Lt. Governor Habib joined Seattle 4 Rotary this afternoon as their guest speaker, giving his keynote address on international relations at the state level, the importance of global engagement, and the role of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor in strengthening Washington state’s global presence.
The luncheon program also featured a panel of international students from predominantly Muslim countries, who shared their experiences of coming to America to study and work.
Praising the students’ courage and drive, Lt. Governor Habib spoke about his late father’s own journey of coming to the United States in the 1970s to study Engineering at the University of Washington, and how had Seattle not opened it’s arms and institutions to him as an immigrant and a Muslim, the Lt. Governor’s own life would not have been possible.
“Washington is the most trade-dependent state in the Union, with over 1 in 4 jobs tied directly to trade,” the Lt. Governor said. “Moreover, Seattle is a globally-facing city, and a hub of innovation and global talent. We are the winners in trade, and we need to be out there telling the story of what trade does for this city and for our state, and rejecting rhetoric that denigrates immigrants and endangers our economy.”
Lt. Governor concluded his remarks by thanking Seattle 4 Rotary for their work in promoting and strengthening international relations at the economic, cultural, and social level.
“Strong trade and economic relations are the foundation of international partnerships that allow us to tackle global challenges like climate change, terrorism, infectious disease, and global poverty. We need organizations like Rotary International now more than ever, and for Rotarians to continue putting service over self, and reaching out to the world as global citizens spreading good will, and as ambassadors for Seattle and Washington state to showcase what we have to offer here.”