Isaac Robinson – Gone but not forgotten online
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Isaac Robinson

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Lawmaker Isaac Robinson, an attorney turned politician who represented parts of Detroit, is suspected to have died as a result of the coronavirus on March 29. His mother, Rep. Rose Mary C. Robinson, a former Detroit lawmaker, told Crain’s Detroit her son had complained of difficulty breathing but had refused to get medical assistance. She told the outlet she suspected his ailments were related to the coronavirus, though he never took a test. “He was my neighbor and I served with his mother,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib told BuzzFeed News in a text message. “Known him since 2008 when we were both young activists. His death woke people up. People are shocked.” Robinson, a Democrat, was elected to the Michigan state legislature in 2018 besting 13 others in a Democratic primary. He eventually succeeded his mother, who held the seat before him but was unable to run again because of restrictions that limit the number of terms an officeholder may serve. Before taking office, Robinson operated his own law firm and had previously served as political counsel for the labor union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, of which he was a member. “He really empowered others,” longtime friend Al Williams told BuzzFeed News. “He was a true public servant,” Williams said, fighting back tears. “It didn’t matter who we were up against.” Before graduating from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, Robinson completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan. He was a graduate of Renaissance High School in Detroit, where he played basketball for the school’s team. “It wasn’t known for its athletics but he was on the varsity basketball team,” Williams, 40, said. “Only white boy on the team — everybody loved him.” Democratic and Republican politicians in Michigan tweeted their condolences to the family while lauding Robinson Gov. Gretchen Whitmer tweeted, saying Robinson “had a huge heart, a quick wit, and a genuine passion for the people.” Speaker of Michigan’s House of Representatives Lee Chatfield, a Republican, said, “Isaac was a passionate public servant who loved Detroit. He had a big heart, fought hard for his beliefs, and fought even harder for the people he served so honorably.”