Democratic governor candidate visits campus

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SVSU’s College Democrats had 2018 gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed speak on campus on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

El-Sayed spoke to attendees on his qualifications and platform and answered questions.

El-Sayed graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007, has a doctorate from Oxford University and a medical degree from Columbia University. In 2015, he became the youngest health official in a major city when he was chosen to help rebuild Detroit’s public health system.

El-Sayed spoke on a number of issues, including healthcare, especially mental health, gun control, infrastructure, environmental protections, Michigan’s opioid crisis, public education, women’s and LGBT rights and criminal justice.

He said that the first thing he would do if he was elected was create a set of bills for a clean government.

In addition to El-Sayed, there were representatives from Voters Not Politicians, a registered ballot committee that has petitions to vote in the 2018 midterm elections on an amendment to the state constitution to ban political gerrymandering.

Ali Shaina, a third-year public administration major and the secretary of College Democrats, helped to organize the events.

“It’s impressive how willing the candidates are to come to college campuses,” Shaina said.

Shaina has managed to get all three major Democratic gubernatorial candidates to agree to come speak at SVSU.

“It’s important for college students to get out there, inform themselves, and vote, so that their interests are represented,” said Jacquob Littlejohn, a third-year political science major and the President of the College Democrats.

“Statistically, you guys are 10 to 12 years away from having a child,” El-Sayed said. “The question you have to ask yourselves right now is what is the world you want for you, and what is the world you want for that child.”

The College Democrats will be hosting two more Democratic candidates for governor. Shri Thanedar will visit campus on Nov. 1, and Gretchen Whitmer will visit on Nov. 16.