On Oct. 24, the Wayne State College Democrats hosted Abdul El-Sayed in the Purdy-Kresge Library for an evening of conversation with the candidate.
El-Sayed spoke about his backstory, why he is running and conversed with the audience about the different issues facing Michigan and Detroit residents, specifically.
As a part of his campaign for governor, El-Sayed kicked off the fall semester by visiting over 10 college campuses across Michigan. Titled, “Students for Abdul,” the college tour aims to introduce college students to El-Sayed’s campaign and urge them to volunteer and vote for him.
“Colleges and universities are places where people are thinking really hard about the future that they want to build, and it matters a lot to me to be able to come out to [colleges] and have these conversations,” El-Sayed said.
Throughout his speech he encouraged the cooperation of citizens, students and regions in Michigan to work together for a “shared future for the people of the state.
El-Sayed spoke about the importance of investing in “regional cooperation rather than competition” for public transit in southeast Michigan to then move forward and compete against other cities’ transportation systems like Chicago and New York.
He addressed the need for increased investment in public schools through local and state funds to raise the quality of education students receive. Some ways the state can work on this is to ensure that accommodating services are provided for students with financial, physical or social disabilities in order “for a kid to focus on being a student,” he said.
Re-empowering teachers by giving them more benefits and tenure is one of El-Sayed’s plans to support teachers in public schools and to provide an incentive for those pursuing careers in education.
“Instead of telling [teachers] what to teach from places like Lansing or DC, I want to make sure that parents and teachers are making those decisions themselves,” El-Sayed said.
El-Sayed also talked about abortion rights and giving women the power to choose, rather than giving the government the power to control. He focused on the state’s ability to prevent unwanted pregnancies by providing the necessary resources—like free contraception.
The WSU College Democrats have hosted a number of events with candidates of different political positions.
“We’re really looking forward to having a lot of different speakers and democratic candidates from different races come from all levels of government—local and state—so we can get a lot of [students] engaged in campaigns,” Ki Lee O’Brien, president of the WSU College Democrats, said.