Candidate:
Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 5

Ali Ramlawi
Independent



Ali Ramlawi

UPDATE: Incumbent Chip Smith defeated Ali Ramlawi on Nov. 7, 2017. Smith received 51.47% of votes, compared to 48.36% for Ramlawi. Turnout in Ward 5 was 27.09%. Click here for detailed results of the Ward 5 election.

Ali Ramlawi is the owner of Jerusalem Garden, a downtown Ann Arbor restaurant. This is his first bid for public office. He is running as an independent against Democrat Chip Smith in the Nov. 7, 2017 general election.

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.

Ali Ramlawi:  In The News

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 AvenueAnnArbor.com, 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 StreetAnnArbor.com, Aug. 5, 2010