Ann Arbor City Council – Ward 5
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.
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 election – Michigan Daily, Nov. 1, 2017
Nowhere to grow but up? Ann Arbor grapples with solutions to its high-rise problem – Concentrate, Nov. 1, 2017
Tens of thousands of dollars raised, spent in Ann Arbor council races – MLive, Oct. 30, 2017
Ward 5 candidates share views on $55M trail, other Ann Arbor issues – MLive, 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 politics – Michigan 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 Council – MLive, Aug. 10, 2017
Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi running for City Council – MLive, April 19, 2017
Deals of the Year 2015 Restaurant award: Jerusalem Garden – MLive, Nov. 13, 2015
This Year in Jerusalem: Ali Ramlawi carries on the family heritage – Ann Arbor Observer, June 2015
Jerusalem Garden owner Ali Ramlawi shares his thoughts on a reopened Fifth Avenue – AnnArbor.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 Street – AnnArbor.com, Aug. 5, 2010