Dearborn School Board member Hussein Berry will run for a State Representative spot in the new 9th District of Michigan, he announced this week.
Berry will take on current 10th District State Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) in the August 7 Democratic primary for a chance at the seat in the newly-redrawn district, which includes a small section of Dearborn along Warren Avenue. Detroit makes up most of the new district, which is comprised of about five percent of land belonging to Dearborn, a total of three precincts.
Berry said the opportunity was simply too good to pass up when asked about his decision to run.
“I saw an opportunity come up, and I didn't see anybody else come forward, so I decided to take advantage of it to be honest with you,” he said of his decision to file before last Tuesday's deadline.
He said he's received a great deal of support from peers since he began telling them of his decision. The Dearborn resident added that he doesn't see as much of a difference between the city and Detroit as others do in terms of what is need from government.
Berry is in his third year as a DPS board member, and is also in his third year as a Henry Ford Community College Trustee. He's been a board member with ACCESS and is currently a board member for the Arab American Civil Rights League as well.
He said that youth issues and education as well as civil rights are what drives him as a public servant, and believes he can make a bigger difference in Lansing.
“Honestly I've always said that the school board is my passion, I ran four campaigns in six years (before winning on his fourth try)...When I got on the school board I realized that a lot of the major issues are happening in Lansing, there's not much we can do when we're not getting the funds so this was pretty much just recently that I started thinking about it.
“I really believe I can accomplish even more at the next level.”
Berry plans to hit the campaign trail extra hard after Memorial Day, going door-to-door to get to know residents and reach out to people in the 9th District's neighborhoods.
“I work for the people, I don't work for anybody else, whenever the decision can be made it will be based on the best interest of the community I serve, and when I make decisions with that philosophy I can sleep good at night.”
Berry is currently rounding up supporters to help him print fliers and to begin his campaign and is energized about the opportunity that draws near.
“People say I'm behind in the game, but I'm okay,” he said.