Abdul's Platform in 20 Points: 

  1. Fight inequality in all forms
  2. Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour
  3. Implement state-level single-payer healthcare 
  4. Protect a woman’s right to choose and eliminate the gender pay gap
  5. Never accept a dime of corporate money and get the money out of politics 
  6. Rebuild our crumbling roads and bridges
  7. Make college tuition free for families earning under $150K & Reinvest in public education
  8. End the profit motive in public education 
  9. Reform auto insurance to reduce costs while protecting people
  10. Fund and implement universal Pre-Kindergarten 
  11. Amend civil rights legislation to enumerate protections from LGBTQ+ Michiganders
  12. Reform our criminal justice system & tackle mass incarceration and police violence
  13. Aggressive action on climate, environmental justice, and no new fossil fuel infrastructure
  14. Legalize marijuana
  15. Fight for clean water for all and shut down Enbridge’s Line 5
  16. Tackle the opioid epidemic through comprehensive mental health reform
  17. Stand with labor to end Right to Work and protect Prevailing Wage
  18. Provide high-speed broadband internet to every community in Michigan and protect net neutrality
  19. Support child and elderly care for Michiganders
  20. End gerrymandering and legislative term limits and reinstate FOIA for public officials

Reverse wealth inequality and create a fair economy for real people 

The fruits of American labor have been enjoyed by too few for too long. America is the most unequal developed country on earth, and we need to fundamentally evolve as a state to build a  Michigan where real people — not just the wealthy — can live a dignified life.

We must take what has made Michigan the backbone of American industry – skilled workers, strong minds, and ceaseless ingenuity – and create an economy that supports small businesses, prioritizes workers, and brings Michigan forward as a leader in the charge for a more equitable, more innovative America. Whether that means building the future of transportation through new models for infrastructure; connecting artisans and farmers with buyers; or creating meaningful upskilling opportunities for emerging technologies and industries, I am focused on preparing Michigan for what lies ahead. 


Raise the minimum wage to $15 

Nobody should have to work two or three jobs in order to support their family and live a dignified life, and nobody working 40 hours a week should live in poverty. That’s why I support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.


Invest in small businesses

We have to make Michigan the best place to own and operate a business. But for too long, we have favored big corporations that outsource or automate jobs over Michigan’s small businesses. Our over-investment in attracting and retaining big corporations is hurting entrepreneurs. We must grow entrepreneurial opportunities across Michigan so that our small businesses can flourish. I will champion policies that not only provide direct assistance to established small businesses, but partner with cities and counties to develop the supports necessary to grow their core and emerging industries. 

I will also work hard to attract venture capital funding to support our budding startup culture and provide desperately needed investment in our most overlooked entrepreneurs: women, people of color, and rural residents. Finally, I will launch a thorough review of all of Michigan’s regulatory codes to find ways to streamline our processes and reduce the barriers that prevent Michiganders from starting and growing their own small firms. 


Defend unions and the rights of workers 

The heart of the economy is people. To ensure that all Michiganders have the chance to earn a living wage, we must fight for laws that treat workers as well as we have been treating corporations. That is why as governor, I will work to:

  • Repeal anti-union “Right To Work” legislation and other laws that undermine organized labor.
  • Protect prevailing wage and workplace safety initiatives.
  • Protect pensions from raiding to cover budget shortfalls.
  • Restructure tax incentives to attract and invest in employers that pay a living wage.
  • Introduce new legislation to ensure equal pay and pay transparency, to combat the racial and gender wage gaps.


Streamline vocational education and job training

Growing our economy means we must ensure that Michiganders of all backgrounds are prepared to contribute. In order to meet demand for the new types of jobs that are expected to grow in Michigan, we must adapt skills training for secondary students and those already in the workforce. We must ensure that each Michigander has access to the equivalent of at least two years of post-high school education which can lead to either an industry certification, vocational credit, or two-year college degree which will prepare them to be well-employed in the new economy. To accomplish this I will:

  • Reinstate and expand the No Worker Left Behind Initiative for the current mid-career workforce.
  • Expand investment in technical and vocational education around the state while providing a tuition incentive for students.
  • Expand investments in skill training with the goal of creating a pipeline of vocational training and apprenticeships delivered through the community college system.
  • Partner with manufacturers to develop workforce development centers anchored in the community college system focused on retraining employees whose jobs are likely to be automated. 
  • Guarantee access to tuition-free education for children of families making less than $150,000 annually, and seek to expand to free-tuition overall. 
  • Aim to make college education debt-free for all. 
  • Increase access to adult basic education (ABE) and remediation opportunities so that Michiganders who lack basic skills — whether in literacy, numeracy, or English proficiency — can get the support they need to find and keep a good job.


Stand up to unfair trade deals

Unfair trade deals have done significant damage to Michigan’s economy. American trade deals should be focused on protecting our workers and preventing large corporations from moving American jobs overseas. As governor, I will stand up to the federal government whenever necessary to protect Michigan workers and our economy — especially when China and other countries hurt American workers through unfair trade practices. 


Grow our cities from within (“homegrown growth”)

For too long, we have played by the same old script, offering massive corporate tax cuts in exchange for jobs than end up being offshored or automated. I’m less interested in offering huge tax cuts for corporations like Amazon — only to be excluded from the HQ2 final 20 list — and more interested in making Michigan the kind of place where companies like Amazon are founded in the first place. That means investing in small businesses and in adult education, and focusing statewide economic development efforts around metrics that matter, such as median household income, rather than metrics that reflect only corporate profits. 


Reinvest in public education

Every child deserves a shot at a decent education. But for the last eight years, the Snyder administration has disinvested from our public education system and attacked our teachers. The result: Michigan has plummeted from among the top 10 nationally in educational outcomes. To undo the damage, we must reinvest in public education again. Young Michiganders need to graduate with real skills that prepare them for for success in tomorrow's economy. As governor, I will fight to guarantee every Michigan child access to the best public education imaginable, from pre-K to postgrad.


Make public college tuition-free & expand access to vocational education

We will build a higher education system that supports both college and vocational education. Our higher education system must prepare our youth to thrive – no matter what path they choose while eliminating barriers to social mobility. That means we will work to: 

  • Make college tuition-free for families earning less than $150,000 annually — and much more affordable for all families — through creating a universal state grant for Michigan students. 
  • Provide additional financial support to adult and non-traditional students enrolled in any form of postsecondary education, including vocational training and apprenticeships.
  • Partner with community colleges, unions, and employers to expand accredited training opportunities that combine the best of the traditional college model with the best of the apprenticeship model.
  • Leverage social impact bonds to pilot new models of vocational training, so that we can better understand how to train Michigan’s next generation of workers.


Fight for universal child care and pre-K

Policies that help parents also help children. Families should not have to make a choice between paying the bills and the wellbeing of their child. This is why I want to ensure that all parents have access to safe, high-quality childcare and pre-K. As governor, I will work to expand Michigan’s pre-kindergarten programs across the state to ensure universal pre-K for all. 

Healthy kids — in and out of the classroom

Our kids deserve the best — in and out of the classroom. While the classroom is the most important single location in a child’s education, the majority of factors that influence a child’s learning occur outside the classroom walls. In order to truly make every student college and career-ready, we must ensure that children are physically and mentally healthy and that we have highly-trained adults who can care for the health and social needs of every child in every school. We will: 

  • Provide early childhood tax credits to provide universal access to high-quality child care and early childhood education.
  • Reallocate funds to expand childhood screening services in schools.
  • Integrate mental health care with schools, hiring additional counselors and social workers in order to bring the counselor-to-student ratios down from 700-1 to within the national average of 491-1. 
  • Include health and well-being audits in reviews by the School Reform Office to determine whether students are receiving necessary services.
  • Increase funding for special education, at-risk students, and students with disabilities.


Universal vision care for our kids

Every kid deserves a pair of glasses so that they can see the blackboard. As Health Director of the City of Detroit, I created a program to ensure that children across the city have access to glasses if they need them. We will do that statewide by reallocating funds to expand Medicaid-funded early screening services — including provision of glasses — in schools. 


Get the profit motive out of education and hold charter schools accountable to democratic oversight

Thanks to the interests of the billionaire DeVos Family, Michigan has the most unregulated charter school environment in the United States. Nearly 8 in 10 Michigan charter schools are run by for-profit operators, and charter schools are authorized by 14 university-based agencies that are not being held accountable.

Michigan’s public schools can be engines of equality in our state but only if we hold them accountable. We must keep the profit motive out of charter schools, and strengthen the authorizing process to respond to the needs of local communities. We will work to: 

  • End the profit motive in public education by creating an off-ramp from for-profit operators to non-profit operators for all charter schools.
  • Make charter schools accountable to communities. That means requiring charter school boards to include parent and teacher participation so that they represent the communities they serve, and requiring public hearings to announce and approve the opening of new charter schools.
  • Transition our system to a single, independent statewide authorizing council to approve all future charter schools, so that we can hold them accountable.
  • Require applications in districts where over 10% of students are enrolled in charter schools to be submitted in coordination with a municipality or school district.
  • Oppose the use of local taxpayer dollars to pay private companies to run “public” charter schools.

Rebuild our crumbling school infrastructure

Our students’ school buildings are not equipped to be healthy and positive 21st century learning environments. However, do not provide the resources to renovate Michigan’s schools, instead leaving school districts to figure it out on their own. 

As governor, I will work to create a Michigan School Facilities Bank. The School Facilities Bank would buy unused buildings and school facilities in school districts across the state and then use this money to fund grants for infrastructure improvements, infusing districts with the capital they need to make long-lasting improvements without putting them into more debt. 

Invest in our teachers

Since 2000, Michigan teachers have taken the fifth-largest pay cut in the country while taking on more work than ever before. We must reinvest in our educators and ensure they have what they need to do educate our children and to provide for their own families. We will:

  • Invest $150 million into our educators — $75 million to increase teacher salaries and $75 million to invest in professional development and curricular development for teachers. 
  • Develop a pension plan that provides teachers with stable retirement benefits and pays down the unfunded liabilities from the previous MPSERS pensions.  
  • Explore special local tax incentives to hire educators and support staff in high-need communities.


Equal access to education

Education is the engine of economic and social mobility. But there are large discrepancies in how we fund the schools that educate our children. We must create a Michigan where every student, no matter what zip code they live in, has the chance to attend an excellent school with all the resources it needs. As governor, I will work to:

  • Eliminate the funding gap across school districts.
  • Fund a “whole child” education agenda that incorporates support for health screening and out-of-classroom support.
  • Increase teacher salaries and support.
  • Facilitate capital improvements through the school infrastructure bank.
  • Increase funding for special education. 
Healthcare for All

Like many of you, I watched in shock and horror as Governor Snyder and his army of accountants poisoned thousands of kids in Flint. But Flint is just the worst example of a public health system that is simply not working for all Michiganders. 

The responsibility of providing healthcare for employees drags our businesses down and leaves too many of our people without the care they deserve. Single-payer healthcare is a commitment that we must make if we want to be a state that empowers and cares for its people. Our state must ensure that Michiganders have access to healthcare without worries – whether those worries are about premiums, coverage, or the fate of Obamacare. That is why my administration will fight for a robust state-level single-payer program that provides affordable, quality healthcare to every Michigander.

Tackle the opioid epidemic

Our state has more annual prescriptions for opioids than we do people, so it is little surprise that between 2015 and 2016, deaths from opiate overdoses jumped 54% in Michigan. We must address this public health crisis immediately. As governor, I will:

  • Rebuild local mental health care systems to address the root causes of addiction. 
  • Launch a public awareness campaign to destigmatize drug dependence by educating Michiganders on what opioids are, the symptoms of addiction, and where to go to receive help. 
  • Hold providers accountable by sponsoring a statewide, provider-led effort to establish safe prescribing guidelines and establish strict consequences for providers engaged in predatory or irresponsible prescriptions.
  • Establish a statewide drug take back program that will provide a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs in order to prevent future misuse.
  • Strengthen Michigan’s current Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) registry to so that we can better track the prescription of controlled prescription drugs. 
  • Increase the distribution and availability of naloxone—a life-saving anti-overdose drug—by leveraging professional immunity and Good Samaritan laws.
  • Invest in harm reduction programs—such as needle exchange and observed use clinics—to reduce the risk of overdose and decrease the likelihood of co-occurring diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV.


Reinvest in public health

Public health services across the state are severely underfunded, and as a result, many residents struggle with preventable diseases, even when they are insured. We must strengthen our public health systems by:

  • Addressing provider shortages, particularly in urban and rural communities. 
  • Improving access to healthcare facilities, particularly in rural communities.
  • Improving access to community-based mental health services. 
  • Increasing coverage of crucial yet difficult to access services, such as contraceptive care. I support a woman’s right to choose and I know firsthand the critical work performed by Planned Parenthood and other women’s health providers. But reproductive justice goes beyond healthcare. That is why I will fight to ensure that these providers not only maintain funding, but are connected to resources that can improve their patients’ lives, such as affordable childcare and job training programs. 
The Environment

Clean Water For All

Access to clean water to drink, bathe, cook, and clean should be a fundamental human right. But Michigan’s poorest residents disproportionately lack access to safe and clean drinking water. The situation is particularly dire in Detroit, where an estimated 80,000 families faced  water shutoffs during 2014-2016, with another 18,000 families expected to have their water shut off during 2017.

The El-Sayed administration would support the following policies: 

  • Guarantee a living standard of water (i.e. enough water to drink, cook, clean, bathe) provided free of charge to all Michiganders
  • End water shutoffs, which have negative health consequences for Michigan families
  • Increase fresh water conservation by reinvesting in our state's failing water infrastructure. 

View our full #CleanWaterForAll policy here.


Fix our broken water infrastructure

It is time to tackle Michigan’s critical health challenges — including lead poisoning — head on. That means making serious investments to fix and fortify our crumbling water infrastructure, in Flint and beyond. To do this, I will work to: 

  • Invest in full lead pipe replacement, and prohibit partial lead pipe replacements.
  • Toughen weak lead standards by reducing the Lead Action Level from 15 ppb to 5 ppb by 2020. 
  • Capitalize a Clean Water Infrastructure Bank. The bank will fund state-sponsored repairs and incentivize private sector infrastructure construction through low-interest loans and targeted financing.
  • Reinstate revenue sharing with counties and municipalities, so local governments can pay for needed repairs without raising water bills or going into debt. 
  • Merge the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Natural Resources into a single department to ensure that both departments have the money the need to operate effectively to address failures in environmental protection. 


Shut Down the dangerous Enbridge Line 5

The Canadian oil corporation Enbridge has kept its dangerous Line 5 oil pipeline pumping countless gallons of oil through the Straits of Mackinac. Line 5 was meant to be decommissioned years ago, and Enbridge has failed to report signs of degradation — including gaps in the protective coating on the pipeline — that if unchecked could cause an oil spill that would damage our Great Lakes for generations.

As governor, I will work to immediately Shut Down Line 5 by revoking the easement with Enbridge and forcing the pipeline’s immediate decommissioning. Additionally, we would work with the state legislature to adopt legislation that increases state oversight of oil and gas pipelines; implements minimum safety standards and inspection requirements; prohibits running any future pipelines through the Great Lakes; and requires current operators to undergo a full risk analysis by a qualified third party. Most importantly, using $150 million — a quarter of what it would cost to cleanup in the case of Line 5’s rupture — we would capitalize the Pure Michigan Infrastructure Bank, a “Green Bank” that pairs public and private capital to fund investments in clean energy and infrastructure. In addition to these targeted policies, we will further work to protect the health of our Great Lakes by lobbying the federal government to increase funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and investing the $275 million needed to prevent the migration of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. 


Aggressive action on climate, environmental justice, and no new fossil fuel infrastructure

It is not enough to affirm that the science on climate change is real; we need aggressive action on the scale of this planetary emergency. We will work to make Michigan a leader in the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy economy for the 21st century. Leveraging the Pure Michigan Infrastructure Bank, we will make targeted investments in renewable energy infrastructure through loans and financing to support families and companies upgrading their infrastructure to support a renewable future. Check out the proposals we outlined in our urban agenda to address the climate crisis: 


Ban fracking

Fracking has occurred in Northern Michigan since the 1980s, but the extensive use of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVHF) — in which millions of gallons of water and chemicals are pumped deep into the ground — only began in 2008. We need to end this.

While all oil and gas drilling poses risks, high volume hydraulic fracturing has been shown to have unique and severe risks to the environment and to public health and safety. The most exhaustive review of the available evidence of public health impacts on HVHF, conducted by the New York State Department of Public Health over a period of two years, ultimately concluded that the extensive public health impacts from high volume hydraulic fracturing cannot at this time be mitigated even with regulation or oversight. As governor, I will heed this evidence and prohibit all high volume hydraulic fracturing in Michigan until new and overwhelming evidence is available to demonstrate its safety. 

As Detroit Health Director, I stood up to a company wanting to store and process low-level radioactive fracking waste within the city limits, ultimately negotiating a contract that prevented this waste from being stored and processed in Detroit. 

Criminal Justice

The growth of Michigan’s prison system over the past several decades has created a volatile prison environment that harms prisoners as well as corrections officers, staff, and communities — particularly urban communities. Michigan devotes a larger portion of our budget to corrections than any other state (roughly 20 percent of the state’s General Fund), largely because we have an incarceration rate 11 percent higher than the national average. More importantly, Michigan’s incarceration rates for African-Americans compared to white Americans remains far higher than the national average (6.6:1 compared to 5:1 nationally), and the juvenile custody rates for black youth are nearly 5 times higher than those for white youth. Yet, our crime rates are not lower and our communities are not safer; violent crime rates in Michigan are 15 percent higher than the national average, even as we pack our prisons with more and more of our people. 

Moreover, certain communities have fallen victim to a pattern of violence and discrimination at the hands of law enforcement. While the majority of police serve with respect, we must do our part to protect communities from police violence. 

As governor, I will commit to reforming the Michigan criminal justice system through five policy priorities:  

  • Reducing sentence length
  • Reducing the prison population 
  • Improving prison conditions 
  • Supporting returning citizens 
  • Improving hiring and training standards for police to end police violence. 

By targeting these areas, we can move more Michiganders from prison to productive citizenship, while reducing the biases that undermine our systems of criminal justice and law enforcement. It is time for our commitment to liberty and justice for all to be more than an empty promise. 


Ban the box & implement sentencing reform

Former inmates with unstable housing are more than twice as likely to end up back in prison. As governor, I will work to combat housing discrimination against people with criminal records by introducing legislation to “ban the box” on housing applications. The legislation would prohibit landlords from asking about prior criminal convictions and make failure to comply be subject to fines, with 50% of fines going directly onwards the complainant. Some rejections would be allowable for certain convictions; however, the bill will allow those who are rejected to request written notification about why their offers were rejected. 

We will introduce similar “ban the box” legislation for employment. We will prohibit private employers from:

  • Inquiring about criminal records until after a conditional offer of employment.
  • Asking applicants for voluntary disclosure of background information.
  • Requiring self-reporting questions about conviction history from initial employment applications.

And public employers would be required to:

  • Not disqualify applicants from employment and/or licensure unless the conviction is directly related to the nature of the employment sought.
  • Consider mitigating factors in considering convictions based on EEOC arrest and conviction guidelines as well as evidence of rehabilitation.
  • Prohibit consideration of records of arrest not followed by valid conviction, annulled or expunged convictions, and misdemeanor convictions for which no jail sentence can be imposed when evaluating applicants for hiring or licensure.
  • For both private and public employers, failure to comply would result in fines, 50 percent of which would go to the complainant. 


Curb privatization in prison services 

While Michigan does not have for-profit prisons, my administration will limit the privatization of prison services, such as food and beverage provisions, in state penitentiaries. This will start with an immediate termination of the contract with Trinity Food Group, the current food provider, and a move to once again contract with local providers committed to providing fresh, healthy meals using Michigan produce.

Gender Equity

Many face discrimination because of their gender, particularly when it comes to pay. But the wage gap is not the only thing holding women back in this country; access to comprehensive healthcare, a lack of policies that actively encourage both family and work, and the failure of government to comprehensively address sexual and physical assault all contribute to a world where women are seen as second-class citizens. Policies that empower women empower everyone, which is why as governor I promise to fight for women in every arena. 


Close the wage gap and pass equal pay legislation

To close the wage gap, I support policies that value, rather than punish, the choice to care for our families. As governor, I will work to:

  • Pass legislation mandating equal pay
  • Sponsor legislation to provide universal paid sick leave and parental leave
  • Support robust financial support for childcare
  • Invest in programs that connect women to well-paying careers in nontraditional fields.
  • Pursue wage increases in sectors dominated by women, whenever and wherever possible


Protect a woman’s right to choose & reproductive justice

Women should have full access to information regarding the choices that work for them, their bodies, and their families. That is why I will: 

  • Protect a women’s right to choose: women should have unfettered access to safe abortion services, to the full range of contraceptive options, and to quality prenatal care. Women should feel empowered to make decisions regarding family planning with the help of trusted family members, friends, or a religious community — not the government. 
  • Protect Planned Parenthood from attack: I will provide continued financial support for healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood that ensure access to invaluable services for women across our state. 
  • Create connections between women’s health clinics and local resources such as affordable childcare and job training programs.
  • Establish policies with the Michigan Department of Corrections to help preserve family connections during incarcerations.
Protecting our Freedoms

For too long, too many Michiganders — including women, people of color, immigrants, people who identify as LGBTQ, and those with disabilities — have been excluded from equal rights and treatment under the laws of our state. As an Egyptian-American and a Muslim, I know personally what that can feel like. But I also know that Michigan’s strength comes from the diversity of its people. 

We must unite as Michiganders if we hope to face the challenges that lie ahead – challenges that have left so many of us tired and afraid. Whether it is the fear of being treated differently by law enforcement, the fear that one’s work will not be compensated equally because of their gender, or the fear of being discriminated against by businesses, we must dismantle the barriers to equity so that we can devote our energies to building our future together.


Religious Freedom

I demand the strict separation of church and state and would seek to uphold and defend that separation. I will defend the right of all Americans to pray as they choose to pray (or to not pray at all) just as I will oppose any discrimination by businesses and public institutions against anyone for any reason.

Defending immigrant rights

Immigrants are an important part of what makes america great. As a believer in states’ rights, I do not believe that the federal government has any right to tell the state of Michigan how to spend its tax dollars. Therefore, we will not spend a dime in Michigan enforcing heartless federal immigration policy that tears apart families and hurts small business and agriculture in our State. 

Michigan is a welcoming state, and we support refugees who have relocated to our state in the face of some of the most dire humanitarian circumstances in the world. The state must do its part to empower refugees through support in finding housing, education opportunities, and stable work.

Funding Quality Infrastructure

Alongside investing in people, we have to invest in the infrastructure that Michiganders need to move themselves and their ideas. Today, 29% of roads and 37% of bridges statewide don’t meet basic requirements. We must ensure that the infrastructure in our state is safe, dependable, and helps attract and retain the type of workers that we need to grow our economy.

Our current model of infrastructure development costs billions of dollars and does not generate enough wealth to pay for itself. We need a 21st century infrastructure plan that will help our economy grow. That means fixing our roads and bridges; investing in rapid regional transit and public transit; and building access to broadband and high speed internet statewide.

However, Michigan’s constitution prevents the state from raising sufficient revenue to make the types of massive investments that we need. That is why we will capitalize a multi-sector infrastructure bank — the Pure Michigan Bank — to ensure that we can build the Michigan for the future even in the face of the restrictions of the past. The Pure Michigan Bank will: 

  • Pair public and private capital to invest in infrastructure––for roads, transit, energy, water, and schools––on a statewide scale. An initial capital investment of $105 million from the state will generate a $3.3 billion of private investment for clean energy alone by 2035.
  • Fund large scale public transit projects through a partnership with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  • Finance an overhaul of our water infrastructure starting with full lead pipe replacement and upgraded stormwater management systems. 
  • Invest in clean energy infrastructure through a greener cities initiative, low-interest energy efficiency loans for homeowners and business owners, large-scale expansion of recycling infrastructure, and concentrated investments in renewable energy.
  • Work with internet service providers and telecommunications utilities to ensure statewide access to high speed internet.


Statewide Broadband

Moving Michigan into the 21st century requires investing in technology that can help connect us. As governor, I will support initiatives to bring broadband to every city, county, and township across the state. Chief among these initiatives will be a plan to streamline the permit approval process for locating and constructing new broadband infrastructure and to expand subsidies to support this construction, creating jobs and bringing Michiganders into the digital economy in the process. 


Net neutrality

A free and open internet has been critical to our democracy in the 21st century. I will never allow corporations buy our democracy and stop the free flow of ideas on the internet, and I will do everything I can as governor to fight against attacks on net neutrality.

Clean Government

Michigan’s is among the least accountable, least transparent state governments in the country. Michiganders deserve a government they can trust, where the will of the people takes priority over the interests of corporations and lobbyists. But today, approval ratings for state government are at an all-time low. We need accountability and transparency in Lansing to ensure that Michigan’s government is working for all Michiganders.


Get the money out of politics

Corporations have our politicians in their pockets. It’s why I am not taking a dime of corporate PAC money to fund my campaign. However, too many politicians do: Michigan’s campaign finance laws allow corporations to contribute more than four times as much per year to candidates for office in Michigan’s legislature than the federal legislature. We need campaign finance reform that limits the amount that they can contribute to campaigns. Therefore, I will work to:

  • Repeal “Citizens United on Steroids” state laws to reimpose limits on campaign finance contributions.
  • Oppose Citizens United and eliminate independent expenditures by Super PACs.
  • Vastly reduce individual and Political Action Committee contribution limits for state executive and legislative races.
  • Extend public financing for state races by increasing the matched contribution limit
  • Increase cash contribution limits to the federal limit — $100 per individual limits — to facilitate grassroots contributions. 
  • Standardize campaign finance disclosures and mandate quarterly disclosure reports.
  • Provide tax credits for campaign contributions up to $200 per individual. 


Slay the gerrymander

We need to give voters the power to choose their politicians, not the other way around. Michigan is among the most gerrymandered states in America., and politicians in power have consistently redrawn district lines to keep themselves in office and benefit themselves. I support independent/bipartisan redistricting to protect every Michigander’s right to an equal vote.


Protect the right to vote

Voting is an essential component of our democracy, and yet many Michiganders lack access to this fundamental right because of voter ID laws and lack of access to polling places. I want to make sure that all Michiganders have a chance for their voices to be heard at the ballot box. As governor, I will work to:

  • Automatically register applicants with a Michigan ID to vote.
  • Promote no-reason absentee voting and an expansion of early voting.
  • Designate voting day a state holiday so working people can get to the ballot box. 
  • Push to re-enfranchise those who are currently incarcerated.


Transparency & accountability

Holding politicians accountable does not end when elections are over. We must hold our government to the highest standard. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) forces transparency into government. However, neither the Governor nor the Senate currently are exposed to FOIA, allowing them to operate in the dark.

I believe that governing should not happen behind closed doors. As governor I will:

  • Immediately subject my office to FOIA.
  • Drive legislation to subject the Senate and Governor’s office to FOIA.
  • Mandate disclosures of personal and familial financial interests for all elected officials in state and local offices.



Standing up for LGBTQ Rights

A comprehensive definition of civil rights must include gender identity and sexual orientation. LGBTQ Michiganders have historically been left out of civil rights legislation and it is long past time for change. 

Over 30 municipalities in Michigan already have human rights ordinances that protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity; these ordinances focus on the employment, healthcare, and housing protections that we should expand statewide. To protect LGBTQ Michiganders and their rights, we must follow their lead and institute the same protections statewide. That why I will:

  • Push to amend the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include protections for gender identity and sexual orientation and put enforcement mechanisms in place for these protections for housing, education, employment, and access to public accommodation and services. 
  • Fight for basic healthcare rights such as LGBTQ non-discrimination protection in ACA exchanges. 
  • Repeal HIV/AIDS criminalization laws and the exclusion of transgender Michiganders from state Medicaid.
  • Help defend LGBTQ youth through policies to address LGBTQ youth homelessness, and anti-bullying laws. 
Marijuana Legalization

I support the 2018 ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Michigan and establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. Additionally, I support efforts to ensure that Michigan’s adult-use cannabis industry is oriented to small businesses and accessible to people of color and other communities disproportionately affected by the misguided and failed War on Drugs. That is why as governor, I will: 

  • Initiate a thorough review of the capitalization requirements proposed by the Licensing Board to ensure that costs accurately reflect the money needed to operate and that the value of existing equipment counts towards capital requirements. 
  • Appoint members to the Licensing Board who represent small businesses and communities of color.
  • Launch a state-funded incubator for cannabis businesses and entrepreneurs of color and those in rural communities. 
  • Work with the AG to protect cannabis businesses and users from undue intervention from local and state law enforcement.
Gun Safety

As a new father, I’m learning that you always worry about your child. But when you send them off to school, you shouldn’t have to worry they will fall victim to gun violence. But that story is now all too common in America, from mass shootings in places like Aurora to Kalamazoo and Parkland. But mass shootings are only part of the story – in Detroit, where I was Health Commissioner, death by homicide is the most common cause of death among young men aged 12-35. From 2008-2013, over 6,000 Michiganders were killed by gun violence – making it deadlier than traffic fatalities. And Michigan is also not immune to the epidemic of mass shooters. In 2016, a mentally unstable man who never should have possessed a gun went on a shooting rampage in Kalamazoo, killing six people and 2 others injured.

Clearly, gun violence is a national epidemic. Enough is enough.

The time is long overdue to treat this as the public health issue it is. As Governor of Michigan, I won’t stop working until no parent has to bury her child. Too many elected officials are scared of a corporate gun lobby that is more concerned with making profits for gun manufacturers than promoting responsible gun ownership. I will never take a dime from the gun lobby. I am beholden to no one but the people of Michigan, and I will work for common-sense steps to reduce gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them, like domestic abusers and violent criminals.

Here are my commitments to make Michigan a safer and more responsible state:

1. Prohibit the sale or possession of “weapons of war,” large capacity magazines, and any modifiers that increase fire rate. Growing up, I spent time with my family in Gratiot and Montcalm County - I came to respect Michigan hunting culture and tradition. My own uncle even learned how to prepare the venison he’d hunt halal so that his Muslim family members could also enjoy it. However, we must recognize that military-style assault weapons like the AR-15 – the weapon of choice for mass shooters – are not required to take down a buck. These weapons of war are meant for one thing: killing people during war. For that reason, these weapons and any accessories meant to increase their killing ability should be banned from sale in Michigan.

2. Close background check loopholes. Currently, Michigan law does not require background checks for sales at gun shows, by private sellers, and for the sale of firearms other than handguns. As Governor, I will support background checks for all gun sales, including the sale of long guns. This could be achieved by expanding the current purchase-to-permit system to cover handguns and long guns, so that purchase permits are required to buy any type of guns from private sellers.

3. Include domestic abusers in Michigan’s prohibited purchaser provisions. The presence of a firearm in a Domestic Violence situation makes it 5 times more likely a woman will be murdered. In fact, over half of mass shooter incidents involve the killer shooting intimate partners or other family members, including their children. Currently, Michigan law is incredibly weak when it comes to prohibiting convicted domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns. Common sense legislation to prevent domestic abusers from obtaining firearms must do all of the following:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from possessing or purchasing firearms;
  • Require courts to notify individuals convicted of domestic abuse that they are no longer allowed to possess ammunition or firearms;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by individuals convicted of domestic abuse;
  • Require law enforcement to remove firearms from the scene of a domestic violence incident.

4. Require the Michigan State Police and local law enforcement to disarm individuals who become prohibited purchasers after purchasing a weapon, being issued a handgun purchase license, or receiving a concealed carry permit. Federal law does not require licensed dealers to conduct a background check if the purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meet certain conditions. Thus, any Michigander with a handgun purchase license or a concealed pistol license that was issued on or after November 22, 2005 are exempt from the federal background check requirement. This means that people who have become ineligible to possess firearms after getting these licenses may still be able to buy weapons without a background check if the state fails to remove these licenses in a timely manner.

5. Reintroduce discretion into the concealed pistol permit process. Michigan is known as a “shall issue” state, meaning that county clerks - the only body authorized to issue concealed pistol permits - are required to issue permits to all qualified applicants. We need to reintroduce discretion into the process so that communities again have the ability to oversee who can carry a concealed weapon. One way this could be done is through a return to “county gun boards,” which had the final say over the issuance of concealed carry permits before 2000 in Michigan.

Michigan should also implement a “red flag law,” which would allow family members and law enforcement to seek a court order to temporarily restrict or remove access to guns when a person poses a danger to themselves or others. Mass shooters and people contemplating suicide often display warning signs. Red flag laws allow family members and law enforcement to take action before tragedy occurs.

6. Prohibit the open carry of firearms in public buildings and registered private establishments. Small business owners deserve the right to have a say whether or not their customers may carry a gun openly. Under this new system, business owners could enter their establishments into a state registry if they do not wish to allow open carry. And nobody should be able to carry a weapon onto school grounds.

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