and debate are the bedrock for government to be transparent and one that represents everyone. Good governance demands asking uncomfortable questions, paying close attention to details, and not succumbing to mob mentality.
These are the tenets that drive my decisions, and, if re-elected to a second term, will continue to give me purpose as I represent the Fifth Ward with honesty, openness, and accountability.
I will need your support – monetary donations are always appreciated, but there are other ways to help. Volunteer to walk with me as I knock doors and talk with residents, host a yard sign at your home, or arrange a meet and greet with neighbors. Most importantly, share with your 5th ward friends and neighbors why your support me for Ann Arbor City Council.
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My name is Ali Ramlawi, and I am the owner-operator of Jerusalem Garden, where I have worked since my family opened the restaurant in 1987. I assumed full responsibility of the business in September 1993, at the age of 18, when my father passed away unexpectedly.
I moved to Ann Arbor in 2001 after my youngest sibling graduated from high school in our hometown of Livonia. Two years later, I bought my current home in the Old West Side neighborhood, a short distance to Jerusalem Garden.
In 2013, the perfect opportunity became available for my restaurant to move into a larger space. After a complete renovation, we welcomed our first guests on April 26, 2015. It was rewarding for me to become an even bigger part of the community I had grown to love and call home.
On November 19, 2018, I became the first Arab American elected to Ann Arbor City Council in my second bid to represent the 5th Ward.
Also in 2018, I met my now fiancée, and we are planning our wedding for later this year.
In March 2019, I had the privilege to meet with 5th Graders at Eberwhite Elementary School. The students were engaged and interested in many of the same issues being discussed at the council table. It was an extremely gratifying experience and I hope we can return to these types of activities in the upcoming months.
In addition to being a political junkie and a Tigers baseball fan, I am a year-round recreational cyclist. Most Sundays will find me on two-wheels, riding 20- to 50-miles in and around Washtenaw County.
Several years ago, I took part in the One Day Ride Across Michigan (ODRAM), an annual charity event that supports juvenile diabetes research. The 150-mile ride started on the west side of the state in Montague and ended in Bay City. It was a great personal accomplishment, that was shared with good friends and for a worthy cause.