Sunday, May 31, 2020
Latest News & Information

Current Articles | Archives | Search

John Kuriakuz Files To Run For 39th District House Seat
By Chaldean Caucus :: Wednesday, April 16, 2008 :: 55317 Views :: Government & Society, Chaldean Caucus


Michigan, USA - 28-year old West Bloomfield attorney John Kuriakuz officially filed paperwork last week with Oakland County establishing himself as a Democratic candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives in District 39. Last week also marked his last day at a Detroit law firm, where he walked away from a six-figure salary to focus full-time on winning the race to represent his hometown in the State House.

In January, Kuriakuz filed papers with the Secretary of State showing that before the New Year even began, his campaign had already raised over $45,000.

"I am passionate about serving my hometown in the State Legislature and am very grateful for the amount of support I've received so early on," Kuriakuz said. "I am especially proud to announce that unlike many candidates, I did not raise any money from special interest groups. All of my supporters are longtime friends, neighbors and relatives who have known me for years, believe in my abilities and support my vision for the State of Michigan."

Kuriakuz was born and raised in West Bloomfield and attended West Bloomfield public schools from kindergarten through the 12th grade. He received Bachelor's, Master's, and law degrees from Stanford University in California and spent two years as an analyst on Wall Street.

"Given the options available to me, my classmates and co-workers often questioned my desire to settle permanently in Michigan," said Kuriakuz. "For me the decision was easy. Although our State has its current troubles, I firmly believe that with resilience and dedication we as a people can work together to achieve great things for our State."

Kuriakuz is especially concerned about Michigan's current economic crisis.
Once elected, he will push for tax incentives for job-creating businesses, extension of tax relief to homeowners in the wake of falling real estate values, and solid investment in our children's education without compromise.
Kuriakuz also strongly believes that Legislators who vow to protect the environment should be held to their word without exception or excuse.

"Most people are surprised by my willingness to put my legal career on hold to enter this race. I've been told by some people that I'm young and 'can afford to wait.' But when you look at what's going on around us here in Michigan, I don't think that any of us can afford to wait," Kuriakuz concluded.

Born in West Bloomfield to immigrant parents from Iraq and Mexico, Kuriakuz attended West Bloomfield public schools from K-12 and continued his education at Stanford University in California. He completed both a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University at the age of 21. He was then hired by Wall Street investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, & Co. as a financial analyst in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division. Kuriakuz later received a law degree from Stanford Law School and is now an attorney specializing in commercial litigation in both Michigan state and federal courts.

Kuriakuz is a member of Prince of Peace Parish and is an active and proud member of the West Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce and the West Bloomfield Optimist Club. He also volunteers his time for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA


Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.