Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 5

Ali Ramlawi

Ali Ramlawi

Ali Ramlawi is the owner of Jerusalem Garden, a downtown Ann Arbor restaurant. This is his second bid for public office. He is unopposed on Nov. 6. Councilmembers elected this year will serve a four-year term.

Ramlawi defeated incumbent Chuck Warpehoski in the Aug. 7 Democratic primary, winning 50.94% of votes cast. No Republican is running in Ward 5.

According to his campaign website, Ramlawi states that he's running because the council needs "more voices, more views and more diversity" and that he will "remain independent of the factional parties on council."

Ramlawi previously sought a Ward 5 seat as an independent in the Nov. 7, 2017 general election. He ran against incumbent Democrat Chip Smith and lost in a close race, gaining 48.36% of the vote.

Ramlawi opposed the sale of the city-owned Library Lot, arguing that the proposed 17-story building would hurt the city. His business is adjacent to that property. He says that opponents to the project are often inaccurately labeled as anti-development NIMBYs, but that he supports development when done responsibility and in appropriate locations, such as the Huron Street corridor.

Jerusalem Garden was one of the plaintiffs in a 2009 lawsuit against the city over construction of the Library Lane underground parking garage. The lawsuit was ultimately settled in 2010.

Ramlawi doesn't think the city involves enough residents and business owners in its decision-making processes, and he's concerned about the general direction that the city is taking on development. The city needs affordable housing and workforce housing, he says, but also needs to maintain Ann Arbor's quality of life.

Ramlawi is an avid cyclist. He lives on the Old West Side.

His campaign treasurer is Justin Jacobsen.

Click here for a description of the mayor and city councilmember jobs, as well as links to other council candidate profiles.

Ali Ramlawi:  In The News

Blighted buildings in Ann Arbor historic district can be demolished nowMLive, Sept. 21, 2018

Ramlawi defeats Warpehoski in 5th Ward Ann Arbor council raceMLive, Aug. 7, 2018

'Dark money' attacks on Ann Arbor candidates raise concernsMLive, Aug. 5, 2018

Getting to know Ann Arbor City Council candidate Ali RamlawiWDIV, Aug. 4, 2018

Summer of Discontent: The August 7 primary will decide the fate of Mayor Taylor and his council majority Ann Arbor Observer, August 2018

Candidate Survey on the Arts & Creative IndustriesThe Arts Alliance, July 24, 2018

Soapbox Summer 2018WEMU, July 20, 2018

Candidate Position Summary Regarding Police OversightTransforming Justice Washtenaw, July 2018

Ann Arbor Primary Election Candidate Survey – Washtenaw Bicycling & Walking Coalition, July 2018

Candidate Comment (video) – Community Television Network, July 10, 2018

YIMBY Facebook Group Questionnaire – July 2018

Warpehoski faces Ann Arbor restaurant owner in 5th Ward council race – MLive, June 28, 2018

League of Women Voters Wards 4 & 5 Ann Arbor City Council Candidate Forum (video) –Community Television Network, June 27, 2018

5th Ward Ann Arbor candidates vow to not take money from developers – MLive, May 4, 2018

5th Ward candidates in Ann Arbor disagree on how to use new tax money – MLive, April 14, 2018

Ann Arbor mayor and council candidates explain why they're running – MLive, April 13, 2018

Ann Arbor Mayor & City Council Candidate Forum (video) – Community Television Network, April 12, 2018

Smith narrowly defeats Ramlawi to win 5th Ward race in Ann Arbor MLive, Nov. 7, 2017

Vote for City Council (endorsement editorial)Michigan Daily, Nov. 5, 2017

City Council candidates look to Tuesday's general electionMichigan Daily, Nov. 1, 2017

Nowhere to grow but up? Ann Arbor grapples with solutions to its high-rise problemConcentrate, Nov. 1, 2017

Tens of thousands of dollars raised, spent in Ann Arbor council racesMLive, Oct. 30, 2017

Ward 5 candidates share views on $55M trail, other Ann Arbor issuesMLive, Oct. 10, 2017

Candidate Comment (video) Ward 5 starts at the 11:46-minute mark – Community Television Network, Oct. 6, 2017

Ward 5 League of Women Voters Candidate Forum (Video)Community Television Network, Oct. 5, 2017

Op-Ed: Student voices matter in local politicsMichigan Daily, Sept. 18, 2017

Ali Ramlawi talks about why he's running for Ann Arbor City Council (video) – MLive, Aug. 10, 2017

Jerusalem Garden owner files to run for Ann Arbor City CouncilMLive, Aug. 10, 2017

Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi running for City CouncilMLive, April 19, 2017

Deals of the Year 2015 Restaurant award: Jerusalem GardenMLive, Nov. 13, 2015

This Year in Jerusalem: Ali Ramlawi carries on the family heritageAnn Arbor Observer, June 2015

Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi shares his thoughts on a reopened Fifth, June 19, 2012

Prices to Get Tweaked as Parking Deck Opens (Ramlawi spoke during public commentary) – The Ann Arbor Chronicle, May 5, 2012

DDA Elects Officers, Gets More Parking Data (Ramlawi spoke during public commentary) – The Ann Arbor Chronicle, July 8, 2011

Ann Arbor residents, businesses cope with shutdown of Fifth Avenue at Liberty, Aug. 5, 2010