By Charles Sercombe
State Rep. Isaac Robinson, a champion of environmental rights, died last Sunday.
The suspected cause is COVID-19. He was 44 years old, and was in his first term.
According to media reports, Robinson, a Democrat, had been ill for several days, but despite the urging of this mother Rose Mary Robinson, he refused to go to the hospital.
He finally went last Sunday morning to Detroit Receiving Hospital, but died a few hours later after being admitted.
Robinson recently lead the charge against US Ecology, located about a mile east of Hamtramck’s border, being permitted to handle fracking waste, some of which environmentalists said was radioactive.
The plant was allowed to handle that waste despite community-wide protests against it.
Robinson was an attorney and followed in the foot steps of his mother, who had served in the state legislature for the same 4th District Robinson represented. The district includes Hamtramck and part of Detroit.
She was termed out of office two years ago, and that’s when Isaac campaigned for the seat. Prior to running for the office, Robinson was often by his mother’s side at events during her six years in office.
Robinson had many friends and supporters in Hamtramck.
Local officials and residents were in shock about his passing.
“Isaac was tireless, passionate, full of the fire of life and committed heart and soul to the public good,” said Mayor Karen Majewski. “This is a tremendous loss for everyone. Our deepest condolences to his mother, former State Rep. Rose Mary Robinson.”
Hamtramck Public Schools Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed praised Robinson’s dedication to the district he served.
“He was a passionate and dedicated leader, he made every effort to build and maintain relationships with the members of both communities, businesses and school districts,” said Ahmed in a press release.
“While he was taken from us far too soon, many can attest to the fact that Representative Robinson made a difference in the lives of many people.”
City Manager Kathy Angerer, who at one time served in the state legislature, had known Robinson for years and counted him as a friend.
“This is devastating to Hamtramck and me personally. I have known him as a friend since 2004. I don’t know another legislator who worked as hard for their community as he did. A tireless advocate who invited everyone to fight with him for justice for all,” Angerer said.
Sharon Buttry, a resident, worked closely with Robinson on his many environmental concerns.
“Representative Isaac Robinson gave 100% of his heart and talent to the community. He championed unpopular environmental and grassroots causes that no one else would touch,” Buttry said.
“His concern and leadership on behalf of those most vulnerable was always front and center. He will be greatly missed, and many like myself lost a great personal friend today as well. I wish all possible comfort and peace to his mother, our dear former Representative, and all the family.”
Tony Liggett, a resident, said Robinson, unlike a number of other elected officials, was the real deal.
“Isaac was one of those people who looked you in the eye and listened, really listened, to what you had to say. I was impressed from the moment I met him. And he gave his all for our community,” Liggett said.
Besides his mother, Robinson is survived by his father, Roger, and sister, Sarah.
Posted March 31, 2020