Abdul Sayed town hall takes Oakland

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Abdul Sayed town hall takes Oakland

John Bozick, Web Editor

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Late Monday night, a crowd of over a hundred people from all ages and backgrounds packed into the Banquet Rooms of the Oakland Center to listen to Michigan candidate for governor Abdul El-Sayed speak and answer questions. He spoke on topics such as the Flint water crisis and government transparency. Sayed also met and took questions from people in the crowd.

Beginning the town hall, Sayed asked the audience why they were there and the reason they were politically involved. A woman in the audience responded that she lived in Flint, another that she was worried about her kids future. Sayed listened and understood why many of these people turned out on that dreary Monday night.

Instead of acting robotic and simply preaching to the choir about why you should vote for him, Sayed aimed to have a conversation with the people who turned out, telling them of his time as the health director for the city of Detroit and of how much he values the support of his wife and newborn daughter.

Expressing support for medicare for all, Sayed stated, “As governor in the state of Michigan, the most I can do to support that is be an advocate.”

Sayed then proposed a statewide health care system, believing that a state funded single payer program would be both cheaper and better for Michigan families. Since he is only running for governor, Sayed would be unable to influence the federal government’s position on universal healthcare.

A moment that moved many in the audience was when one student in the audience asked Sayed about his decision to to make Michigan a sanctuary state, his response drew thunderous applause from around the room.

“I took a pledge back in April that we were gonna make Michigan a sanctuary state,” he said. “I have never in my life met an immigrant who didn’t come here  believing in what this country could offer them and their families, and what they could offer this country.”

Sayed told the crowd that he would not let the federal government abuse Michigan’s resources as a state in its fight against immigrants, expressing his support for people that are every bit American except for papers.

When asked about marijuana reform, Sayed expressed stressed the importance of using the tax revenue generated toward our infrastructure and public school program.

“So to me the two biggest issues we have to be focusing on when we talk about that revenue are education and infrastructure,” he said. “You think about our education system systematically robbing our future because we haven’t invested in it, it’s estimated that its going to be $125 million in revenue, we can split it down in the middle and invest half of that in our schools.”

Other issues pressed by Sayed were his plan to fix the Flint water crisis, the improvement of Michigan schools and the improvement of Michigan’s roads and infrastructure system.  A full list of Sayed’s issues can be found on his website, among them are the issues of criminal justice reform and an overall belief that the quality of life for Michiganders can be improved regardless of wherever you live in the state