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Cyrus Habib 48th LD

ON EDUCATION

"I care deeply about our state’s education system, the children it serves, and the teachers who are on the front lines of its delivery."

"I have experienced in my personal life the profound role that the State can play in creating opportunities for its residents. Were it not for the Department of Services for the Blind, I would never have learned to use a cane. Were it not for the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, I would never have learned to read. Were it not for the Washington State School for the Blind, I would never have learned to use a computer with adaptive software. Most importantly, were it not for our public school system, I would never have been able to go from Braille to Yale. Mine is a distinctly American story, one that proves that success is possible for anyone, as long as we as a community afford each person the opportunity to obtain that success."


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Biography

Cyrus Habib is a technology lawyer and community volunteer. He grew up in Bellevue and is a proud product of Bellevue Public Schools. Having lost his vision at age 8 to a rare form of childhood cancer, he learned early the importance of equal opportunity, hard work, and a quality education.

After winning a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, Cyrus attended Yale Law School, where he served as editor of the law review. He returned to Bellevue following his graduation, and works at the Seattle-based law firm of Perkins Coie, where he assists startup technology firms with their early-stage legal needs. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship, and understands the needs of small businesses on the Eastside.

A disability advocate, Cyrus has testified before the U.S. Congress and written publicly on the importance of making currency accessible to blind and low-vision Americans, and before both houses of the Washington State legislature in support of tougher "distracted driving" laws. In 2009, King County Executive Dow Constantine nominated Cyrus to serve on the county's Civil Rights Commission, where he has championed the rights of the disabled in our community.

Cyrus is a Human Services Commissioner for the city of Bellevue, which makes funding decisions with respect to the needs of the city's most vulnerable residents, including children, those seeking employment, and the elderly. He is proud to serve as a Trustee of the Bellevue College Foundation, which raises scholarship funds to help economically disadvantaged students of the college. He serves on the board of the Bellevue Downtown Association, and on the advisory board of Overlake Hospital's Pulse! fundraising program. He also mentors and coaches high school students with mock trial and with the college admissions process.

Cyrus enjoys spending time with his family, visiting the region's many and varied restaurants, playing jazz piano, and traveling. He is a member of the St. James Cathedral parish.

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