Michigan governor candidate speaks at town hall in Dearborn

Photo by Zeinab Najm
Democratic candidate for Michigan governor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed speaks to a packed crowd during a Dearborn Democratic Club meeting at UAW Local 245 April 26.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Democratic candidate for governor Dr. Abdul El-Sayed spoke to a packed room of Dearborn residents about his campaign during a town hall on April 26.

El-Sayed’s speech took place during the Dearborn Democratic Club meeting at the UAW Local 245, 1226 Monroe, as part of his statewide “Listening For Our Future” tour.

He touched on his family background, reason he chose to run for governor, important issues and his stance on them and why he deserves votes from Michigan residents in the upcoming election.

“I grew up exposed to all kinds of people and I realized more than anything else I loved people,” El-Sayed said. “I loved understanding who they were, how they came to the world, the tragedies sometimes and the challenges that they faced. Then also hopes and aspirations that allow them to believe in a tomorrow that us more dignified and better than their today.”

The 32-year-old was born and raised in southeast Michigan, attended University of Michigan where he graduated in 2007. He then went on to earn a doctorate from Oxford University and medical degree from Columbia University.

At 30 years old, El-Sayed was appointed city of Detroit Health Commissioner where he helped made the department a state and national leader in public health.

Today, he is a mental health doctor and lives with his wife, Sarah, in Detroit and beginning his campaign for Michigan governor.

His major policy items include jobs and prosperity, clean government, education, health, the environment, and equity and inclusion.

“The Flint water crisis was a wakeup call to that our system of government as business has failed us, and it’s not just public health,” he said. “It’s the fact that we have failed to build a 21st century economy that keeps our young people here in Michigan.”

Other issues are raising the minimum wage, creating a viable public insurance program for Michigan, fixing the crumbling water infrastructure, investing in renewable energy infrastructure, and reforming penal and immigration systems, ending private operators’ financial incentives to fill jails.

“There are too may problems and I don’t have kids yet and I worry that the kind of society that I will leave for them will not give them the same things that I got to have as a child of immigrants in the greatest country in the world,” El-Sayed said.

During the question-and-answer portion of the meeting, El-Sayed was asked about his legislative and government experience.

“I’m running to be an executive of government, not a legislator,” he said. “When I rebuilt the Detroit Health Department, I actually did executive work which meant how is it that you build and motivate a staff, how is it that you work with a legislator, how is that you actually deliver on programs and services. My two opponents have never led an institute bigger than 50 people, I have. I did it in government, while working as an executive manager in the city of Detroit.”

For more information on El-Sayed and his campaign go to https://abdulformichigan.com.

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)